Outside Business Journal

Biden taps John Kerry for presidential climate envoy

The president-elect has selected former Secretary of State John Kerry to lead the nation's climate efforts


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As president-elect Joe Biden begins naming officials to fill his cabinet, leaders in the outdoor industry are keeping a close eye on individuals who will influence climate policy over the next four years. Most notable thus far: John Kerry, whom Biden has tapped to fill the newly created position of presidential climate envoy.

A longtime senator who served as secretary of state under Obama, Kerry’s first big task as climate czar will be helping the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which Kerry himself helped architect. Biden has pledged to reenter the agreement, which nearly 200 countries around the world have co-signed, as soon as possible.

Another important task for Kerry will be rolling back dozens of anti-environmental regulations enacted by the Trump administration over the last four years, including many that reduced limits on fossil fuel emissions and expanded drilling opportunities for oil and gas companies.

Relations with China will also occupy an important place in Kerry’s likely agenda. The U.S. and China are currently the world’s two largest polluters, generating more than 40 percent of all annual global emissions. Reducing those emissions will require a reversal of the cooling diplomatic relations between the U.S. China that have developed under the Trump administration.

“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry tweeted this week, after Biden announced his nomination. “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.”

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