• ICE
  • NYSE
  • Contact
EPISODE 42

Around the World With Tony Blair

19 minutes · Jul 26, 2018

As we always say, you never know who'll walk into the door of the NYSE on any day of the week. A special session Inside the ICE House with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, now leading the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Mr. Blair and Josh take a quick trip around the world, reviewing recent events now rattling global politics. Twenty years since his first visit to the NYSE, Mr. Blair remains a firmly centrist, committed to strengthening democracy through global partnerships and bringing, as he says, "an enlightened view of self-interest" to allied nations.

Speaker 1 (00:03):

From the library of the New York Stock Exchange, at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets in New York City, you're inside the ICE House, our podcast from Intercontinental Exchange on markets, leadership and vision in global business. The dream drivers that have made the NYSE and indispensable institution of global growth for over 225 years. Each week we feature stories of those who hatch plans, create jobs and harness the engine of capitalism, right here, right now at the NYSE and at ICE's exchanges and clearing houses around the world. And now welcome inside the ICE House. Here's your host, Josh King of Intercontinental Exchange.

Josh King (00:46):

Let's start with some cold hard facts. I mean, some really cold facts, just over 200 years ago, it was so cold in London that the river Thames froze over. It was February 1814, and the people of the city took to the ice and held a fair, like the pre COVID after party of the [Ididrod 00:01:09]. There's so much dancing and drinking that according to Lore, even an elephant made its debut, strutting its stuff across the river's icy surface, like a Boston Bruin, easily supported by the ice's thickness. All the reveille was justified, but also a little wistful. That was the final time ever that the river froze over. I grew up outside of Boston. I can still see my 13 year old self strutting across a snowbound beacon street during the famous blizzard of 78. And now living in New York City, despite our family doing our annual best Bing Crosby, crooning of White Christmas, this place hasn't seen snow on the ground on December 25th, since 2002.

Josh King (01:51):

My colleagues in London say such an occurrence is even rarer on their side of the pond with the usual forecast of a wet Christmas, all they get is they struck past Hyde Park corner. Although we still get about of frigid weather, studies have shown that it's more a rarity in the Northern hemisphere than ever. So here's the fact, the temperature of the planet is changing. It's never been more obvious in this country than in 2020. The West Coast has faced unprecedented destruction from wildfires that has consumed 3,627,000 acres destroyed 7,360 structures and killed 26 people as of September 28th. We got an early start to hurricane season and since it began, there've been 24 tropical or subtropical cyclones, 23 named storms, eight hurricanes, and two major hurricane, bringing an estimated 24 billion in economic damage so far.

Josh King (02:50):

Climate change now affects our lives on a daily basis, as we learned on our recent episode on Carbonomics with Intercontinental Exchange's Gordon Bennett. And today we're going to learn a lot more, talking to our esteemed guest, the honorable John F. Kerry, the 68th Secretary of State, my former senator. And I even remember when he was lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1985, while I was just a lad at Newton South High School, our conversation with Secretary Kerry on his career, climate change and his newest venture that combines advocacy with investment, launched right here at the New York Stock Exchange. That's right after this.

Speaker 3 (03:31):

Board diversity is important.

Speaker 4 (03:31):

Board diversity is important.

Speaker 6 (03:34):

Board diversity is important.

Speaker 7 (03:35):

Board diversity is very important.

Speaker 8 (03:37):

Not just because it's the right thing to do, but because diverse leadership at companies creates better companies.

Speaker 9 (03:44):

This is about value, not val you's.

Speaker 10 (03:47):

With more diversity, you built better companies.

Speaker 13 (03:48):

Diversity of thought, diversity of perspective.

Speaker 11 (03:51):

Different perspectives, often yield, better outcomes.

Speaker 12 (03:54):

We need to have different perspectives with different backgrounds to really inform and find the best solutions for our organizations.

Speaker 14 (03:59):

Companies that have more diverse boards perform better.

Speaker 15 (04:03):

Diverse teams are better performers. That is absolutely true in the boardroom as well.

Speaker 16 (04:07):

It makes a difference to the employees who work for companies. It makes a big difference for the communities in which they work.

Speaker 17 (04:13):

Our business is about building leaders for the future, and that talent cannot be only half the population of the world.

