Biden taps Podesta as next top climate diplomat

(Xinhua) 13:13, February 02, 2024

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Joe Biden has appointed John Podesta, longtime Democratic strategist and climate expert, to be the country's next top climate diplomat.

Podesta's appointment to succeed Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) John Kerry was announced by Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor, on Wednesday. Podesta will have a slightly different title than that of Kerry -- senior advisor to the president for international climate policy.

"John has played -- and will continue to play -- a lead role in restoring U.S. domestic leadership on climate, including leading the Administration's implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act," Sullivan said of Podesta in a statement.

Podesta, 75, has served as senior advisor to the president for clean energy innovation and implementation since September 2022. He was the White House chief of staff in the Bill Clinton administration and was councilor to the president during former President Barack Obama's second term.

Podesta was an implementer of the Clinton administration's environmental policy. He also played a critical role in brokering the 2015 Paris climate accord when Obama was president.

U.S. media reported that Podesta will continue to lead a task force implementing the Inflation Reduction Act after assuming his new role. This means he is expected to conduct less international travels than his predecessor and inaugural SPEC Kerry did.

In a post on his SPEC X account, Kerry, who reportedly will join the Biden campaign to help with the president's re-election bid, praised Podesta as a "longtime climate ally and advocate" who will "continue to grow the momentum" at multilateral climate talks on the global stage.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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