John Kerry Roasted for Hoping Putin Would ‘Stay on Track’ with Climate Change

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Kristian Jensen (L) and Greenland Premier Kim Kielsen pose during a tour to the Jakobshavn Glacier and the Ilulissat Icefjord, located 155 miles (250 km) north of the Arctic Circle, June 17, 2016, in Ilulissat, Greenland. (Photo by …
Bent Petersen/AFP/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State John Kerry has taken a beating on social media for hoping that Russian President Vladimir Putin would “stay on track” in the fight against climate change after invading Ukraine.

Speaking with BBC Arabic, Kerry worried that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would divert the world’s attention from the fight against climate change.

“Massive emissions consequences to the war, but equally importantly you’re going to lose people’s focus,” said Kerry. “You’re going to lose, certainly, big country attention because they will be diverted, and I think it could have a damaging impact.”

Kerry added that he hoped Putin would recognize the damage that climate change has allegedly inflicted on his own country and “stay on track” with fighting it.

“So, you know, hopefully I think President Putin would realize that in the northern part of his country, they used to live on – 66% percent of a nation that was over frozen land. Now it’s thawing and his infrastructure is at risk and the people of Russia are at risk,” he said.

“And so I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate,” he concluded.

Kerry was not the only public figure to mention climate change in the wake of the invasion.

“It’s almost like TV programming. Soon as the #ChineseOlympics were over, #Putin gins up war w/Ukraine to keep our eyes glued to the Communist world,” tweeted actress Bette Midler. “But the biggest story in the world is #ClimateChange. What good is more territory if you can’t breathe the air or drink the water?”


Critics immediately blasted Kerry for mentioning climate change at a time when Ukraine faces a full-scale invasion by an aggressive neighbor.


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