President Biden’s climate czar, John Kerry, gave a fiery response after he was confronted Tuesday by a reporter in Switzerland who asked about his carbon footprint.
“What’s the carbon footprint of these events every single year that you come here? Do you think it’s worth it — peasants paying for your crimes?” Avi Yemini, an Australian reporter with independent outlet Rebel News, asked Kerry who was walking on a street in Davos, Switzerland.
“That’s a stupid question,” Kerry responded.
“Nobody ever suggested that. Don’t make up stupid questions,” he said when asked a follow-up question about why his carbon footprint didn’t matter.
Kerry — who is in Davos to attend the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) summit, which largely focuses on environmental issues like climate change and achieving net-zero ambitions — added that he has done a “huge amount” to combat climate change. Security personnel escorting Kerry between WEF events ultimately blocked Yemini from asking further questions.
Yemini later said in a social media post that Kerry “found it difficult to justify his carbon footprint in attending the World Economic Forum each year in Davos.”
The confrontation comes days after reports surfaced that Kerry would step down from his role as special presidential envoy for climate (SPEC) at the State Department. On Tuesday, he confirmed the reports but said he would merely shift his efforts, not retire.
Shortly after taking office in 2021, President Biden appointed Kerry to the role, a position that hadn’t previously existed and didn’t require Senate approval, and gave him a spot in the president’s Cabinet and National Security Council. The SPEC office is housed at the State Department and has an estimated $13.9 million annual budget with approval for 45 personnel.
Since assuming the role, Kerry has traveled worldwide, attending high-profile climate summits and diplomatic engagements in an effort to push a global transition from fossil fuels to green energy alternatives. In addition to attending multiple United Nations global warming summits, he has attended multiple WEF conferences.
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