Speaker 18 (04:19):

What are you waiting for? 50% of the population for some reason, isn't qualified? Let's put the smartest people we can in the boardroom and why ignore people or exclude people for any reason other than that they're not qualified.

Josh King (04:36):

Our guest today. The honorable John Kerry is now chairman of the Climate Finance Partners, CLIFI advisory board, and has been a central participant in the public square for half a century. He began his career as an attorney and Naval officer where he rose to prominence as a decorated Vietnam veteran, went on to serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the roles that I mentioned until 2013, when president Obama nominated him for his post at Foggy Bottom. Confirmed by his Senate colleagues on a vote of 94 to 3. As secretary of state, Kerry initiated around of Israeli Palestinian peace talks and negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. The JCPOA in 2015 and in 2016, signed the Paris agreement on climate change and behalf of the United States. After leaving office, he published his memoir, Every Day is Extra in 2018. And has been proving that every day since. Welcome inside the ICE House. Secretary Kerry, it's great to have you back the New York Stock Exchange.

John Kerry (05:36):

Happy to be with you. Thank you for having me.

Josh King (05:39):

I spoke about an elephant on Thames in the introduction. Let's dispense first with the elephant of the room on September 30th, we are recording this conversation on the 16th anniversary of your first debate as the Democratic presidential nominee against George Bush. Adam Nagourney covered it for the New York Times. The debate he wrote at the basketball arena at the University of Miami campus was held under stiff rules, agreed to by both sides intended to limit exchanges between the candidates as well as camera shots showing reactions of each man as his opponent spoke. But the rules were discarded both by the candidates and the networks almost as soon as the 90 minute began. So many people thought last night was such a debacle, sir. And yet reading Nagourney's words, 16 years later, history does have a way of repeating itself. There's 34 days before election day in the United States. How does Vice President Biden avoid history repeating itself on November 3rd?

John Kerry (06:33):

Well, first of all, let me make it clear that in the debate that I had with President Bush, while there may have been some interruptions, they were done courteously and they were done with a view to trying to get at an issue and they were not repeated. I would say it was a very different kind of debate in that regard. It was substantive. And I think all the writeups of it would say that, but I thought that President Trump came with destruction on his mind. That seems to be what characterizes his presidency to a certain degree. It's the chaos presidency. So I think Joe Biden is doing extremely well. I personally believe Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. I think that he acquitted himself under very difficult circumstances, held his temper, talked directly to the American people, had real choices for Americans about what we need to do to solve COVID 19.

John Kerry (07:32):

And let's be honest. I mean, most of your listeners here understand that if our economy is going to get moving again, we've to have COVID 19 under control and getting it under control means we share the responsibility of minimizing its spread. And you start by wearing masks. There's no tracing program. There's no broad based testing program. We're still struggling in states for the protection equipment and so forth. And that's why the United States of America, which is 4% of the world's population has 25% of the deaths. I mean, we are not doing as well as many other countries in the world, most of the other countries in the world. And we should be ashamed of that, but that is directly attributable to the president and the lack of his acceptance of responsibility, which he himself said, I don't accept responsibility. And then I think Joe Biden summed it up last night by saying it is what it is, because you are who you are and that's it.

Josh King (08:38):

Mr. Secretary, the impact of the election on energy policy will also play out on November 3rd. But market forces have arguably been a larger player in the energy transition than actual administration policy. Since those debates that you had with president Bush in 2004, I mentioned our recent episode on Carbonomics, but trace its evolution since then and tell us, how does the KFA Global Carbon ETF work? And what's the science behind the IHS markets global carbon index?

John Kerry (09:10):

Well, you're asking a lot of questions there. Let me sort of begin at the beginning. The market ought to work and be in the process. I believe in the market. I think the market is a very, very powerful instrument. People's allocation of capital, which is at the foundation of capitalism is the key to generating energy in the economy where people put the money, the products that then produces the new discoveries, the that's transition constantly of the marketplace. And government, I'm not a command and control guy. I believe in creating a structure, an incentive, and then let people make their choices. Oh, I think I'll put it in solar. I think I'm going to go for hydrogen. I'm going to continue with fossil fuel. Well, the market is now saying no to fossil fuel. The market increasingly is ahead of some of politicians in Washington because people see the handwriting on the wall for the future.

