Biden Bringing in New Climate Adviser

Biden Bringing in New Climate Adviser

( – When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, his administration created the role of special presidential envoy for climate. He chose John Kerry as the first person to hold the position, but now, he’s stepping down. Biden has tapped John Podesta to fill Kerry’s shoes.

Both men have prominent experience in the government. Kerry served as secretary of state during the Obama Administration, and Podesta has held positions in the Clinton, Obama, and Biden eras. He is currently a senior adviser, a role he will continue to maintain.

In serving as the global climate representative for the US, Podesta will operate in a slightly different capacity, especially given his need for Senate confirmation to fill Kerry’s shoes. According to The New York Times, his official title will be senior adviser to the president for international climate policy. He currently oversees nearly $400 billion in spending for clean energy projects established under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Kerry has expressed confidence in Podesta’s abilities on X, formerly Twitter, calling him a “longtime climate ally and advocate” who “will continue to grow the momentum from Glasgow, Sharm el-Sheikh, and Dubai,” referring to recent climate summits held to move the globe toward more clean energy and away from fossil fuels. Other climate activists have praised the move, including the Natural Resources Defense Council president, Manish Bapna.

In a statement announcing the move, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients praised Kerry for all of the work he’s done over the last three years, taking “historic action” and “tirelessly trekk[ing] around the world” to achieve the goals.

White House observers expect Kerry to step down sometime this spring, though he hasn’t set a date in stone. Whether he plans to transition to work outside the government or retire to private life remains unclear. He is currently 80 years old.

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