While Kerry noted in his comments that more needs to be done on climate change, his inaccurate recounting of U.S. performance on the Kyoto emissions targets leaves the wrong impression. Low natural gas prices and the economic downtown — not specific policies — have been the prime factors in the emissions reductions, especially for carbon dioxide.
Speaking off the cuff — or with false precision — is a dangerous business for a secretary of state. Twice this month, in two continents, Kerry has left a misleading impression about U.S. progress in meeting its international commitments on climate change. We’d almost make this Four Pinocchios, but he did get the part about Waxman-Markey right, even though it’s not much to brag about.