Gina McCarthy, President Joe Biden’s top climate adviser will be stepping down from her position on Sept. 16. Biden has tapped John Podesta, a Democrat and former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton in 2016, to serve as the senior adviser to the president on Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation.
McCarthy’s resignation comes as no surprise since she was appointed at the beginning of the Biden administration and originally expected to only stay a year, CNN reported.
She remained in order to help Democrats work on climate legislation.
“I am immensely grateful for Gina’s service, and I am proud to announce the promotion of Ali [Zaidi] to National Climate Advisor. Gina has been an invaluable member of my senior staff since day 1 of the Administration, and I wish her the best as she moves forward,” Biden said in a White House statement regarding McCarthy’s departure and Podesta’s appointment.
Once Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocated massive funds for climate change and health care, in August, it seemed a natural juncture for McCarthy to leave and be succeeded by her deputy Ali Zaidi, CNN reported.
“Under Gina McCarthy and Ali Zaidi’s leadership, my administration has taken the most aggressive action ever, from historic legislation to bold executive actions, to confront the climate crisis head-on,” Biden said in his statement.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is the biggest step forward on clean energy and climate in history, and it paves the way for additional steps we will take to meet our clean energy and climate goals,” Biden added.
Podesta will also be added as a top adviser and will be given the job of implementing the climate change measures that were tucked into the Inflation Reduction Act.
The new act gives about $375 billion in funding over the decade to strategies meant to fight climate change, the Associated Press reported.
That proposed spending is meant to put the U.S. on the road to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and also represents the single largest investment in climate strategies in American history.
Podesta will not only be in charge of implementing this climate investment but will also “chair the President’s National Climate Task Force in support of this effort,” the White House announced in its statement.
“We are fortunate that John Podesta will lead our continued innovation and implementation,” Biden said.
“His deep roots in climate and clean energy policy and his experience at senior levels of government mean we can truly hit the ground running to take advantage of the massive clean energy opportunity in front of us,” the president said.
Biden’s move to appoint Podesta marks another borrow he is making from former President Barack Obama’s administration, where Podesta previously served as a top climate adviser to the president, CNN reported.
Podesta was an important player in the administration’s climate actions and the international negotiations that eventually led to the Paris Climate Accord.
Since then, Podesta has remained active in the left-wing policy, serving at the think tank Center for American Progress, which he actually founded.
Podesta has also been informally advising the current administration on climate issues, so the move to appoint him to this new position will just make the official leap.
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