John Kerry on climate change and the economic transformation to come

In a conversation for Yale Climate Day, President Peter Salovey and U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry ’66 spoke about the future of sustainability.

In a conversation with President Peter Salovey recorded during Yale Climate Day, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said the U.S. economy is headed for a massive overhaul as private and public entities coalesce around more sustainable energy policies and technologies.

I think it’s the biggest transformation, Peter, since the industrial revolution,” Kerry said. “Bigger by far than the technology revolution of the 1990s in desk computers and mobile phones. This is going to be gigantic.”

Kerry and Salovey also discussed goals for the UN Climate Change Conference being held in November, the importance of student activism for the environmental movement, how to bridge political differences on climate issues, and where climate-related research at Yale should be focused.

Despite his ongoing work with the Biden administration, the former secretary of state remains connected with the Kerry Initiative, the interdisciplinary program he founded within Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Yale Climate Day, held May 11, was a campus-wide climate summit presented by the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies in partnership with the Yale Planetary Solutions Project, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, the Yale School of the Environment, the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Yale School of Public Health.


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