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John Kerry met with Fulbrighters to talk climate change

John Kerry, Special US Presidential Envoy for Climate, met on July 13th with five alumni of the Fulbright Program who are scholars specializing in the effects of climate change, environmental protection, and the Arctic region. The Fulbright Program Director in Moscow also joined the discussion.

Gathering at Spaso House, the US Ambassador’s residence, the alumni gave short presentations on their research interests and discussed a range of related topics with Senator Kerry including forest fires, reforestation, carbon credits, the danger of methane emissions, and melting permafrost. Everyone agreed that Russia and the United States have a co-interest in facing these problems together - a theme that Senator Kerry promised to bring up in his phone call with President Vladimir Putin scheduled for the following day.

Senator Kerry stressed the importance of making significant progress within the next ten years to prevent the earth warming more than another 1.5 degrees centigrade in average temperature. Kerry called this goal “a heavy lift” while emphasizing how important it would be to quickly replace coal burning power plants with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power generation. He mentioned that he would be willing to see greater use of natural gas for power generation in the transition from coal to renewable sources of electricity.

Later, on July 14, John Kerry had a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss U.S.-Russia cooperation on combatting the climate crisis.