President-Elect Joe Biden announced Monday that former Secretary of State John Kerry has been named as his Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
Kerry, a former Massachusetts senator and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will sit on the National Security Council. This will be the first time the National Security Council will include an official dedicated to climate change, which the Biden administration said reflects their commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue.
Kerry played a crucial role in negotiating the 2015 Paris climate accord, which President Donald Trump officially pulled out of earlier this year.
The Paris accord requires countries to set their own voluntary targets for reducing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The only binding requirement is that nations have to accurately report on their efforts.
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Kerry's new job will be a full-time position and does not require U.S. Senate confirmation.
The Biden administration announced five other cabinet picks on Monday, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, National Security Advisory Jake Sullivan, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
Mayorkas would be the first Latino and immigrant to serve as DHS secretary, and Haines the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.
"We have no time to lose when it comes to our national security and foreign policy. I need a team ready on Day One to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity, and values," Biden said in a statement. "This is the crux of that team. These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative. Their accomplishments in diplomacy are unmatched, but they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet the profound challenges of this new moment with old thinking and unchanged habits -- or without diversity of background and perspective. It’s why I’ve selected them.”