In a significant move, President Joe Biden has appointed seasoned politician John Podesta as the United States’ envoy for climate affairs, succeeding John Kerry.
The Biden administration places paramount importance on addressing climate issues.
John Podesta, aged 75, has played crucial roles behind the scenes in three Democratic administrations.
He oversaw the implementation of President Biden’s legislative project known as the “Inflation Reduction Act,” which allocates billions of dollars for green investments.
White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients described Podesta as “a statesman, a staunch advocate for bold climate action, and a leader recognized globally who has the full trust of the President and speaks on his behalf.”
Zients further elaborated that Podesta will help continue to confront the moment’s urgency as he takes over from Kerry.
Kerry had played a pivotal role in mediating the historic climate agreement at the COP 28 summit in Dubai, which called for a global shift away from fossil fuels.
Kerry, the former Secretary of State, Senator, and presidential candidate, will step down from his position to unofficially assist in President Biden’s reelection campaign and collaborate with the private sector in the transition away from carbon-intensive industries.
A White House official confirmed that John Podesta will assume the climate diplomatic portfolio, representing the United States on the international stage while also continuing to oversee the team responsible for implementing the Inflation Reduction Act.
Podesta’s appointment comes just days after the Biden administration announced a freeze on the approval of new liquefied natural gas export facilities, marking a victory for environmental activists.