Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry Statement at the Temple of Poseidon

September 2, 2022

ATHENS – Special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, visited the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion, Greece on August 28.

He stated, “This extraordinary site, that is 2,500 years old, is a reminder to all of us, no matter what country we come from, or where we live on the planet today, of the extraordinary connection we all have to our cultural history, to our natural history, all of which is represented here.

And Greece, particularly, is a maritime nation through all of history, it’s remarkable history. Achilles is reputed to have said that the ocean is the source of all. And when you look out here, it’s hard not to be sympathetic to that point of view.

Greece has forged a remarkable history, not just in democracy and in the early Athenian states, but its role as a maritime nation, the role that it performs with so many ships on the ocean today. It’s such an important part. It’s the leading shipping nation in the world.

So it’s appropriate to be here because I’m meeting with Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Dendias and Energy Minister Skrekas, and so forth, to talk about Greece’s role as the host of the 2024 Our Ocean Conference.

This is a conference that has produced over $100 billion worth of commitment to preserving the ocean, to dealing with the climate crisis in the context of the ocean. It has produced some 1,800 different commitments around the world, including a green shipping corridor. This is a pledge that came out of Glasgow. It’s a critical goal that we have set.  And Greece is now going to have an opportunity to be able to show the world how we do this and how we can do it effectively.

So I’m really excited to be here, apart from just walking on these stones that have represented so much history for so many years. I wish I had weeks to spend, but it’s great to be here.”


ATHENS — For decades, Britain and Greece were able to differ, largely politely, over the world's toughest cultural heritage dispute: What's the right place for some of the finest ancient Greek sculptures ever made, which have been displayed in London for more than 200 years but which Greece vocally wants back.

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