Joe Biden on Monday tapped former Secretary of State John Kerry to serve as special envoy for climate, a newly created role on the National Security Council as the Biden-Harris administration emphasizes the seriousness of addressing the impacts of climate change.

“Under the Biden-Harris administration, American national security and foreign policy will be led by experienced professionals ready to restore principled leadership on the world stage and dignified leadership at home,” the transition team said in a statement.


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Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president in 2004 and a longtime Massachusetts senator, played a key role in the Obama administration’s efforts to combat climate change, including signing the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 and launching a bipartisan organization aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2050.

In a statement shortly after Biden’s announcement, Kerry said the nation will “soon have a government that treats the climate change crisis as the urgent national security threat it is.”

“I’m proud to partner with the president-elect, our allies and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President’s Climate Envoy,” Kerry tweeted.

Biden’s selection of Kerry stands in direct contrast to the Trump administration, which has sought to pull out of the Paris accord and emphasized deregulation by pushing to roll back nearly 100 environmental and energy policies and regulations on clean air, water, toxic chemicals, wildlife, drilling and infrastructure.

Biden has announced he will nominate a former Obama administration national security official, Antony Blinken, as secretary of state.

Biden plans to announce several Cabinet picks on Tuesday, according to several senior advisers prepping the former vice president’s transition to the White House.

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