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John Kerry Resigns as Special Climate Envoy; Shifts Focus to Biden’s 2024 Campaign

John Kerry, former U.S. senator, and secretary of state, is set to leave his position as President Joe Biden’s special climate envoy after three years in the role. Despite his departure, Kerry is committed to supporting Biden’s re-election campaign.

Fostered International Agreements

Credit: DepositPhotos

This decision follows Kerry’s pivotal role in brokering an international agreement aimed at transitioning nations away from fossil fuels, which was announced in Dubai just a month ago.

Kerry Informs Staff and Speaks with President Biden

Credit: JOSEPH EID / AFP via Getty Images

On Saturday, John Kerry informed his staff of his decision to step down from his role as special climate envoy. He had discussed this with President Biden on the preceding Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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No Decision on Replacement

Credit: Ella Nilsen, CNN

The administration has not yet made a decision regarding Kerry’s replacement. Kerry is expected to vacate his position later in the winter.

A History of Climate Advocacy

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John Kerry has a long-standing commitment to climate issues. As the secretary of state during the tenure of Democratic former President Barack Obama, he played a pivotal role in brokering the 2015 Paris climate agreement, where nations pledged to take action against climate change.

Former Career

Credit: AMR ALFIKY / REUTERS

Kerry’s political career includes serving as a Democratic senator from Massachusetts and being the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, although he lost to Republican incumbent George W. Bush.

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Biden’s Appointment and International Climate Engagement

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President Biden appointed John Kerry to his role as special envoy on climate change soon after winning the 2020 presidential election. Tasked with reinvigorating U.S. participation in global climate negotiations, Kerry played a critical role in this arena.

First Official To Hold This Role

Credit: The White House. Washington, DC, USA. April 16, 2015. — Photo by a2gxe

His position on the National Security Council marked the first time a climate-focused official held such a role in the White House.

Continued Dedication to Climate Advocacy

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In a December interview with Reuters following COP28, John Kerry emphasized his unwavering commitment to climate advocacy. He stated that regardless of his future endeavors, he would remain devoted to climate advocacy as long as he had the ability to do so. Kerry’s dedication to addressing climate issues remained resolute.

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Diplomatic Ties with China

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Among Kerry’s key responsibilities as Biden’s special envoy was maintaining diplomatic relations with China concerning climate change.

Paris Agreement and UAE Consensus

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Despite ongoing political and trade tensions, Kerry worked closely with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, to encourage nearly 200 countries to support the Paris agreement and UAE Consensus.

They addressed complex issues like emissions reduction responsibilities for developing countries and the transition away from fossil fuels.

China’s New Special Envoy

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China recently announced that Liu Zhenmin, a former vice foreign minister, would replace Xie Zhenhua as its new special envoy for climate change. Xie stepped down due to health reasons, marking a transition in China’s climate leadership.

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