Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
White House

John Kerry

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

A Cabinet-level position that serves on the National Security Council and leads the Administration’s efforts to combat global climate change.

Past statements on development, diplomacy, and U.S. global leadership:

On U.S. Global Leadership: At his Secretary of State confirmation hearing, Kerry said, “Global leadership is a strategic imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries. It amplifies our voice and extends our reach. It’s the key to jobs, the fulcrum of our influence, and it matters – it really matters to the daily lives of Americans. It matters that we get this moment right for America and it matters that we get it right for the world.”

On Climate Change:  As Secretary of State, Kerry led negotiations on the Paris Climate Accords, and was outspoken on the global threat of climate change.  At the event announcing his appointment as Special Envoy for Climate, Kerry said, “To end this crisis, the whole world must come together. You’re right to rejoin Paris on day one, and you’re right to recognize that Paris alone is not enough.” He added, “Succeeding together means tapping into the best of American ingenuity, creativity, and diplomacy, from brain power to alternative energy power, using every tool we have to get where we have to go.”

On Development and Diplomacy: Kerry has been an outspoken advocate for elevating America’s tools of development and diplomacy for over five decades. In a 2009 speech at the Brookings institute, he made the case that “development and diplomacy have to retake their rightful place alongside defense at the heart of American’s foreign policy.”

On Alliances:  In an op-ed as Secretary of State, Kerry wrote, “Whether for mutual security or shared prosperity, genuine partnerships are not built overnight. Patient diplomacy and a collective will are needed to advance common goals.”

On the International Affairs Budget:  As Secretary of State, Kerry testified, “It’s equal to about 1 percent of the entire budget of the United States.  And that 1 percent, Mr. Chairman, I am just convinced more and more after these last years, even after serving on the committee, is the minimum price of the leadership role that the United States of America plays on a global basis, and particularly at a time when we are engaged diplomatically more deeply in more places simultaneously, on more significant issues simultaneously, than at any time in our history.”