14:22 GMT28 February 2021
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    The former secretary of state was appointed by Joe Biden as the US envoy for climate. Kerry was involved in the signing of the Paris Agreement, an international accord aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing climate change.

    John Kerry has been harshly criticised by Republicans after it transpired that the new US climate czar had used a private jet to travel to Iceland in 2019 to accept an award from the Arctic Circle, a non-profit organisation that focuses on issues facing the Arctic, including environmental ones. Kerry was awarded for his actions to persuade US authorities to commit to dealing with environmental matters.

    Bill Cassidy, a senator from Louisiana, said Kerry should practice what he preaches.

    Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton went as far as calling the former secretary of state a fraud.

    ​Other legislators accused Kerry of hypocrisy. Guy Reschenthaler, representative for Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District, wrote:

    "So as long as you’re part of the mission to 'save the world', it’s okay to fly private and pollute?"

    According to aviation firm Honeywell Aerospace, private jets emit 40 times as much carbon per passenger as regular commercial flights. Fox News obtained data from FlightAware, which revealed that Kerry and his family produced 116 tons of carbon over the past year by using a private jet. For comparison, a typical passenger travelling on regular commercial flights produces 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

    Is Kerry worried about his carbon footprint? It appears not one bit. When he was in 2019 criticised by former Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson for travelling on a jet to collect the award, Kerry said it was his only choice.

    "If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle. I negotiated the Paris accords for the United States. I’ve been involved in this fight for years. I’ve negotiated with President Xi, to bring President Xi to the table so we could get Paris", Kerry told reporters.

    President Joe Biden has been criticised by his opponents for his plans to transform the US economy in order to make it more eco-friendly. According to the Heritage Foundation think tank, the Democrat’s plan to achieve zero emissions by 2050 would cost the economy millions of jobs and thousands of dollars of lost income for families.

    However, Biden insists that the reforms will actually create jobs. During his presidential campaign, Biden said his plan on climate would get millions of people into the clean energy sector.

    "If executed strategically, our response to climate change can create more than 10 million well-paying jobs in the United States", read the Democrat’s plan. The politician did not provide a timeline for his goal.


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    Paris Agreement, carbon dioxide, Joe Biden, climate change, John Kerry, United States
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