President Elect Biden selected Senator John Kerry to fill a new position dedicated to fighting climate change, signaling a promising sign for carbon pricing.
President Elect Biden selected Senator John Kerry to fill a new position dedicated to fighting climate change. The new Special Presidential Envoy for Climate position will be housed in the White House’s National Security Council. This move demonstrates Biden’s commitment to take climate change seriously as an impending threat to our safety, economy, and health. Kerry has held a prominent role in fighting climate change going back decades. As recently as 2010, Kerry along with Senators Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham attempted to pass climate legislation capping emissions. In 2016, Kerry signed the Paris Agreement on behalf of the United States. While the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement, Kerry’s past support of the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement provides insight into his support of carbon pricing.
Kerry has shown support for programs that are positive for developing carbon markets. He has backed the KFA Global Carbon Exchange Trade Funds– a fund that began this summer with the hopes it would help set a worldwide carbon price – which he says is critical for meeting the Paris climate accord goals. The ETF looks to have higher returns than the IHS Markit Global Carbon Index. Kerry has also shown support in a recently posted opinion article on The Hill where he stated, “One of the most significant ways that we can address climate change is through carbon pricing.” These are significant signals that the administration will be backing carbon pricing mechanisms, and if not, it is a signal to the private sector that the new administration is ready to promote a new carbon economy.
Climate change action has been essentially non-existent at the federal level. Having appointed John Kerry as climate envoy is the first step Biden has taken to undo the reputational damage caused by the outgoing administration. Stymied climate action has put the United States behind the ball in being a world leader on climate change. Our hope is that the new administration will push the United States forward on halting carbon emissions and preventing more damage to our world.
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