John Kerry (10:04):

Most people who run funds and most people who are in the big finance institutions of the world have done a lot of studying in their life. They're smart people and many of them been to B school or they studied economics and doctorates or whatever it is, but they understand where AI is taking us. They understand the nature of the energy revolution and they understand the science behind climate crisis. The sciences could not be more clear and direct. There is a warming because the atmosphere gets filled with these gases. The gases contain the heat, the sun's energy, which comes down is deflected in a way that it can't penetrate that and escape. So we get hotter. That's why it's called a greenhouse effect, because it is a greenhouse. We are a greenhouse. And if it weren't for the greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the earth would not have been 57 degrees Fahrenheit for centuries, but we have life itself on earth because of the greenhouse effect.

John Kerry (11:07):

But we have a president who doesn't want to honor that, who doesn't even pay attention to it. I doubt he even knows about it. And what he does is, he just says, well we don't want America in this climate agreement because it places an undue burden on the United States. Well flash alert folks. I led the negotiations in Paris and I can tell you unequivocably, it doesn't place a burden on the United States. It doesn't have any country placing any burden in any other country. Every country wrote its own plan. And we wrote our plan with the help of big oil, of big gas, of utilities, of nuclear, of all the people at the table, all of whom supported what we were doing because they also understand the science. We need to get to a net zero carbon economy by about the year 2050.

John Kerry (12:03):

I would prefer to earn on the shorter side of that because of the impacts we already see taking place. We're supposed to, according to the scientist, hold the earth temperature to two degrees centigrade increase. We're currently at about 1.2. Look at the damage that's occurring now, at 1.2. Look at the higher intensity of storms. Look at the rate of melt of the Arctic of the Antarctic. It was 70 degrees in February in Antarctica. You talk about the Thames' not freezing. And I was one of those kids who used to take my hockey skates, my stick, and run out to find the black ice on a pond in Massachusetts. I haven't seen black ice in years now. This is what's happening to us. So farmers know it, they see the floods. People see it in California, for sure with the mudslides and the fires, et cetera.

John Kerry (12:57):

So one of the methods by which many people believe we can reduce the carbon, that is one of the pollutants going up into the atmosphere. There are others, we manage to help control sulfur by creating a market years back in the '80s, a cap and trade system, a trading mechanism. And increasingly people are turning to a trading mechanism to try to price carbon and reduce the price of carbon. And this is by the way, an idea that originated at the American Enterprise Institute. And we simply put into effect and tragically because politicians actually passed something and put it into place and it solved the problem of acid rain. But now people have made it the third rail of American politics. So it's a no-no, I can't talk about it. But the bottom line is, that George Shultz, Jim Bakker, other Republicans, believe you have to price carbon.

John Kerry (13:58):

Now there are different ways to do it, but that's the basis of this fund. That's the basis of the Caribbean Fund, carbon on the stock exchange, which has been put together fundamentally by KraneShares and by the Climate Finance Group. And what they're doing is, they're encouraging people to invest in a fund that is indexed to this price of carbon, realizing that as more and more countries are about to put their efforts on the line to reduce their carbon footprint, the price of carbon is going to go up. And as so carbon goes up, the fund goes up and the trading in it goes up and it becomes an ongoing process by which you help companies to reduce their emissions. For instance, if one company, company A has, a hundred tons more carbon per year, that they're admitting than they're allowed to under the regulations of restricting to live up to these agreements.

John Kerry (15:00):

And another company is already way below what they need to be. The companies can trade between themselves and you get credits for the certificates that you have that allow you to quote, put X amount of pollution out there, because you paid for it. And that price is going to have an effect over a period of time of making people extremely conscious of their carbon footprint. And they will seek ultimately to have a zero carbon footprint, but over time, people will make money in this trading of credits and they'll be able to continue to produce goods. It's a way of equalizing the market if you will. And I think it's also going to be a good investment because most economists, most experts on this trading mechanism realized that while I was trading, I think are 20 or something, 19, 20, I can't remember what it was when I was in New York, but the predictions are, it's got to go to a hundred dollars a ton or 200, 150 somewhere way above there to have the kind of impact we need to have.

