Story at a glance
- Former Secretary of State John Kerry will head Biden’s efforts to halt climate change as a presidential envoy.
- The longtime public servant has established his own sustainable foundation.
President-elect Joe Biden has announced he will name former Secretary of State John Kerry to the role of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. In this capacity, Kerry will be the first member of the White House National Security Council to focus exclusively on the threat of climate change.
Kerry tweeted the announcement on Monday, saying he was “proud” to help spearhead the initiative.
America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is. I'm proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy.— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) November 23, 2020
Kerry has also pledged to support President-elect Biden in his promised initiative to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord following President Trump's executive order to remove the U.S. from the pact.
The work we began with the Paris Agreement is far from done. I'm returning to government to get America back on track to address the biggest challenge of this generation and those that will follow. The climate crisis demands nothing less than all hands on deck. pic.twitter.com/xxfakodQ6d— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) November 23, 2020
He has also held private positions focusing on sustainability, including heading programs on climate change and oceans at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
In 2015, he signed the Paris Climate Agreement on behalf of the United States and launched World War Zero, a bipartisan organization that aims to get the U.S. to net zero emissions by 2050.
Some congress members have voiced support for Kerry’s appointment, with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee applauding the move.
“Appointing Secretary Kerry to this role is a very good move,” Sen. Whitehouse said. “John Kerry brings an array of important talents and knowledge to the administration: a long record of leadership on climate change policy; many remarkable achievements as Secretary of State; and a deep knowledge of and appreciation for protecting our oceans, which are at the center of so many climate-related challenges.”