WATCH: John Kerry Says People Would ‘Feel Better’ About Ukraine Invasion if Russia Reduced Emissions

March 7, 2024

President Joe Biden's climate envoy John Kerry on Tuesday appeared to suggest that people would "feel better" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine if it released a plan to reduce emissions.

"Unfortunately, because of the actions that Russia took in an unprovoked, illegal war against another nation, we have not been engaged in discussions with Russia, sadly. I say, 'sadly,' because it's a loss for the world not to be able to have Russia acting constructively on this issue," Kerry said at a State Department foreign press briefing after a reporter asked him about climate relations between the United States and Russia.

"But we need every country, including Russia," Kerry continued. "Russia's one of the largest emitters in the world. If Russia wanted to show good faith, they could go out and announce what their reductions are gonna be and make a greater effort to reduce emissions now, and maybe that would open up the door for people to feel better about what Russia is choosing to do at this point in time."

Kerry in July 2023 remarked on the climate change implications of the war, saying it was "a fight we have to make," but he said it was "adding to the problem."

Wednesday was Kerry's last day in his role, and seasoned Democratic strategist John Podesta will succeed him under a new title. This week, Republicans in Congress launched an investigation into Podesta's appointment, accusing Biden of circumventing federal law by creating new positions that do not require approval from the GOP-controlled Senate.