As Putin Invaded, John Kerry Wanted To Change the Subject

Biden adviser said war will distract from climate change

February 24, 2022

On the same day that Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has plunged the country into mass bloodshed, Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry wanted to talk about climate change.

Kerry, a former secretary of state and President Joe Biden's climate envoy, told BBC Arabic that a Russia-Ukraine war would mean that "you're going to lose people's focus, you're going to lose ... big country attention" on climate change.

Kerry said the northern part of Russia is thawing because of global warming and expressed hope that Russian president Vladimir Putin, who is behind the invasion, "will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate."

By the time BBC Arabic posted the video on YouTube, Russia had already invaded the secessionist Donbas region and launched a cyberattack on Ukraine. Mere hours later, Putin announced a "special military operation" in the country and started bombing the capital of Kyiv and other major cities.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said Thursday that it had disabled more than 70 military targets in Ukraine. Ukraine's interior ministry said the invasion has already resulted in hundreds of casualties.

Kerry is the first special climate envoy and a member of the National Security Council. He served as then-president Barack Obama's secretary of state in 2014, when Putin invaded and conquered the Ukrainian region of Crimea.