Podesta Tabbed to Replace Kerry as Climate Envoy
- February 1, 2024
James Murphy, The New American
On Wednesday, the Biden administration chose longtime Democratic “fixer” John Podesta to fill John Kerry’s shoes as the climate envoy for the U.S. government. In the new post, Podesta will be in charge of supervising clean-energy subsidies and other climate-related portions of Biden’s inappropriately named Inflation Reduction Act.
Kerry announced in January that he would be leaving his role as climate envoy to concentrate on President Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign. Kerry has been under scrutiny for the secretive way in which he ran the SPEC office, including refusing to name staff members in FOIA requests and being extremely tight-lipped about the negotiations involved in an agreement to phase out coal that Kerry brokered with 56 other nations.
Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), a watchdog group that has been seeking more transparency from Kerry and the SPEC office, isn’t thrilled with the announcement of Podesta as the replacement.
“When news broke that John Kerry was leaving his role as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate at the State Department, [PPT] expressed hope that this could signal a turn toward more transparency in the powerful but secretive office. Reports that John Podesta will be assuming this role drained much of our optimism,” said PPT Director Michael Chamberlain.
According to Chamberlain, Podesta may have assisted Kerry and the SPEC office in their secretive behavior.
Chamberlain’s concerns about Podesta are not unfounded. Recall that in his role as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman, he was one of the first to observe that Clinton needed to “dump all those emails” that existed on the private server she used as secretary of state to conduct government business.