United States President-elect Joe Biden has chosen John Kerry for the role of International Climate envoy. Kerry, a notable climate activist, can trace his roots all the way back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Finally, after working tirelessly for decades, Joe Biden has chosen John Kerry for the prestigious, newly created position of special presidential envoy for climate.
John Kerry has been actively fighting for the United States to act on the issue of climate change for decades. He served in the Senate between 1985 and 2013, was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004, and the secretary of state for the Obama Administration between 2013 and 2017.
Kerry was responsible for helping negotiate the Paris climate agreement, which he signed in 2016. Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement, but Biden’s appointment of Kerry shows that the new administration plans to rejoin.
In his new role, informally referred to as “Climate Czar”, Kerry will act as the leader of energy and climate policy for the executive branch of the federal government. Having been described as “one of the world’s most effective climate champions” by the President of the Environmental Defense Fund, Kerry is definitely the right person for the job.
Especially notable to Hungarians is Kerry’s Hungarian ancestry. His grandmother, Ida Löwe, was born in Budapest in 1877. His grandfather, born Fritz Kohn, also came from the Austro-Hungarian empire, being born in Austria in 1873.
Both of his grandparents were of Jewish heritage, but when they got married in 1900, they converted to Roman Catholicism. They changed their family name to Kerry. In 1905, the family moved to the United States, where John was eventually born.
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It will be interesting to follow the steps Kerry takes towards climate change in his newly appointed position. Considering that he has dedicated his life to the field, he will surely do his best to make a positive change.
Featured photo by MTI/EPA/Amanda Sagba