The incoming Biden-Harris Administration has continued putting in place its promised focus on climate action at the highest level.
The team’s understandable public focus on two other crises — COVID and its economic impacts — has not slowed their preparation for climate action on the run too. Last week, the transition team announced several appointments of the people who will be leading that charge from inside the West Wing. The Washington Post reports, “[T]he president-elect announced the planned hiring of more than a half-dozen new climate staffers to join his West Wing. The crew is drawn from the ranks of green groups, environmental justice advocates and former Democratic administration officials to grow an inner circle that will help him try to slash the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
The new hires include Dr. Cecelia Martinez, a prominent environmental justice advocate who advised the Biden-Harris transition team, as the senior director for environmental justice at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Environmental advocates cheered the hires.
“What an all-star team! We are thrilled for this slate of climate experts who center science and environmental justice to lead from the White House and set our country on a path to a just and equitable clean energy future,” said League of Conservation Voters Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld.
“Dr. Martinez is an incredible force for environmental justice and the fenceline communities and communities of color disproportionately harmed by toxic pollution. We are beyond grateful for her leadership and so excited for her to take on this important new role at the White House Council on Environmental Quality,” continued Sittenfeld. “David Hayes and Jeff Marootian bring tremendous experience advancing climate, transportation and conservation policies in and out of government. Sonia Aggarwal and Maggie Thomas are on the cutting edge of policy innovation and building the coalitions needed to help advance them. And Jahi Wise adds the experience that will help ensure we can drive investments into climate solutions that are at the scale of the challenge and center equity.”