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Former Secretary of State John Kerry was excoriated by critics Thursday for expressing hope that Russian President Vladmir Putin would help the world “stay on track” with fighting climate change despite the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces.
Kerry’s comments came during an appearance Wednesday on BBC Arabic, in which Biden’s climate envoy also lamented the potential “emissions consequences” from the war in Ukraine and worried the attention of large countries would be “diverted” from fighting climate change because of the conflict.
“…Massive emissions consequences to the war, but equally importantly you’re going to lose people’s focus. You’re going to lose, certainly, big country attention because they will be diverted, and I think it could have a damaging impact,” Kerry said after stating that he was concerned about the people of Ukraine, as well as Russia’s willingness to “change boundaries of international law by force.”
“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 added. “And so I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early Thursday morning following weeks of speculation as Russian troop numbers swelled at the border between the two countries and in neighboring Belarus.
Critics took to social media to blast Kerry for focusing on climate change amid the start of a war.
Kerry’s comments garnered attention from international officials as well, with British Member of Parliament Marcus Fysh writing, “These idiots are the problem.”
Other critics referred to Kerry’s climate change advocacy over the war as a “total clown show,” while another called him a “certified joker.”
“Democrats are deranged, spoiled children and after 2022 should not be near any position of power for the foreseeable future,” wrote former defensive end for the New England Patriots Jake Bequette, while another critic referenced Kerry flying to Iceland in a private jet to receive an environmental award.
“Ukraine is getting bombed as we speak and John Kerry can only think about the possible emission of a war and that people will lose focus on climate change. He is a clown. They’re all unfit for leadership. These people couldn’t run a pretzel shop,” wrote one critic, while another argued it was a national security threat for Kerry to have ever been Secretary of State.