Biden Backs Mastermind Of Europe’s ‘Green New Deal’ To Be The Next NATO Secretary-General

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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President Joe Biden has backed the European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, to become the next Secretary-General of NATO, following her recent advocacy for a European version of the “Green New Deal.”

NATO’s current secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, who has served since 2013, has had his term extended for a second time as the alliance responds to Russia’s war with Ukraine. Part of the reason for Stoltenberg’s extension has been the inability of the United States and European allies to gain consensus on a successor candidate, with Biden viewing von der Leyen — who has led the European Union’s climate restructuring policy — as a compromise candidate, per The Telegraph. (RELATED: NATO Countries Talk Big About Beefing Up Defense Spending, But Most Haven’t Backed Up Pledges)

A spokesperson for von der Leyen said she is “not available for the job, be it now or in the future.”

Von der Leyen, who previously served as Germany’s defense minister, has since 2020 sought to implement the “European Green Deal,” which aims to make Europe a net-zero emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050. Its provisions include an “Energy Taxation Directive” to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuel industries and tax exemptions for emission-heavy industries such as airlines and shipping, as well as new incentives to farmers to avoid growing crops that are carbon intensive.

“I am convinced that the old growth model that is based on fossil fuels and pollution is out of date, and it is out of touch with our planet. The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy – it is a strategy for growth that gives more back than it takes away,” said von der Leyen when the plan was approved by the European Commission in 2019.

The idea of the plan, as well as its name, was drawn from a proposal by left-wing American politicians, known as the “Green New Deal.”

Von der Leyen’s name was circulated after Biden vetoed the candidacy of British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace for the position — allegedly over objections from France, which did not want a British appointee following Brexit. Reportedly, First Lady Jill Biden has been lobbying her husband to nominate a woman to lead NATO, which has never seen a woman as Secretary-General, per The Daily Mail.

While the new secretary-general must be elected by a consensus vote of the North Atlantic Council, the United States — as NATO’s leading member — has been accorded great deference over its choice of leader. By convention, the secretary-general, NATO’s civilian leader, is never an American citizen, with NATO’s military leader always being the commander of the U.S. European Command who is an American four-star general or flag officer.

Von der Leyen, if chosen, would be an appointee with significant American connections. She lived in California for four years between 1992 and 1996 and has two children who were born U.S. citizens, with her great-grandmother also being an American from Charleston, South Carolina.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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