President Biden’s climate czar John Kerry gave a fiery response after he was confronted Tuesday by a reporter in Switzerland who asked about his carbon footprint.
“What’s the carbon footprint of these events every single year that you come here? Do you think it’s worth it — peasants paying for your crimes?” Avi Yemini, an Australian reporter with independent outlet Rebel News, asked Kerry who was walking on a street in Davos, Switzerland.
“That’s a stupid question,” Kerry responded.
“Nobody ever suggested that. Don’t make up stupid questions,” he said when asked a follow-up question about why his carbon footprint didn’t matter.
Kerry — who is in Davos to attend the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) summit, which largely focuses on environmental issues like climate change and achieving net-zero ambitions — added that he has done a “huge amount” to combat climate change. Security personnel escorting Kerry between WEF events ultimately blocked Yemini from asking further questions.
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Yemini later said in a social media post that Kerry “found it difficult to justify his carbon footprint in attending the World Economic Forum each year in Davos.”
The confrontation comes days after reports surfaced that Kerry would step down from his role as special presidential envoy for climate at the State Department. On Tuesday, he confirmed the reports, but said he would merely shift his efforts, not retire.
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Shortly after taking office in 2021, President Biden appointed Kerry to the role, a position that hadn’t previously existed, didn’t require Senate approval and gives him a spot on the president’s cabinet and National Security Council. The SPEC office is housed at the State Department and has an estimated $13.9 million annual budget with approval for 45 personnel.
Since assuming the role, Kerry has traveled worldwide, attending high-profile climate summits and diplomatic engagements in an effort to push a global transition from fossil fuels to green energy alternatives. In addition to attending multiple United Nations global warming summits, he has attended multiple WEF conferences.
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But Kerry has received criticism for his carbon footprint, including his past use of a private jet owned by his family. According to flight tracking data obtained by Fox News Digital in July 2022, a Gulfstream GIV-SP jet owned by Kerry’s family made a total of 48 trips that lasted more than 60 hours and emitted an estimated 715,886 pounds, or 325 metric tons, of carbon over the course of the Biden administration’s first 18 months.
However, one month after the Fox News Digital report that highlighted the jet’s extensive carbon footprint and after lawmakers blasted Kerry for apparent hypocrisy, the Gulfstream jet was sold to an energy-focused hedge fund in New York City. Whitney Smith, a State Department spokesperson, confirmed the sale in a statement last year and said Kerry travels commercially in his current role.
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“John Kerry is an unelected bureaucrat who’s making decisions that have major impacts on the lives of Americans, the overwhelming majority of whom are going to be more worried about the cost of gas to drive their cars to work, not the cost of fuel to fly a jet to King Charles’ coronation,” Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., previously told Fox News Digital.
“He needs to understand that,” added Mast, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability.