Inside Story

How significant is Biden’s commitment to climate change?

US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed John Kerry as the first presidential climate envoy.

The climate crisis is an “urgent national security issue”, according to US President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

Biden has given former Secretary of State John Kerry a seat on the National Security Council to drive home his commitment to the environment.

Kerry has been sharply critical of President Donald Trump’s dismantling of climate policies.

Now, he will join a team that Biden says is “ready to lead the world, not retreat from it”.

Kerry was a leading architect of the 2015 Paris agreement, which Trump took the US out of, but the president-elect has pledged to rejoin as soon as he enters the White House.

How will that affect global ambitions to tackle the crisis?

Presenter: Bernard Smith


Bill McKibben – Schumann distinguished scholar at Middlebury College and leader of the climate campaign group

Nick Mabey – Chief executive of the climate change think-tank E3G

Michael Dorsey – Co-founder of the Sunrise Movement and former EPA National Advisory Committee member during the Obama administration