John Kerry to Step Down as US Climate Envoy to Join Biden Campaign

Climate envoy John Kerry revealed to CNN that he expects to step down this spring.

After three years at the leadership of US climate diplomacy under the Biden administration, Kerry is stepping down. According to a source close to Kerry, he will still attend the World Economic Forum in January and the Munich Security Conference in February.

The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential contender oversaw US discussions at three international climate conferences, the most recent of which took place in Dubai.

Kerry pushed reopening international climate discussions between the United States and China, and was instrumental in drafting the November Sunnylands Accord, a broad climate deal between the two nations ahead to COP28.

According to Axios, Kerry will join the Biden campaign.

Kerry has long engaged on climate problems before entering Biden’s administration. As Secretary of State, he was instrumental in drafting the Paris Agreement, which was signed by almost 200 countries in 2015 and aimed at mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change.

In 2019, Kerry co-founded World War Zero, a campaign of global leaders and celebrities to address climate change.

A Wall Street Journal editorial in December criticized Kerry for his policy positions and the argued negative impacts on America for pursuing them.

A new report in time for the COP28 climate conference in Dubai says that global CO2 emissions will hit a new peak this year. But Mr. Kerry keeps berating American fossil fuels producers though U.S. emissions are on track to fall 4% in 2023. The big problem: China’s emissions are set to rise by twice as much as the U.S. decline.

The Global Carbon Project estimates that worldwide CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels will increase 1.1% this year. That represents a slowdown from the last two decades. Yet emissions would have to drop by 9% annually to achieve the Paris climate agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Kerry’s tenure has been fraught with questions about the Biden administration’s commitment to following its own climate policies.

In December 2021, Biden issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to measure and decrease greenhouse gas emissions from travel. But the Department of State, among other agencies, has failed to create a system for tracking carbon emissions of its diplomats.

In November 2022, for example, a group of US diplomats headed by Kerry went to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt for COP27. The group included 259 federal government representatives from 17 different ministries and organizations.

Following the conference, Ernst and fellow Republicans Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia urged the GAO to calculate and reveal the entire carbon impact of the trip. However, according to the report released Thursday, the watchdog was unable to do so because the State Department, which houses Kerry’s climate office, had not established a framework for recording such data.

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Meanwhile, the White House, together with 18 other countries, helped create the “Net-Zero Government Initiative” during the COP27 meeting. The initiative encourages governments to “lead by example” and attain net-zero emissions from national government activities.

Kerry has also been accused of personal hypocrisy.

As special presidential envoy for climate, Kerry traveled across the globe on a regular basis, attending high-profile climate meetings and diplomatic engagements in an attempt to press for a worldwide transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy options.

Since joining the Biden administration, Kerry’s family plane has released more than 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide. According to The Nature Conservancy, the typical American has a total carbon footprint of around 16 tons per year.

“Joe Biden launched his war on American energy on his first day in office, shutting down domestic energy production and making us reliant on our enemies,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Fox News Digital.

“But while Americans are struggling to afford gas and being lectured about ‘transitioning’ their energy use, Biden’s cabinet is jetting around the world wasting the same fossil fuels they say they want to ban,” he added. “Americans can see the hypocrisy and it’s insulting.”

By Melinda Davies
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