BIDEN APPOINTS JOHN KERRY AS U.S. CLIMATE ENVOY
John Kerry, one of the leading architects of the Paris climate agreement, is getting one more chance to lead the fight against climate change after President-elect Joe Biden named the longtime senator and former secretary of state as climate envoy for national security, Ellen Knickmeyer reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Biden’s team gave little immediate detail about how he envisioned Kerry shaping the new job, which many on social media and on all sides of the climate-action spectrum were quick to dub “climate czar.” But the transition team made clear that it will be a prominent role, with Kerry becoming the first member of the National Security Council to focus exclusively on climate change.
It was one of Biden’s first steps in making good on campaign pledges to confront climate damage from fossil fuel emissions more broadly and forcefully than any previous US administration. And it’s a sign of how the incoming administration is heeding warnings that natural disasters from global warming will weaken US defense and spur conflicts around the globe.
“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry tweeted. “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.” At 76, Kerry has the stature to help him make deals with foreign governments on global climate efforts. But he’s up to a half-century or older than the activists who pushed climate change to the forefront of national politics over the past four years.