Statement on President-Elect Biden Tapping Gina McCarthy to Lead Domestic Climate Policy

Washington, D.C. — Today, Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power 2020, issued the following statement on Joe Biden’s reported decision to appoint former EPA Administrator and Climate Power Advisory Board member, Gina McCarthy, as White House climate coordinator:

“If reports are true that President-elect Biden has selected Gina McCarthy and Ali Zaidi to drive the administration’s all-government approach to climate action, there is no doubt the team will be ready to hit the ground running on Day One to deliver on Biden’s promise to build a clean energy future. McCarthy is a brilliant climate leader and advocate who has decades of experience implementing impactful climate policies, fighting for environmental justice, holding polluters accountable, and working with all sides of the climate movement. With Zaidi as her deputy, McCarthy will be able to strategically coordinate across the federal government and activate all agencies, resources, and tools to fight the climate crisis.”

After Biden’s climate-focused campaign, there has been an increased buzz around this position, which will play an important role in implementing his climate agenda and coordinating domestic climate policy across federal agencies.

Currently, McCarthy serves as president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Under her leadership, NRDC played a key role in blocking Trump’s anti-climate agenda in the courts. McCarthy also served on the Biden unity committee’s climate change task force alongside former Secretary John Kerry and other environmental leaders. 

In her new role, McCarthy will serve as a domestic counterpart to former Secretary Kerry, who was recently tapped as Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. Kerry’s historic appointment marked the first time a National Security Council official will be dedicated to combating climate change. Biden’s commitment to make climate a central focus at every level of government, both domestically and internationally, reflects his deep understanding of the wide-reaching effects of the climate crisis.

Ali Zaidi, an experienced climate leader who helped design, draft, and implement President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, will be McCarthy’s deputy. Zaidi currently serves as Deputy Secretary to New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo and is the Chair of Climate Policy and Finance. He previously served as Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science at the White House Office of Management and Budget.