Biden taps John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, marking the first time the NSC will have an official dedicated to climate change

  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry will return to government in a new role tackling climate change, President-elect Joe Biden's transition team announced Monday.
  • Kerry will serve on the National Security Council as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
  • His position would be the first on the NSC dedicated to climate change.
  • "America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is," Kerry tweeted shortly after the announcement.
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President-elect Joe Biden named former Secretary of State John Kerry to a new position on the National Security Council focused on climate change, the Biden transition team announced Monday.

"John Kerry will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and will sit on the NSC," the Biden transition team said in a news release. "This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change."

By sitting on the NSC, Kerry will not need Senate confirmation.

Read more: Joe Biden's Cabinet-in-waiting: Meet the people in play for a new administration

Kerry tweeted a statement shortly after the announcement was made, saying in part: "America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is.

Kerry, 76, served as former President Barack Obama's Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. During that time, he spearheaded the United States' participation in the Paris Climate Accords.

Over the summer, Kerry partnered with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, to lead the Biden campaign's climate coalition. He also threw his support behind a new financial product that tracks the market for carbon units.

Progressive climate groups applauded Biden's creation of the new climate-focused role on the NSC.

"It's an encouraging sign of President-Elect Biden's commitment to addressing the climate crisis, that one of his very first staffing decisions is the creation of a high-level office to manage international climate negotiations and to appoint a former Secretary of State to lead it," Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise movement, a leading climate group, said in a statement. 

Prakash argued that Biden should go further and create a White House Office of Climate Mobilization to push as much climate action from the executive branch as possible. 

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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