U.S. climate envoy Stern to step down: State Department

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2016 11:24 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern, who helped hammer out an international agreement in Paris last year to curb carbon emissions and spur development of clean technologies will step down on April 1, the State Department said on Monday.

Stern, who was climate envoy for seven years, "played an enormous role in achieving so many of our climate milestones, and the tireless work by Todd and his team over many years will benefit future generations in every corner of the globe," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a release. 

Stern will be replaced by Jonathan Pershing, a geologist, who has spent the last three years at the Department of Energy, serving as senior climate adviser to Ernest Moniz, the department's secretary.

Fighting climate change has been one of President Barack Obama's top priorities. His administration, which is in its last year, says it can still meet its climate goals, despite the Supreme Court's putting a pause on his Clean Power Plan. The plan has helped prompt a wide ranging switch from coal-fired power plants to natural gas-burning plants, which release less carbon emissions.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Marguerita Choy)