John Kerry (16:00):

So I'm betting as other people are betting on the futures market to be one that has a higher price on carbon. There are three markets today in the world that already do trade in this way. One is California and the Northwest and Canada. The other is RGGI in the Northeast of the United States. The third is the EU. The EU will be expanding its efforts to be a very serious market. And finally, China, China, I am told will probably come online with its own trading mechanism by the end of the year. So this is the trend line. This is the future. And what carbon on the stock exchange seeks to do now is to accelerate that process. It's a great outlet for people to deal with their ESG challenge is internally. It's a great way to live up to the sustainable development goals that many, many companies have signed onto. And I think people will find it attractive, increasingly.

Josh King (17:03):

In that speech Secretary Kerry, that you gave the New York Stock Exchange a couple weeks ago, you spoke about RGGI, The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an opinion piece in the Boston Globe in May said in the Northeast, Massachusetts and New York led in creating the RGGI in 2009 to reduce the emissions from the power sector. Two similar emissions reduction packs were brokered in 2007 and 2009 among Western and Midwestern states before the Tea Party sweep of 2010 ended both efforts. Since then climate advocates largely focus their efforts on states like New York and California, where the politics were still favorable. So Secretary Kerry, in the future, how can you get the Midwestern and other red states to go along?

John Kerry (17:45):

By pointing out the economic benefits, by making it clear that this is the future, and if you don't become part of it and frankly, join that market, you're going to lose market. You're going to lose market share, your products are going to become more expensive. Your taxes are going to go up and here's why. Because we spent 265 billion to dollars two years ago, cleaning up after three storms. Harvey dumped more water in five days on Houston than goes over Niagara Falls in a year. Maria devastated Puerto Rico and Irma had the first recorded sustained winds for 24 hours of 185 miles per hour over, sustained for 24 hours. So the damage that was done cost you, cost companies, cost everybody American tax payers 265 billion. That's just three storms. This is going to be damage in the trillions of dollars as we go forward. If we don't respond to climate change. Sir Nicholas Stern, British economist has written a terrific book laying out the economics of clinic.

John Kerry (18:55):

The fact is this is not an expense for America or for other countries if we deal with it, it's an investment. It's an investment in a clean, smart grid, which can send energy from one part of the country to another. Who's going to build that grid? Well, steel workers and pipe fitters and electricians, and a bunch of folks. In the doing of this, we not only modernize our infrastructure and our economy, but we will create millions of jobs here in America and around the world. This is the biggest market, talk about markets. The New York Stock Exchange ought to be wildly enthusiastic about the idea that their biggest market, the world has ever known is the energy market, which is four and a half billion people, four to five billion users today. It's going to go up to 9 billion users in the next 30 years. It's already a multi-trillion dollar market, and that is just going to become two X, three X, four X, whatever it's going to grow.

John Kerry (19:59):

And the winners are going to be the people, they already are. Solar companies are now growing, the fastest growing job in America with solar power technician, second fastest growing job, wind turbine technician. This is the future but it's happening now. And increasingly people are investing in it and realizing it. That's why the price of oil is where it is. Demand is down, people are going to buy electric cars, electric buses, electric trucks, and we're going to be moving towards a carbon-free economy. It's just going to happen. The only challenge will be, does it happen fast enough that we don't burden ourselves with remarkable costs, because we're too slow.

Josh King (20:36):

You make a compelling business case for it, now Secretary Kerry, but you've championed dozens of causes over your career. Your dad was a foreign service officer. Your mom was an activist and a nurse. And although foreign policy was at the core of your role during the Obama administration, you've held these environmental issues close to your heart for such a long time. Was there a turning point in your life or political career that propelled the environment to a key place in your agenda?

John Kerry (21:02):

Yeah. When my mom dragged me out for a nature walk when I was about seven years old, that was the beginning of the journey. This is pretty, I guess maybe because I'm a New Englander, maybe it's a great Massachusetts tradition with Henry David Farrow and Ralph Waldo Emerson. And I just grew up with a respect for the ocean, with a respect for nature. Early understanding of the meaning of an ecosystem, the interrelated notions of how we're all connected and what we're connected to. And the species on this planet are critical to the cycle of the planet. We're killing them. We're destroying species at an unparalleled rate. We're changing chemistry of the ocean 40 times faster than we have in 50 million years. And we can measure these things. Science measures these things. Some people choose to ignore it and sell people a bill of goods about how it's going to cost you, this or that.

