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John Kerry speaks about new job in Biden administration

President-elect Joe Biden's climate envoy nominee, former Secretary of State John Kerry.
President-elect Joe Biden's climate envoy nominee, former Secretary of State John Kerry.Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Former secretary of state John Kerry told President-elect Joe Biden Tuesday that he would do “all in my power to live up to your expectations,” as he was formally introduced following Biden’s Monday announcement that the former Massachusetts senator would join the new administration in a role focused on climate change.

Kerry outlined his views on combating climate change in brief remarks from Delaware, framing it as a challenge that must be overcome though collective action in a departure from President Trump’s “America First” approach.

“You’ve put forward a bold, transformative climate plan, but you’ve also underscored that no country alone can solve this challenge,” Kerry said of Biden. “To end this crisis, the whole world must come together.”

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Kerry praised Biden’s commitment to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which Kerry helped negotiate during the Obama administration, but said even more must be done.

“All nations must raise ambition together, or we will all fail together. And failure is not an option,” he said.

Biden announced on Monday that he would appoint Kerry to be a presidential envoy focused on climate change, and would sit on the National Security Council. Kerry was joined Tuesday by several other Biden nominees, including his nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken.

Biden praised Kerry and said his selection would send a message to the world about the importance of climate change to the Biden administration. Kerry will be the first person on the National Security Council to be solely focused on climate change.

“The world will know that with one of my closest friends, John Kerry, he’s speaking for America on one of the most pressing threats of our time. No one I trust more,” he said.

The incoming president will nominate longtime adviser Antony Blinken to be secretary of state; lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary; Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser. Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, will be nominated as director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold that post.

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Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.