- Viola Gienger, Washington
- January 28, 2009
US SECRETARY of State Hillary Clinton has announced the choice of Todd Stern, an official in the former Clinton administration, as a special envoy for climate change, saying the urgency of the global crisis can't be underestimated.
Mr Stern was Bill Clinton's senior White House official at climate talks in Kyoto, Japan, and Buenos Aires. He also worked with former vice-president Al Gore, whose documentary An Inconvenient Truth raised awareness of the issue.
Mr Stern will be the Administration's chief climate negotiator, Mrs Clinton said.
"The appointment sends an unequivocal message that the United States will be energetic, focused, strategic and serious about addressing global climate change and the corollary issue of clean energy," she told senior State Department officials.
President Barack Obama has said he wants the US to take the lead on negotiating comprehensive greenhouse-gas reductions, and has cleared the way for California and other states to set stricter anti-pollution rules for vehicles.
Mrs Clinton said: "As we take steps at home, we will also vigorously pursue negotiations that would lead to binding international climate agreements."