John Kerry (22:02):

America became the great country that we are because we had a president like an Eisenhower who built an interstate highway system. Because president Kennedy said, we're going to go to the moon. Because we pushed ourselves with technology and research and development. We've lost that in these last years and we have to get back to that. And if we get back to that, I believe we're going to have a better quality of life. If we reduce the amount of pollution in the atmosphere, guess what, less cancer, less emphysema, less complications for COVID 19 patients. I mean, these are all on the plus side.

John Kerry (22:41):

If we don't have to rely on oil or gas from other countries right now, we're in a good position, because we've been able to make ourselves independent, but that doesn't last forever. And then what? Are going to send young people off to fight to defend as Donald Trump said, we're going to secure the oil in Syria. Are you kidding Mr. President, come on now. And so I think that the future is in technology that helps us to help have better quality of life and to have more jobs as we do that. And so there's just a huge opportunity in front of us to be more secure, to have better health, have a stronger economy and therefore put the three together. Now that's how you build a strong future.

Josh King (23:27):

From that first nature. Walk with your mom, you then famously visited the McMurdo Station in Antarctica in 2016, not the usual round the world path for a secretary of state and the US government aircraft. What inspired you to make that journey back then?

John Kerry (23:42):

Well, what inspired me was, I went with the foreign minister of Norway, which has serious interests in the Arctic. We went up to Svalbard to this island up in the north of sea. And when I met with the scientists up there who were doing very important work to understand the climate and the glacier and the ice and what was happening, they said to me, the scientist said to me, Mr. Secretary, if you really want to understand what's happening and see, and feel the danger to this planet, you need to go to Antarctica. So I went back to Washington and I went into the oval office with the president. I said, Mr. President, I'm going to go to Antarctica. And he said, I'd like to go with you, that would be great. And he couldn't, but I could.

John Kerry (24:25):

And it was one of the last trips I made and I went and listened to the scientists tell me about the instability of the west Antarctica ice sheet and how the warming of the water was now spilling over the continental shelf and coming underneath the ice and adding the instability of it and why we need to be concerned because of this ice melt, a huge sheet of ice, huge, I mean, miles wide long, broke off, not so long ago from Antarctica. And it floats out to sea that contributes to sea level rise. And right now there are predictions of the possibility of major, major melt, which will not contribute centimeters, but feet, meters, ultimately to sea level rise, you look at the East Coast, the United States, you look at where so many Floridians live, you look at the ports of Charleston and all the way up the North Coast, what will happen to New York. You saw what Sandy did to Wall Street.

John Kerry (25:26):

Think of what happens if you're talking about meters of sea level rise, already the mayor of Miami, west of Miami beach is having to pump out water from the streets of Miami beach on a sunny high tide day. On Boston, we have water coming over the sea wall on a high tide at certain times on a normal weather day. So we've got to just understand the science of what is happening and be practical in the ways that we try to address it. And one of the best ways to address it is getting the private sector to recognize the amount of money that is to be made. For instance, whoever comes up with battery storage that is 25 days, 30 days of battery storage. Wow, you talk about fortunes made. That is going to be a gigantic fortune and people are going to have to make those batteries.

John Kerry (26:20):

But when we get 20 to 25, 30 days of storage, we've solved the problem of base load for companies. Then you can put out more solar, more wind, and when the wind isn't blowing or the sun's not shining, you've stored up enough to make up for the longest time periods with which we've ever gone without sun or wind. And they've done these studies. So this is a matter of good economics, a matter of good, common sense, and it's going to be the way in which ultimately no government is going to single handedly solve the problem of climate. It's going to be solved by private sector companies that step up with technologies that help us deal with carbon and provide new fuels and the alternatives to fossil fuel. And this is the time for investors to invest in the Alexander Graham Bells and Thomas Edisons, and look at our current generation, Sergey Brin and Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos and so forth. That's the future.

