Biden names Kerry as climate envoy on national security team

Biden selected climate change as one of four priorities for the transition.

Former secretary of state John Kerry pledged on Monday to treat climate change “as the national security threat it is” as the presidential envoy for climate in the Biden administration. “The climate crisis demands nothing less than all hands on deck,” said Kerry on social media soon after President-elect Biden said Kerry would be part of his national security team.

An architect of the Paris Climate Accord, Kerry would be the first member of the National Security Council to focus solely on climate change. Biden has said he will rejoin the Paris pact and treat climate change as an urgent issue. President Trump withdrew the United States from the climate treaty early this month and said on Sunday that it was “designed to kill the American economy.”

Biden selected climate change as one of four priorities for the transition. Biden describes climate change as an existential threat and says his administration will put the nation on the path “to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide, by not later than 2050.” His package would include universal broadband access and creation of “jobs in climate-smart agriculture, resilience, and conservation.”

An alliance of farm, conservation, and food retailers suggested last week that agriculture’s contributions to climate-change mitigation should be voluntary, rather than mandatory, and built around “market-driven opportunities,” such as carbon trading.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.

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