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Podesta to replace Kerry as top climate diplomat

White House adviser John Podesta will replace John Kerry as the nation’s lead climate diplomat, the White House announced on Wednesday.

“We need to keep meeting the gravity of this moment, and there is no one better than John Podesta to make sure we do,” White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, in a written statement shared with reporters.

Podesta will remain at the White House and will get the title of senior advisor to the president for international climate policy.

In that role, he will lead the Biden administration’s international climate policy agenda and will coordinate with other officials at the State Department.

In addition, Podesta will continue to also oversee the implementation of climate and energy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Democrats’ 2022 climate, tax and healthcare law.

Podesta’s move toward climate diplomacy follows John Kerry’s recent announcement that he would depart from his role as climate envoy to work on the 2024 campaign.

“I am shifting my efforts to where I think they can be best used in an election year,” Kerry said earlier this month.

During his tenure, Kerry pushed for global reductions in emissions of planet-warming methane and served as the U.S.’s lead negotiator during annual summits.

Podesta, who is also well-known for chairing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, told The Washington Post that he would continue Kerry’s work.

“Secretary Kerry has put the U.S. back in leadership on climate around the world,” Podesta told the Post, which first reported that he would take over the role. “And we’ll ensure that we keep up the momentum that has been built up through his efforts.”

This story was updated at 4:32 p.m.

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