President-Elect Joe Biden has announced that former Secretary of State John Kerry will serve as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change. In this newly created position on the National Security Council, Kerry would become the highest-ranking U.S. official ever to have a portfolio dedicated to climate change.
As Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, Kerry played a key role in negotiating the Paris Climate Accord and signed the agreement on behalf of the United States in 2015. He previously represented Massachusetts in the Senate for 28 years and served as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 4 years. His latest appointment reflects Biden’s commitment to “addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue.”
Biden pledged that the United States would rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, after President Trump withdrew from it earlier this year. Kerry is expected to play a significant role in navigating this. “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” stated Kerry. “The climate crisis demands nothing less than all hands on deck.”
Kerry’s position does not require Senate confirmation. The Biden transition team announced that a domestic climate official would also be announced in the coming weeks.