President Joe Biden on Tuesday reiterated that John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, is “leading” the country’s upcoming climate change effort, particularly ahead of the United Nations Climate Change conference, despite his status as a frequent private jet user — a fact the president made no mention of during his remarks.
Biden delivered remarks on climate change after touring damage from Hurricane Ida in New Jersey and New York.
“Folks — and we have to take some bold action now to tackle the accelerating effects of climate,” Biden said before mentioning his upcoming trip to Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference “which is all the nations of the world getting together to decide what we are going to do about climate change.”
“And John Kerry, the former secretary of state, is leading our effort, putting it together,” Biden said.
However, Biden made no mention of Kerry’s frequent private jet usage.
In fact, Kerry took a private jet to Iceland in 2019 to accept an environmental award — the Article Circle Prize for his leadership on climate change. Yet, Kerry adamantly defended his use of private jets after being confronted by a reporter, describing that mode of transportation as the “only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle.”
“I’ve been involved with this fight for years. I negotiated with President Xi to bring President Xi to the table so we could get Paris. And, I believe, the time it takes me to get somewhere, I can’t sail across the ocean,” he said.
“I have to fly, meet with people, and get things done,” Kerry said, although he did not explain why he could not take a commercial flight. Private jets, after all, emit an estimated 40 times more carbon per passenger.
“I offset and contribute my life to do this, I’m not going to be put on the defensive,” he added, failing to explain how he plans to offset his private jet usage.
According to a report from Fox News, Kerry’s family jet has flown 16 times since January alone, despite his purported devotion to addressing the climate “crisis.”