Joe Biden has named former Secretary of State John Kerry as the "climate czar" for his incoming presidential administration. According to The Hill, Kerry — who previously ran for president in 2004 — will lead the Biden administrations efforts in battling widespread climate change. Among his expected responsibilities, Kerry will likely be coordinating programs, which will run through several different agencies, that are meant to combat the negative impacts of various climate issues.
"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." He later echoed past comments made by Biden regarding plans to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that deals with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. It was signed in 2016. On Aug. 4 2017, the Trump administration announced plans to withdraw from the agreement, and did so in 2019. Biden has said that he intends to re-sign with the agreement.
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
In a statement, the Biden transition team said, "This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, reflecting the president-elect’s commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue." The statement added, "Secretary Kerry elevated environmental challenges as diplomatic priorities, from oceans to hydrofluorocarbons. He was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord, and signed the historic agreement to reduce carbon emissions with his granddaughter on his lap."
Kerry's appointment as "climate czar" did not come as too much of a surprise to some, as the former Massachusetts senator has been quite active on climate change over the past few years. In 2019 he founded World War Zero, a climate initiative designed to unite "unlikely allies with one common mission: making the world respond to the climate crisis the same way we mobilized to win World War II." Next up, Kerry will helm Biden's plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.