President-elect Joe Biden has appointed 76-year-old former Secretary of State John Kerry to become his Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
As Climate Envoy, Kerry is to serve as part of the National Security Council, which according to Biden’s transition team reflects the incoming administration’s “commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue.”
Because his position is not part of the Cabinet, Kerry’s appointment does not require Senate confirmation, meaning he can get started right away.
Although outgoing President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, Biden said during his campaign that once in office the US would rejoin the Accord.
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, a former Democratic Massachusetts senator, served under President Barack Obama as Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017.
“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry wrote in a tweet. “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.”
Announcing the appointment along with that of his Secretary of State choice, Antony Blinken, Biden said, “We have no time to lose when it comes to our national security and foreign policy. “I need a team ready on Day One to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity and values.”