Statement on President-Elect Biden Naming Climate Champion Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation

Washington, D.C. – Today, Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power 2020, issued the following statement on Joe Biden’s decision to name Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as Secretary of Transportation:

“The Department of Transportation wields enormous power in the fight against climate change, as the transportation sector generates the most carbon emissions. President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to put climate champion Pete Buttigieg at the helm is a clear indication of the administration’s commitment to reducing emissions and modernizing our infrastructure, all while creating millions of good-paying, clean energy jobs. As mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg confronted the devastation of climate change and rebuilt the community. He has the bold and innovative leadership necessary to deliver the clean energy future laid out in Biden’s Build Back Better plan.”

As Mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg led the city through the aftermath of not one, but two, once-in-a-generation climate floods that cost millions and destroyed thousands of houses. He created the South Bend Office of Sustainability and worked with other mayors across the country to take initiative on a local level to meet emissions reduction goals and act on climate change.

As Secretary of Transportation, Buttigieg will play a key role in carrying out Biden’s climate agenda. The transportation sector is the biggest contributor of emissions in the United States, and Biden has made reducing emissions while building resilient infrastructure a top priority.

Buttigieg, a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and winner of the Iowa caucuses, is seen as a rising star in the Party. During the primary, Buttigieg released an ambitious climate plan, which inspired Biden’s Civilian Climate Corps program. He would be the first Millennial and the first openly gay Cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate.