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Stakes on climate change couldn't be higher: Kerry

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"President Biden is deeply committed...that's why he rejoined the Paris agreement so quickly because he knows it is urgent," Kerry said during a White House briefing.

"I think that workers are going to see with the efforts by the Biden administration they are going to have a much better set of choices and frankly it'll create more jobs than stuck where we were," Kerry added.

Video Transcript

JOHN KERRY: The stakes on climate change just simply couldn't be any higher than they are right now. It is existential. And President Biden is deeply committed, totally seized by this issue, as you can tell by this executive order and by the other, the initiative of getting back in Paris immediately. That's why he rejoined the Paris Agreement so quickly because he knows it is urgent.

He also knows that Paris alone is not enough, not when almost 90% of all of the planet's emissions-- global emissions come from outside of US borders. We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn't solved. So that's why today one week into the job, President Biden will sign this additional executive set of orders to help move us down the road ensuring that ambitious climate action is global in scope and scale as well as national here at home.

The need to grow the new jobs that pay better, that are cleaner that, I mean, you know, you look at the consequences of black lung for a miner, for instance, and measure that against the fastest growing job in the United States before COVID was solar power technician.

The same people can do those jobs. But the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice. And I think that, unfortunately, workers have been fed a false narrative. No surprise, right, for the last few years. They've been fed the notion that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No it's not.

What's happening to them is happening because other market forces already taking place. The greatest cost to America, the greatest cause of children being hospitalized every summer in the United States-- we spend $55 billion a year on it-- is environmentally-induced asthma.

That will change as we begin to rein in what we used to call pollution in this country because it is pollution. And I think that workers are going to see that with the efforts of the Biden administration, they're going to have much better set of choices. And frankly, it will create more jobs than stuck where we were.