John Kerry: Mr. Climate - POLITICO.com Print View
President Barack Obama’s chief global climate cop won’t be stationed at EPA or on the White House staff. He’ll be at the State Department.
That’s too much effort to put on climate change, according to Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a leading early contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
“I don’t think it’s the most pressing foreign policy issue facing America,” Rubio told POLITICO outside Kerry’s confirmation hearing on Thursday. “There’s a lot of things government can do but changing the weather isn’t one of them.”
The 2015 climate agreement — if it can even be reached on time — would fall smack in the middle of presidential primary season. Its implementation and ratification likely await Obama’s successor.
Asked how a climate agreement come 2015 would shake up the presidential race, Rubio replied, “My problem with these initiatives is the ability of our government, of one country, to effectively impact the climate is very limited. But these measures have disastrous impacts on our economic competitiveness. That’s the reason why some countries are pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol. That’s the reason why China is not interested in any of this. They’re the biggest polluters on the planet today and they’re not about to economically disarm anytime soon. So that’s the fundamental concern.”