John Kerry to step down as special envoy for climate

Mr Kerry is expected to work on President Biden’s re-election campaign, reports say

John Kerry was US special envoy for climate change at Cop28 in Dubai. AFP
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John Kerry, a senior US statesman and one-time presidential candidate, is expected to step down from his role as special envoy for climate to focus on President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, according to US media reports.

Mr Kerry, 80, has travelled the world promoting President Biden’s policy agenda and helped re-establish Washington as a leading force in the fight against climate change.

The veteran politician, and former senator from Massachusetts, served as Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017 under President Barack Obama, and was the Democratic candidate in the 2004 presidential election, losing to George W Bush.

Mr Kerry has played a pivotal role in leading US efforts at international climate conferences including last year at COP 28 in Dubai.

He also attempted to work closely with China during his time as climate envoy, at a time when US-China relations were particularly frosty.

According to US reports, Mr Kerry is expected to help in President Biden’s re-election campaign, which is starting to ramp up.

Mr Biden’s approval ratings have dropped to the low 30s, according to a recent poll by ABC News and Ipsos.

The President appears to be in a dead heat with former President Donald Trump, who is widely expected to win the Republican nomination, according to a poll by Reuters and Ipsos.

If Mr Kerry does work on Mr Biden’s re-election campaign, he’ll bring name recognition and respected star power, with decades of experience in Washington and on the campaign trail.

It's unclear exactly when Mr Kerry will transition out of his role as special envoy for climate. He is scheduled to open a session on climate change at the World Economic Forum's annual event in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.

Updated: January 14, 2024, 11:03 PM