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Biden appoints John Kerry for new climate envoy role

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On Monday, President-elect Joe Biden announced a slate of national security and foreign policy officials, including former Secretary of State John Kerry for the newly created role of “special presidential envoy for climate.” This new position will be part of the National Security Council, Biden’s transition team says, and it will not require Senate confirmation.

Kerry served as the nation’s chief diplomat during part of President Barack Obama’s second term in the White House after having been a decades-long U.S. senator from Massachusetts and the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004. Under Kerry’s tenure as secretary of state, the United States joined the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. The U.S. has since withdrawn from the accord under President Donald Trump’s administration.

The creation of this new post is a sign that Biden plans to make climate change a significant focus of his administration.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Environment

California bans gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers, opting to be zero emission by 2024

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By 2024, California plans to effectively ban the sale of gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law Saturday. Portable gas-powered generators must also be zero emission by 2028 according to the new law.

The Los Angeles Times spoke to the law’s author, assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park). “It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog-forming and climate-changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates,” Berman told the Times. “This is a pretty modest approach to trying to limit the massive amounts of pollution that this equipment emits, not to mention the health impact on the workers who are using it constantly.”

Then, Berman logged onto Twitter to troll opponents to the law. “This equipment is dangerous to the workers who use it, disruptive to communities, and terribly damaging to our climate,” he tweeted. “MAGA Twitter is losing their ever-loving minds over this. I thought they’d all moved over to Parler?”

Now the state set aside $30 million to towards the transition from gas-powered equipment to zero-emission equipment. However, reporter Phil Wonton points out that it will require 30-40 batteries to get a day’s work done.

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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