World Has Nine Years To Avert Climate Catastrophe, John Kerry Warns

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry delivers a speech.
Gettyimages | Mark Makela
US Politics

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry warned Friday that the world has only nine years left to limit global warming and avert a climate catastrophe.

Speaking with CBS News' Ben Tracy, Kerry noted the clock is ticking and said that experts have long warned about increasing temperatures.

"Well, the scientists told us three years ago we had 12 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis. We are now three years gone, so we have nine years left," he stated.

'No Room For BS,' Says Kerry

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry delivers remarks.
Gettyimages | Mark Makela

Both the public and private sector have gradually moved towards sustainable energy, turning to alternative energy sources and making significant commitments. For instance, the car manufacturing giant General Motors recently announced that most of its vehicles will be electric by 2035.

Companies like Tesla, which is owned by billionaire Elon Musk, have focused exclusively on producing electric vehicles. However, according to Kerry, this is not enough.

"There is no room for B.S. anymore. There's no faking it on this one," Kerry told CBS News.

Biden Rejoined The Paris Climate Agreement

John Kerry speaks as President Joe Biden looks on.
Gettyimages | Win McNamee

Earlier on Friday, the United States officially rejoined the landmark Paris Agreement, which was seen as a significant step by President Joe Biden to undo his predecessor Donald Trump's policies and implement new regulations.

Though significant, the pledges under the Paris Agreement are still insufficient, according to Kerry.

"Even if we did everything that we said we were going to do when we signed up in Paris we would see a rise in the Earth's temperature to somewhere around 3.7 degrees or more, which is catastrophic," he said.

Biden Has Promised Unprecedented Climate Action

President Joe Biden delivers a speech in the White House.
Gettyimages | Alex Wong

Biden has promised to invest tremendous government resources in fighting global warming. As Politico reported, he has vowed to spend $2 trillion on climate change, 40 percent of which is meant to go to disadvantaged communities that have suffered from pollution.

Some environmental activists and organizers have praised the Biden administration's initiatives, while others have criticized them. Peggy Shepard, executive director with WE ACT for Environmental Justice, told Politico that she is "very concerned about how that 40 percent is administered."

Republicans Have Vowed To Fight Biden's Climate Actions

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House.
Gettyimages | Chip Somodevilla

Republicans have pushed back against Biden's plans to combat global warming, claiming that his policies would hurt American jobs and benefit countries such as China and Russia.

In a recent interview, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed Biden for reentering the U.S. into the Paris Climate Agreement and stopping the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, claiming that the president has "put China first."

"We've lowered more emissions than any country," McCarthy argued, stressing that rejoining the Paris climate agreement "only benefits China."