Gina McCarthy, former EPA administrator, was picked to fill the new position of White House climate policy coordinator for the Biden administration.
The domestic climate czar will work with special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, who will focus on international issues. The two positions are part of President-elect Joe Biden's commitment to dealing with climate change throughout the government.
Ms. McCarthy, who ran the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, became president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council in January.
Ceres President and CEO Mindy Lubber welcomed the appointment of Ms. McCarthy, who serves on Ceres' board of directors. "With Gina McCarthy as the next climate czar and domestic counterpart to John Kerry, the federal government is now well positioned to support efforts at home and abroad to tackle the climate crisis while also protecting human health and the environment," Ms. Lubber said in a statement.
According to Ceres, more than 125 environmental rules and regulations were rolled back by the Trump administration, including standards supported by investors and companies for tackling the climate crisis such as rules to curb methane emissions and carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired plants and vehicle fuel efficiency standards. With the U.S. the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, "we are hopeful that under the leadership of Gina McCarthy, the U.S. will be able to help right the ship as it begins its journey back to improving its standing in the world as a climate leader," Ms. Lubber said.
In public remarks Wednesday, Mr. Biden referenced the challenge of addressing climate change as he nominated Pete Buttigieg to be secretary of transportation.
"When I think of climate change, I think about jobs, good-paying union jobs," Mr. Biden said. "Jobs that put Americans to work, making our air cleaner for our kids to breathe, restoring our crumbling roads, bridges and ports, making it faster, cheaper and cleaner to transport American-made goods all across the country and the world."
He said addressing climate change can also help the country better deal with extreme weather, and help prepare for the transition to electric vehicles and the implementation of smart-grid technology for power delivery.
Bloomberg contributed to this report.