The escalating crisis in Ukraine deserves the world’s focus right now, former US Secretary of State John Kerry told Ian Bremmer at the Munich Security Conference. “But the key is to remember here that Ukraine, one way or another, we’re going to resolve it ultimately over X number of years,” he said. “But the climate crisis remains existential, just as it was before the Ukraine crisis came up.”
Kerry, who now serves as President Joe Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, also warned that the biggest concern for Russia’s economy right now is not its expensive military operation in Ukraine, but rather the country’s melting permafrost, crumbling urban infrastructure, and how they extract their natural gas. “Russia has a profound climate problem,” Kerry added.
And although the war in Ukraine may change things somewhat, the leaders of China and Russia have recently been on a sort of authoritarian honeymoon because they think America is declining.
Kerry pushes back against the narrative that this will be "the century of the authoritarian."
"That is a very serious misconception" on their part, he explains, because regardless of the current political problems, the Unites States retains its capacity to innovate and produce. Just look at COVID vaccines. Also, when "threatened as a nation and threatened in a way of life, Americans will unite and come together, as we have in the past. And we are to be reckoned with."
Meanwhile, he adds, both China and Russia face a looming demographic crunch that'll hit their economies hard because their populations are getting too old, too fast.
Watch the GZERO World episode: Ukraine War: Has Putin overplayed his hand?
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