Josh King (27:25):

President Obama didn't end up making that trip to Antarctica with you, but he did go with Bear Grylls to Denali National Park. I think he got a similar flavor and appreciation of the environment. But after your visit, you went to attend the UN climate change conference in Marrakesh. How did visiting the Antarctica and learning about the melt west Antarctic ice sheet, as well as so many other environmental issues inform your contribution to that conference and indeed the very activities that you're involved in now?

John Kerry (27:54):

Well, it simply underscored the urgency. I mean, it made this very, very real, there's nothing hypothetical about what I'm talking about, it's happening now, it's happening at an increasing pace. It's dangerous. It's going to cost us a lot of money and a lot of chaos and disturbance. Because if you talk about disruptions, one of the greatest disruption you can have is when people are trying to move from places they can't live to places where they want to live. And I think, that's the course we're on right now.

Josh King (28:29):

The Paris Agreement that you negotiated has a huge and lasting impact on governments and businesses worldwide and setting climate related goals and objectives. Tell us about what the agreement means, even with what the current administration has done to it, and it's on going significance.

John Kerry (28:47):

Well, the significance of Paris is that for the first time, 196 countries simultaneously signed up to take measures to reduce their emissions. That was a signal to the marketplace. It wasn't that was a guarantee they would reach the two degrees or hold the two degrees. It was a guarantee that they were all going to do something. So if you're in the world of investment, whether it's early stage venture capital or mid stage, late stage, whatever it is, or private equity, whatever, that's a pretty big message. And if those nations, in fact, really do that, you've got opportunity just coming at you to amazing degree. Now, in the first two years after the pledge was made in Paris, 358 billion went into alternative renewable sustainable development, the first time ever more money than in fossil fuel. And that stayed that way for a year and then Donald Trump pulled out and boom, boom here.

John Kerry (29:57):

We're suffering now because nations that, and there aren't nations that really didn't want to be that serious about this. We have to drag a number of them through tough diplomacy to the table. We got them to take part, but the minute Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement, a lot of them felt free to say, oh, okay, United States doesn't care. So why should we care? And unfortunately, no nation in the world right now is doing what we really need to do all of us in order to meet the Paris agreement. So we're behind on the Paris agreement, let alone. I mean, actually we're hitting towards 3.7 degrees rise centigrade right now, that's where we're heading. And in fact, we're going to blow past the Paris agreement as it currently stands. And most scientists will tell you, we're actually on a course to hit 4.1 or 4.5, somewhere in that range in this century, that's absolutely catastrophic.

John Kerry (31:00):

Say goodbye to glaciers, say goodbye to many rivers that we have today. Water will become a problem. Food production will be a problem. You think fires and livability is a problem, today. We had 130 degrees in cities in Pakistan last summer, in the mid east, in Death Valley there's 130 degrees. Human beings cannot live in 130 degree temperatures. And so think about the consequences of massive air conditioning and other kinds of things. If you are a rich enough country, if you are a developed enough country to even have those kinds of assets, vast numbers of people in the world, a billion people have no electricity. So calculate what the damage would be if we had that kind of disruption.

Josh King (31:45):

Last year, while it was hitting 130 degrees in Death Valley, you also launched a coalition to tackle climate change called world war zero with a list of important people from the world of politics and the media, including presidents, Clinton, Carter, Governor Schwartzenegger, Leonardo DiCaprio. What inspired you to establish this group? And how did you get those guys involved?

John Kerry (32:07):

Well, I thought we needed to change the conversation. There was too much talk about just the ice and the polar bears, which are real concerns. But most Americans, they felt there was too much doom and gloom, not enough reality. And we all felt, Arnold Schwartzenegger for instance, as governor of California talked about pollution. Pollution, people don't like pollution. That's what gave us the Clean Air Act. That's what was the original motivation in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and so forth. So you had governors, Republican governor Christie Todd Whitman, who was also the head of the EPA. You had defense secretaries, Bill Cohen, and Chuck Hagel, both Republicans, but they were also senators. They believe this is a crisis. All of the people who signed up believe there's an urgency to America dealing with this.

