Top Biden climate adviser resigns from White House

Jack McEvoy, DCNF

President Joe Biden’s chief climate adviser Gina McCarthy is resigning and will leave the White House on Sept. 16, according to a White House statement.

McCarthy, who is 68 years old, will step down from her position and Deputy White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi will succeed her, according to a White House statement. During her time in office, McCarthy helped the president craft executive actions on climate matters and helped form the administration’s ambitious goals to phase out fossil fuels.

“Under Gina McCarthy and Ali Zaidi’s leadership, my administration has taken the most aggressive action ever, from historic legislation to bold executive actions, to confront the climate crisis head-on,” Biden said of her departure, according to the statement. “The Inflation Reduction Act is the biggest step forward on clean energy and climate in history, and it paves the way for additional steps we will take to meet our clean energy and climate goals,” he added.

McCarthy’s plan to depart has been rumored for months as constant traveling exhausted her and she did not originally intend to stay for the president’s full term, The New York Times reported.

McCarthy, who oversaw the Environmental Protection Agency for four years during the Obama administration, helped craft the Democrats’ $369 billion climate spending bill, according to the statement. The bill includes heavy investment in “environmental justice” programs as well as green energy infrastructure.

McCarthy said that the climate bill would foment “transformational change,” according to the NYT. The White House stated that she centered climate policy around creating good-paying union jobs and furthering the “critical work of environmental justice.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also confirmed McCarthy’s departure from the White House in a Friday press conference.

“She as you know has been a leader in what we have seen is one of the largest investments in dealing with climate change,” Jean-Pierre said.

It is unknown what McCarthy will do following her scheduled exit from the White House. McCarthy previously served as Director and Board Chair of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health before joining the Biden administration.

McCarthy also joined Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity firm, in 2017 where she worked as an operating advisor focused on sustainability investments, according to Business Wire.

McCarthy also used her regulatory expertise to help the Biden administration set its ambitious climate targets to reduce carbon emissions to half what they were in 2005 by 2030, Politico reported. McCarthy also helped Biden produce his broad climate plan to phase out fossil fuels and invest in green energy to produce net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.

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