Remarks at the “America Is All In” Launch Event

John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

As prepared

Marcene – thank you very much. I’m delighted to be with all of you on such an important day.

I know many of you were there at Le Bourget a little over five years ago when we gaveled in the historic Paris Agreement. It was the product of many hearts and many hands – a diplomatic balancing act, and at one point it felt like success or failure could come down to a single word.

And for the last four years, there were times when many feared failure would depend on a single word – Trump.

Yet, five years later, the Paris Agreement and the international climate regime are is still standing – all because cities, states, businesses – organizations across the country – stepped up and said, “We are still in.”

We Are Still In was much more than a slogan. In 2017, only 1 state and 33 cities had committed to get 100% of their energy from clean sources; now, 13 states, Puerto Rico, and 165 cities have 100% clean energy commitments.

And since 2017, 16 states have passed or committed to pass regulations and legislation that would phase down the use of HFCs.

You showed the world the real face of the United States, even before 81 million Americans last November changed the public face of leadership that Americans choose to show the world.

And now, we need you to make “all-in” have even more urgency and meaning.

We come to this work with humility knowing that the United States’ global absence did have consequences.

We come to this work with honesty knowing that Paris isn’t enough.

And we come to this work with ambition knowing that even though the U.S. is thankfully back in the Paris Agreement, we need every major economy, including ours, to achieve what Paris never guaranteed: to increase our action to keep 1.5 degrees of warming within reach, and to get on a track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

That means we need all of America and all of the world to be “All In.”

We need you to join us. Even with the United States back in officially, we need you to represent the best of the United States abroad because your accomplishments of the last four years are proof that progress is possible, and that progress comes with prosperity.

You’re our success stories. So, if you came to the COPs the last three years, keep coming! And if you didn’t, promise that this year we’ll see you in Glasgow, so we all meet this moment and we meet it together.

Let’s get the job done. I look forward to your partnership and your questions.

More from: John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

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There are hundreds of air toxics for which additional monitoring using sensors could be beneficial. However, there may be technical or other challenges that make it impractical to do so. Older satellite-based sensors typically provided infrequent and less detailed data. But newer sensors offer better data for monitoring air quality, which could help with monitoring rural areas and pollution transport, among other benefits. However, satellite-based sensor data can be difficult to interpret, especially for pollution at ground level. In addition, deployed satellite-based sensor technologies currently only measure a few pollutants, including particulate matter, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. Opportunities Improved research on health effects. The ability to track personal exposure and highly localized pollution could improve assessments of public health risks. Expanded monitoring. More dense and widespread monitoring could help identify pollution sources and hot spots, in both urban and rural areas. Enhanced air quality management. Combined measurements from stationary, mobile, and satellite-based sensors can help officials understand and mitigate major pollution issues, such as ground-level ozone and wildfire smoke. Community engagement. Lower cost sensors open up new possibilities for community engagement and citizen science, which is when the public conducts or participates in the scientific process, such as by making observations, collecting and sharing data, and conducting experiments. Challenges Performance. Low-cost sensors have highly variable performance that is not well understood, and their algorithms may not be transparent. Low-cost sensors operated by different users or across different locations may have inconsistent measurements. Interpretation. Expertise may be needed to interpret sensor data. For example, sensors produce data in real time that may be difficult to interpret without health standards for short-term exposures. Data management. Expanded monitoring will create large amounts of data with inconsistent formatting, which will have to be stored and managed. Alignment with needs. Few of the current low-cost and satellite-based sensors measure air toxics. In addition, low-income communities, which studies show are disproportionally harmed by air pollution, may still face challenges deploying low-cost sensors. Policy Context and Questions How can policymakers leverage new opportunities for widespread monitoring, such as citizen science, while also promoting appropriate use and interpretation of data? How can data from a variety of sensors be integrated to better understand air quality issues, such as environmental justice concerns, wildfires, and persistent ozone problems? How can research and development efforts be aligned to produce sensors to monitor key pollutants that are not widely monitored, such as certain air toxics? For more information, contact Karen Howard at (202) 512-6888 or HowardK@gao.gov.
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