John Kerry (33:09):

And my motivation was simply to try to help shift the conversation away from what some people just weren't listening to and get an Admiral or a general, general Stanley McChrystal who led our special forces. He is part of those saying, hey, wait a minute, folks, climate change is a threat multiplier. It becomes a challenge. It can become a war and we need to be ahead of the curve. It also can affect to America's ability to move our troops, move our people and be able to be sustained in various parts of the world where we may have a challenge. So you've got to look down the road and this group, World War Zero, it's called World War Zero because the world has to be involved or nobody solves this. It's a war because some people have declared war against facts, against science, against evidence.

John Kerry (34:07):

And it's zero because the goal is to get to zero by 2050 or 2045. As soon as we can, we need to be net zero carbon. By net zero carbon, it means that you've got some counter means of taking carbon and dealing with it so that you could produce it, but it won't go up into the atmosphere and wind up harming you. You're containing it. And there is a budget that scientists tell you, X amount of carbon will be able to be sustained used on the planet and still keep the temperature where we need to keep it. So it doesn't mean you have no carbon at all in anything whatsoever, but you've got to fit it within that carbon budget.

Josh King (34:53):

As we wrap up Secretary Kerry, a Bloomberg piece from July opened with a statement that I'm going to quote, John Kerry is betting that Wall Street will succeed where governments failed in the fight against climate change. Do you think the street is ready to step up where governments have failed in this crusade?

John Kerry (35:09):

Well, it is stepping up, already in many, many ways. I mean, I've been privileged to be doing some work as the chair of a global advisory group for the Bank of America. And I can tell you that Bank of America is one of the leaders globally in putting money where its mouth is with respect to decarbonizing. And the bank itself will be fully decarbonized in the next years, in a short span of time. So there's a huge amount of energy going on. You saw, and people are not funding irresponsible kinds of carbon producing projects. So I think the banks are becoming more thoughtful about it. I think the investment houses are becoming more thoughtful. You saw Larry Fink's letter last year, which raised the whole issue, very appropriately of stakeholder versus to shareholder interest. And more and more people are now thinking we got to combine it. It's not one or the other, but you've got to have stakeholders engaged in this process.

John Kerry (36:07):

And that is already reflected in some full measure on Wall Street, I know this. And with ESG concern and companies, a lot of boards of directors are now saying point blank. Hey, we don't want you management, you shouldn't be considering anything that isn't contributing now to a more responsible approach to the problem of climate crisis. It's a wave that's beginning to come and smart investors will get ahead of it. And some people, all these impact investing funds, there are a bunch of them around are making really thoughtful, smart investments in certain kinds of companies specifically because they are companies that can have a positive impact on helping to solve this problem or other social problems that are extent.

Josh King (36:56):

Well, Secretary Kerry you wrote the book Every Day is Extra, and you are proving it every day. Thanks so much for joining us inside the ICE House. Great insights, really appreciate you coming on the show.

John Kerry (37:07):

Really good to be with you. Thanks a lot, a lot of good questions. Thank you.

Josh King (37:10):

And that's our conversation for this week. Our guest was John Kerry, the 68th United States Secretary of State and chairman of the Climate Finance Partners Advisory Board. If you like what you heard, please rate us on iTunes. So other folks know where to find us. And if you've got a comment or a question, you'd like one of our experts to tackle on a future show, email us at ICE House, at theice.com or tweet at us @ICEHousePodcast. Our show is produced by Pete Ash and Veronica Slumka, with production assistance from Ken Able. I'm Josh King, your host signing off in the library of the New York Stock Exchange. Thanks for listening. We'll talk to you next week.

Speaker 1 (37:47):

Information contained in this podcast was obtained in part from publicly available sources and not independently verified, neither ICE nor is affiliates, make any representations or warranties, express or implied as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and do not sponsor, approve or endorse any of the content herein. All of which is presented solely for informational and educational purposes. Nothing herein constitute an offered to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or a recommendation of any security or trading practice. Some portions of the proceeding conversation may have been edited for the purpose of length or clarity.

Listen to more episodes

Subscribe to episodes

  • Listen on Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Listen on Stitcher
  • Listen on Google Podcasts
  • Listen on Himalaya
  • RSS

Information contained in this podcast was obtained in part from publicly available sources, and not independently verified. Neither ICE nor its affiliates make any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and do not sponsor, approve, or endorse any of the content herein, all of which is presented solely for informational and educational purposes. Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security, or a recommendation of any security or trading practice.