John Kerry Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate Opening Remarks

John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

White House – Washington, DC

As prepared

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Mr. President, thank you very much for your leadership and the sense of urgency which you are calling everybody to account for. And we thank you for hosting this conference in less than a hundred days from entering the Oval Office.

We just heard a very powerful statement from a young activist underscoring the urgency that every leader here faces to meet this crisis. And as you have said, Mr. President, creating a net zero economy and doing it as rapidly as possible is an enormous challenge. It will require mobilizing finance at an absolutely unprecedented level. And it will require governments to help facilitate the net zero transition around the world and to help especially – and we’ve heard it again and again from the leaders this morning – the vulnerable countries, the people who just don’t have the finance or the technology or the ability to do this.

Given the magnitude of this challenge, however, governments alone cannot possibly find all the necessary investment. There’s no government in the world that has enough in their fiscal – in their budgets to be able to provide what we need to make this transition. Ultimately, how governments, international financial institutions, and private providers of capital work together is really going to determine the outcome of this challenge.

So joining us in this – first in this session are four leaders from four different corners of the world, and they will share their experiences in financing climate solutions and in deploying mitigation and adaptation strategies. So to begin, it’s my pleasure to turn to President Charles Michel of the European Council.

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    Chin Hua Huang, 42, a resident of Taiwan, was charged in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia with participating in a criminal conspiracy to violate U.S. export laws and sanctions against Iran.  Also charged was Taiwan business organization DES International Co., Ltd. (DES Int’l) and Brunei business organization Soltech Industry Co., Ltd. (Soltech).
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  • Tennessee Emergency Medical Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Distributing Controlled Substances
    In Crime News
    A Tennessee emergency medical doctor was sentenced today to serve 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in unlawfully distributing controlled substances.
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  • Federal Budget: A Few Agencies and Program-Specific Factors Explain Most Unused Funds
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found About 1.6 percent of the total available budget authority government-wide was cancelled from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2019, averaging $23.9 billion per year. The variations in cancelled appropriations from year to year can be explained largely by trends in four departments. Together they represent 86 percent of the total government-wide cancelled appropriations, but their rate of cancellations were within a few percentage points of the government-wide rate. Four Agencies Represent the Majority of Total Cancellations from FY2009–FY2019 Cancelled appropriations for the six case study accounts GAO reviewed largely resulted from program-specific factors: Actual program needs were less than estimated. For example, actual versus projected troop levels and warfront movements can contribute to cancelled appropriations at the Department of Defense (DOD). Some program funds are only for specific purposes. For example, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families officials reported that some states declined funding for a teen sex and pregnancy prevention program, and the agency did not have the authority to redirect those funds for other purposes. Some programs' costs are more unpredictable than others. Contract and acquisition costs can be unpredictable . When final costs are less than originally estimated, agencies may have to cancel the difference. In contrast, agencies with a higher proportion of personnel expenses, which are relatively predictable, can more easily avoid cancelled appropriations. All of GAO's case study agencies have procedures in place to help limit discretionary cancelled appropriations. For example, the Army established a program that helps reduce cancelled appropriations by providing management with metrics and tools to help prevent them. Why GAO Did This Study Laws limit the time that agencies have available to use fixed-term appropriations for obligations and expenditures. However, agencies do not always obligate and outlay these funds in time, which ultimately results in cancelled appropriations. Efforts to limit the amount of cancelled appropriations result in more accurate budget estimation and fiscal projections, a more efficient appropriations process, and better service to the public. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 includes a provision for GAO to review the status of cancelled appropriations. This report addresses (1) the extent of appropriations that were cancelled in fiscal years 2009 through 2019 and how the rate of cancelled appropriations and other characteristics differ across agencies, (2) factors that contribute to the level of cancelled appropriations in selected accounts at agencies, and (3) efforts selected agencies make to prevent the cancellation of funds. To provide government-wide trends, GAO analyzed Department of the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget data. GAO also analyzed related documents from six case study accounts at DOD, HHS, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and interviewed officials at these agencies. The selected accounts included the three with the most cancelled appropriations government-wide and three additional accounts to represent the major categories of federal spending: personnel, acquisitions, grants, and contracts. For more information, contact Jeff Arkin at (202) 512-6806 or arkinj@gao.gov.
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  • Secretary Blinken’s Call With Families Of Loved Ones Held Hostage Or Wrongfully Detained Abroad
    In Crime Control and Security News
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  • MS-13’s Highest-Ranking Leaders Charged with Terrorism Offenses in the United States
    In Crime News
    Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed in Central Islip, New York charging 14 of the world’s highest-ranking MS-13 leaders who are known today as the Ranfla Nacional, which operated as the Organization’s Board of Directors, and directed MS-13’s violence and criminal activity around the world for almost two decades.
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  • Joint Statement of the U.S.-India Counternarcotics Working Group
    In Crime Control and Security News
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    In Travel
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  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Brazilian Foreign Minister Araujo
    In Crime Control and Security News
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  • Former Resident of Stockton, California Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for Human Trafficking Convictions Related to Forced Labor of Foreign Nationals
    In Crime News
    Sharmistha Barai, 40, formerly of Stockton, California, was sentenced Friday, Oct. 2 to 15 years and eight months in prison for forced labor violations.
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  • Briefing with Senior State Department Officials on Diplomacy to Constrain Iran’s Nuclear Program
    In Crime Control and Security News
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  • More Achieved in 2020 to Improve Kidney Care Than in Decades
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
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  • Two Doctors Charged in Illegal Opioid Distribution and Health Care Fraud Conspiracy
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in Kentucky returned an indictment Wednesday charging two doctors for their alleged involvement in conspiracies to illegally distribute opioids and commit health care fraud.
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