STATEMENT: President-Elect Biden Selects Key Staff Who Will Put Climate Change at Center of U.S. Foreign Policy
President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled key members of his foreign policy and national security team. The nominees include Antony Blinken for Secretary of State; Alejandro Mayorkas for Secretary of Homeland Security; Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence; Linda Thomas-Greenfield for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Jake Sullivan for National Security Advisor; and John Kerry for Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
Following is a statement from Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:
“President-elect Biden is showing what it means to put climate change at the center of U.S. foreign policy. He is turning to experienced, respected leaders who will support multilateral institutions and international laws and norms. He is also bringing diverse and fresh voices to the table. The administration is also making it clear that they will pursue diplomatic strategies and make decisions based on facts and science.
“The incoming administration is leaving no doubt about its focus on tackling the climate crisis in appointing John Kerry as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and taking the unprecedented step to elevate this position to the National Security Council. There are few people in the world with as remarkable a track record on climate change as John Kerry. From his time in the Senate to his role as Secretary of State, John Kerry has championed climate action and forged numerous international agreements, including on the Sustainable Development Goals and on HFCs, and most notably was an instrumental player in securing the Paris Agreement.
“President-elect Biden has made an excellent selection by looking to Antony Blinken to be the Secretary of State. Blinken is a seasoned and trusted diplomat, who understands the importance of advancing international cooperation on climate change and related issues. He will help restore respect for the U.S. in the international community and promote a more cooperative approach to global challenges. He is joined by Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, who has been a strong advocate of putting climate change at the center of international diplomacy.
“We are also very pleased that President-elect Biden selected Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, where she will be bring a wealth of experience to encourage international cooperation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian challenges, and climate change. Thomas-Greenfield will be a forceful advocate for the critical role of multilateralism in address these global issues.
“Together, these appointments reflect a new day for U.S. foreign policy. This team will come in on Day 1 with a clear recognition of the national security and humanitarian threats that climate change poses, as well as the opportunities for a renewed era of global cooperation to address them.”