President Biden has named his clean energy adviser and veteran political strategist John Podesta to succeed John Kerry as his global climate representative, the White House confirmed Wednesday.
Podesta, 75, will take on the international role in addition to his current job at the White House, overseeing $370 billion in spending on clean energy projects under the landmark 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.
Mr. Kerry, 80, told the White House he planned to resign in the spring but gave no specific date. Mr. Podesta is widely expected to take up the acting role because the envoy’s position requires Senate approval under a recently passed law.
Mr. Podesta is an enthusiastic figure in the federal government’s efforts to combat climate change. The Washington Post first reported his appointment.
He served as White House chief of staff during President Bill Clinton’s final three years in office, during which time, partly at Mr. Podesta’s urging, Mr. Clinton became an environmentalist, pushing for Everglades restoration, Protect large swathes of national forests from commercial destruction. Developed, saved California’s redwood forests, and established more than a dozen major national monuments through presidential proclamations.
During the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Podesta founded the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research group, and later became an architect of President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda.
He chaired Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid in 2016, then informally advised Biden early in his term on pushing the White House to take more aggressive action on climate change, and then Join the government in 2022.