Obama Climate Adviser Stepping Down Print article Send a Tip from AP 7 Oct 2013 post a comment (AP) Obama climate adviser stepping down WASHINGTON President Barack Obama's top adviser on environmental and climate issues is leaving. Heather Zichal has been advising Obama for five years and is the architect of his climate change plan. She also advises Obama on energy issues. Zichal plans to leave the White House within a few weeks. The White House hasn't announced who will replace her. But her departure comes at a key time for Obama's climate plan. The Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with emissions limits for new and existing carbon plants to curb greenhouse gases. Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, says the White House will keep pressing ahead on efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution and prepare communities for the effects of climate change.