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Renewable Vibes > News > Blog > John Podesta appointed as Biden’s chief climate change adviser, succeeding John Kerry in the Biden administration.

John Podesta appointed as Biden’s chief climate change adviser, succeeding John Kerry in the Biden administration.

John Podesta, White House senior adviser, will take on international climate policy as part of his job responsibilities, replacing John Kerry as the top US official on international climate issues, according to the White House. Kerry had announced in mid-January that he would step down from the climate job to work on Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. Podesta will assume Kerry’s responsibilities, although not his title, when Kerry departs, which is expected to be this spring.

Podesta has extensive experience in climate matters, having worked behind the scenes in previous Democratic administrations. He was brought back to the White House last year to implement an ambitious US climate program, which was bolstered by the $375 billion approved in the 2022 climate law. Podesta also led the administration’s climate task force.

Kerry’s position as special climate envoy was created by the Biden administration specifically to combat climate change on the global stage. He has held this position since President Biden took office in 2021. Unlike Kerry’s appointment, Podesta’s role does not require confirmation by the Senate. However, a law passed in 2022 stipulates that special envoys reporting to the secretary of state must obtain Senate approval.

To avoid a potential partisan battle in the Senate, Podesta was not named as climate envoy but instead as a senior adviser to the president for international climate policy. As outlined by the White House, Podesta will continue to oversee federal spending under the climate law, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as domestic climate priorities. He will now also be responsible for the international portfolio previously handled by Kerry. Podesta’s appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients praised Kerry for his tireless efforts in addressing the climate crisis, including his participation in a UN climate conference in Dubai last year. Zients expressed confidence in Podesta’s ability to ensure that the US continues to address the gravity of the climate crisis, referring to him as a “fierce champion for bold climate action” who has the trust of President Biden.

The Washington Post was the first to report Podesta’s appointment.

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