WASHINGTON – The Biden-Harris administration has announced a host of new Cabinet appointees. For Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, his team has selected John Kerry. The former Secretary of State represented the US at global climate negotiations, and under Pres. Obama, signed onto the Paris Climate Accord in 2015.
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, 350.org North America Director, said:
“The appointment of John Kerry as a full-time International Climate Envoy aligns with the Biden-Harris team’s orientation to climate policy, and is a signal of commitment to collaborative action. Kerry must lead the Biden administration to demonstrate their global commitment to climate leadership beyond the Paris agreement, and we look forward to working with him and the national counterpart, once appointed, starting on day one with executive actions from The Frontlines Climate Justice Executive Action Platform and ClimatePresident.org.
“Sec. Kerry must prioritize working closely with Black, Indigenous, and communities of color around the world who are most impacted by the climate crisis, and young leaders calling for critical environmental justice and climate measures at scale of the Green New Deal. We are ready to work with Kerry to sharpen the urgency and existential importance of the Biden administration’s climate plans, with emphasis on the Global South and commitment to advocating for the communities hit first and worst by the crisis.”
The Paris agreement was an important step for global action, but remains insufficient to tackle the climate crisis at scale, particularly for communities already living through, and recovering from, record-breaking hurricanes, fires, and floods.
This summer, John Kerry represented the Biden campaign in a unity council bringing together climate progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sunrise Executive Director Varshini Prakash with more centrist voices around a shared climate platform. While this unity council strengthened Biden’s climate plan significantly around timeline and accountability for the fossil fuel industry, continued reliance on fracked gas, nuclear power, and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) remains a concern.
350.org is part of a growing movement to demand Biden keep fossil fuel ties out of his cabinet and administration, and take swift and immediate action for a just transition off fossil fuels. For the Biden-Harris administration, this means:
- Keep fossil fuels in the ground, including honoring Indigenous rights and stopping the Keystone XL pipeline for good; ending fossil fuel leasing on public lands; and ending fracking;
- Hold billionaires and polluters accountable for the climate crisis;
- Immediately re-join the Paris agreement and commit to going far beyond its already-short commitments;
- And fully back a Green New Deal roadmap that transitions us off fossil fuels, creates millions of good, union jobs, and builds a world where all of us are safe from climate disasters.