Despite his constant emphasis on following the science, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose non-scientist Democrat Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee as climate envoy for the Biden foreign policy team.
NEW: President-elect Biden announces key picks for his foreign policy team:
• Sec of State: Antony Blinken
• Homeland Security Sec: Alejandro Mayorkas
• DNI: Avril Haines
• US Amb to UN: Linda Thomas-Greenfield
• NSA: Jake Sullivan
• Climate Envoy: John Kerry
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) November 23, 2020
Biden repeatedly claimed that he prioritizes following and relying on scientists’ recommendations to make policy decisions, including when it comes to climate change.
“I believe in science. Donald Trump doesn’t. It’s that simple, folks,” he wrote in October.
I believe in science.
Donald Trump doesn't.
It's that simple, folks.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 29, 2020
Now more than ever, we have to choose hope over fear, unity over division, truth over lies, and science over fiction.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 11, 2020
I believe climate change is an existential threat to humanity.
Donald Trump doesn’t even think it exists.
It’s that simple, folks.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 1, 2020
Instead of picking a scientist for the envoy position, however, Biden chose the former secretary of state who has no scientific background qualifying him as an authoritative voice on the matter of climate change or policy. Rather, Kerry spent an extensive amount of his career involved in politics, rising through the Democrats’ ranks as a congressman, lieutenant governor, senator, and more.
Kerry’s limited experience with climate change appears to be his position serving as a co-chair on Biden and Bernie Sanders’ climate unity task force along with Squad member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Kerry also forced the United States into the Paris Climate Accord while he was Secretary of State, which President Donald Trump formally withdrew from earlier this month.
The Trump Administration also abolished the climate envoy position in 2017, forcing the State Department to reassign some of the position’s responsibilities to other bureaucrats.
During his time on the campaign trail, Biden routinely suggested that climate change should be high on the United States’s priority list, signaling his intent to rejoin the Paris Accord on Day One of his presidency.
I will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord on Day One. But that’s not sufficient.
I’ll immediately get to work leading a diplomatic initiative to get every nation to go beyond their initial commitment—to push our progress further, and faster.https://t.co/Fn5XTDtfQZ pic.twitter.com/x8X0qhu8qZ
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 4, 2019
Despite his lack of scientific qualifications, Kerry accepted Biden’s nomination, claiming that “America will soon have a government that treats the climate 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,” he added.
America will soon have a government that treats the climate 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.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) November 23, 2020
In September, a Senate report found that Kerry lied to reporters about his knowledge of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, serving in a lucrative board position for a Ukrainian energy company. Kerry also took stage at the Democratic National Convention this summer claiming that, during his time in the State Department under former President Barack Obama, he “eliminated the threat of an Iran with a nuclear weapon,” by facilitating the Iran nuclear deal.