US President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Secretary of State John Kerry to a first-of-its-kind position in the National Security Council to combat climate change.
Biden selected Kerry, who served under former President Barack Obama, to be the special presidential envoy on climate, the first time an official would be dedicated to fight climate change, Biden’s team said in a news release.
“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is. I'm proud to partner with the president-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy,” Kerry said on Twitter.
During the Obama administration, Kerry was one of the key architects of the Paris Climate Accord and signed the agreement on behalf of the US in 2015, joining almost 200 other nations in a pledge to combat the impacts of climate change.
During his four years in office, current President Donald Trump rolled back many federal environmental policies implemented during Obama’s tenure dealing with oil and gas drilling and emissions, among other policies.
The US officially exited the Paris agreement in November, and the withdrawal from the pact was always a key to Trump’s platform. Trump had announced he would exit the agreement back in 2017.
"To protect American workers, I withdrew the United States from the unfair and one-sided Paris climate accord, a very unfair act for the United States," he said earlier this week at the global G20 Summit.
"The Paris accord was not designed to save the environment. It was designed to kill the American economy. I refuse to surrender millions of American jobs and send trillions of American dollars to the world's worst polluters and environmental offenders, and that's what would have happened," Trump said.
Biden is expected to name more members to his cabinet in the coming weeks.