You’ll Never Guess Who Biden Just Picked To Replace John Kerry As Top Climate Diplomat

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President Joe Biden will pick a Democratic Party insider to replace the outgoing Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, according to The Washington Post.

John Podesta, who currently works in the White House as a senior adviser to the president, will take the reins from Kerry as the face of the Biden administration’s international climate diplomacy efforts when Kerry walks away from his role later this spring, the Post reported Wednesday. Podesta, who maintained ties with a Chinese government influence operative for more than a decade, has wielded significant influence within the Democratic Party apparatus since the Clinton administration. (RELATED: White House Rewards Eco-Activists That Harassed Biden Admin Officials, Dems For Months With Podesta Meeting)

Negotiating with China — the world’s second-largest economy and by far its leading emitter — will be a key aspect of Podesta’s work, as it was for Kerry. Notably, Podesta has cooperated in the past with known Chinese influence operative Tung Chee-hwa and his Chinese Communist Party-backed organization, the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), sitting on the CUSEF’s 2022 steering committee and writing three articles for CUSEF’s website since 2011, a 2022 Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

Tung is “clearly associated” with the CCP’s United Front Work Department (UFWD), according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The UFWD engages in propaganda efforts, espionage and violence, according to the State Department. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Podesta Didn’t Register As A ‘Foreign Agent’ When He Represented A Bank With Ties To Russian Spy Agencies)

Moreover, John Podesta’s brother Tony previously lobbied for blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei in 2021, earning $1 million in the process. The Trump administration blacklisted in May 2019 over concerns that its technology was being used for economic espionage.

Reports surfaced earlier in January stating that Kerry will give up his role as the administration’s top climate diplomat to assist Biden’s reelection efforts. When Podesta takes over under the official title of “senior adviser to the president for international climate policy,” he will operate out of the White House instead of the State Department, which was home to Kerry and his staff, according to the Post.

That arrangement may be deliberate, as the 2022 defense policy bill required special envoys representing the State Department to go through the confirmation process, according to the Post. That particular provision did not apply to Kerry when he took the job, and White House lawyers reportedly think that Podesta will not have to navigate the confirmation process, either.

Before working for Biden to implement many billions of dollars of climate spending from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Podesta served former President Bill Clinton’s administration as White House chief of staff, worked as a counselor to former President Barack Obama and chaired Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign. Podesta also founded the Center for American Progress, a major liberal think tank in Washington, D.C.

During the Obama years, Podesta played a key role in negotiating the Paris Climate Accords of 2016, according to the Post. (RELATED: John Podesta Met With Fusion GPS Founder After Trump Dossier Was Published)

Podesta will reportedly continue working on domestic green energy implementation in addition to the new role, according to the Post.

White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients credited Kerry for “tirelessly [trekking] around the world” and “bringing American climate leadership back from the brink and marshalling countries around the world to take historic action to confront the climate crisis” in a statement, according to the Post. “We need to keep meeting the gravity of this moment, and there is no one better than John Podesta to make sure we do … Having served the three most recent Democratic Presidents over three decades, he is an American statesman, a fierce champion for bold climate action, and a leader who without a doubt the world will know has the trust of and speaks for the President of the United States.”

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

This article has been updated to include additional information about Podesta’s relationship with Chinese entities.

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