John Podesta replaces John Kerry as US climate envoy

John Podesta replaces John Kerry as US climate envoy
John Podesta replaces John Kerry as US climate envoy
John Podesta at climate talks at the White House earlier this month.Image AFP

In mid-January it was announced that Kerry, a former senator and former Democratic presidential candidate, would resign. The 80-year-old Kerry has spent the past three years working on global climate policy on behalf of the Biden administration. In this capacity, he represented US objectives and interests at international climate conferences.

Kerry will fully focus on Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, he announced a few weeks ago. According to Kerry, this is currently the best way to safeguard the US climate goals. Biden wants to reduce US CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Donald Trump, most likely the Republican presidential candidate, sees no point in phasing out fossil emissions.

Biden’s goals are ambitious: he wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and has earmarked 369 billion dollars (337 billion euros) for ‘green energy subsidies’. There are fears that Trump, if he becomes president in 2024, will once again put an end to all these intentions.

The 75-year-old Podesta is already a top adviser to Biden on climate and is responsible for the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). That law frees up hundreds of billions of dollars for the production of clean energy and other measures to limit global warming. Podesta confirmed his appointment and told the New York Times that despite his additional position, he remains ‘one hundred percent committed’ to the implementation of Biden’s domestic climate package.

Podesta served as chief of staff to Republican President George W. Bush, shaped the climate policy of the subsequent Obama administration and headed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He also has international experience in the field of climate. For example, under Obama he co-wrote the Paris climate agreement that was concluded in 2015.

Unlike Kerry, who worked from the State Department, Podesta will remain in the White House in his new role. He retains the title ‘official senior advisor to the president on international climate policy’. This prevents the Senate from having to confirm his appointment, a requirement for envoys at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said The Washington Post.

The article is in Dutch

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