Kerry hails UK climate leadership after Boris Johnson talks

One-time climate sceptic Boris Johnson now backed as a champion for Paris deal as John Kerry urges UK to maintain strong global role


It’s easy to be a climate sceptic when you have a £250,000 a year column to write, less so when you are foreign secretary of the United Kingdom.

Top British diplomat Boris Johnson and US secretary of state John Kerry enjoyed “frank” discussions on Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Brexit and – yes – climate change, said the American on Tuesday.

Addressing media in London Kerry left reporters in little doubt he still regards the US-UK relationship as critical, and sees the new government as an important partner.

“We have consistently been able to work together to do things to help safety of people and planet… particularly pronounced on the Iran nuclear agreement and Paris climate agreement,” he said.

The pair “talked about implementing the Paris climate change agreement” added Kerry, perhaps unaware Johnson wrote the 2015 deal was agreed because last December was hot.

Kerry, who also met new prime minister Theresa May, said he was “gratified by the reassurances” both had offered him over the UK’s global role.

“I am convinced this UK government intends to lead strong NATO, UNSC, G7, G20, as part of the coalition to counter Daesh… as well as for stability and prosperity,” he said.

Kerry next heads to Vienna where talks on phasing out potent warming gases used in fridges and air conditioning units are nearing their endgame. Scientists say cutting HFC use could limit temperature rises by as much as 0.5C.

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