Global Warming High on Senate Foreign Relations Agenda

By Juliet Eilperin | Washington Post


Climate change policy will get a boost next year from the fact that some of the most senior members of the Obama administration have focused on the issue during their careers, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) told reporters today.

Kerry, who will chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next Congress, said he expected Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton — who is expected to be named secretary of state — will both use their new roles to promote a global pact curbing greenhouse gases.

“Both will be exceedingly helpful and important in this effort,” Kerry said during the telephone news conference.

Kerry will lead the Senate delegation headed to Poznan, Poland, next month in order to participate in U.N. climate talks that will lay the groundwork for a final international agreement on greenhouse gases in December 2009. He noted that since the Senate must ratify any climate treaty arising from the 2009 negotiations, “We intend to be a full partner with the administration in defining the parameters of a global agreement.”

Global warming, he said, is “going to be front and center” on the Foreign Relations Committee’s agenda.

“It’s going to be one of the top priorities of the committee,” Kerry said. “I know this playing field and I know this issue.”

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