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US Ambassador discusses Paris Agreement in Potsdam

01/14/2016 - The Ambassador of the United States to Germany, John B. Emerson, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) this week to discuss the consequences of the recent UN summit in Paris. Following a meeting behind closed doors with PIK director John Schellnhuber, the high-ranking guest gave a talk to researchers and students. Both the Ambassador and the PIK director highlighted the urgency of achieving further progress towards effective climate stabilization.
US Ambassador discusses Paris Agreement in Potsdam

US Ambassador John Emerson discussing with PIK experts and students. Photo: US Embassy to Germany

“Climate change is not only a threat to the environment but also to the security and stability of nations across the world,” said Ambassador Emerson. Hence the US have to “integrate climate change in every aspect of our foreign policy.” To illustrate this point, he mentioned resource competition for instance for water, and future migration that could be much greater than the current refugee crisis. Emerson thanked PIK for what he called “your extraordinary leadership in this issue which is one of the most important of our time.”

The United States were “absolutely instrumental for the success of the climate summit”, Schellnhuber said. “In Paris, we reached a political and social tipping point. Still we face a race with the tipping points in the climate system, such as the Greenland ice sheet.” Hence it is key to keep up the momentum and rapidly improve greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans in countries around the world.

The visit to PIK is a follow-up to the one by the White House Science Advisor John Holdren in October. Ambassador Emerson got a small tour of the science campus on Potsdam’s Telegraph Hill. Carsten Denker from the Astrophysical Institute (Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, AIP) presented the famous Einstein Tower to the Ambassador.

Weblink to the speech of Ambassador Emerson:

Weblink to AIP/Einstein Tower:

Weblink to the visit by the White House Science Advisor:

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