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Podesta to Replace Kerry as Climate Envoy

FEB 05, 2024
John Podesta will become the U.S.’ top climate diplomacy envoy while retaining his domestic clean energy policy portfolio in the White House.
Jacob Taylor headshot
Senior Editor for Science Policy, FYI American Institute of Physics
Podesta Biden Air Force One Oct 2023

President Joe Biden meets with John Podesta aboard Air Force One en route to South Carolina as part of his “Investing in America” tour.

(Adam Schultz / The White House)

The White House announced last week that long-time Democratic strategist John Podesta will become the U.S.’ top climate envoy once John Kerry steps down from the role, which he plans to do by early spring.

Podesta currently works in the White House overseeing clean energy spending under the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and he intends to retain that portfolio in his new role.

Podesta will hold a different title than Kerry, serving as senior adviser to the president for international climate policy at the White House instead of U.S. special presidential envoy for climate at the State Department.

That change evades a requirement Congress set in 2022 that State Department special envoys be confirmed by the Senate.

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