John Kerry has sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock in oil and gas companies after being named Joe Biden’s special climate envoy – and weeks after warning humanity is only nine years old to save the planet.
Kerry has revealed in official revelations that he has received millions of dollars in salary, advisory fees and liquidation of shares he has held since President Biden took office.
Documents spanning most of 2020 through January 2021 reveal how Kerry, 77, also had hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments in energy-related companies that may well be affected by policies he will help develop as Joe Biden’s new climate envoy.
But he was warned by the State Department’s ethics office that the investments posed a “significant risk of conflict of interest” – and agreed to sell them.
Kerry held between $ 204,000 and $ 960,000 of shares in about three dozen companies related to the energy sector, including electricity, oil and gas and nuclear power.
He has also held senior positions in companies and entities that could now be affected by his climate policies. The details were all contained in documents obtained by Axios.
Kerry said in February that humanity has only a few years left to avert a climate catastrophe.
He told CBS in February: ‘Well scientists told us three years ago that we have 12 to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis. We are now three years old, so we have nine years left.
And he suggested that the Paris climate change accords – which America recently joined after Donald Trump pulled out – might not go far enough to help.
He said: ‘Even if we did everything that we said we were going to do when we signed up in Paris, we would see an increase in Earth’s temperature to around 3.7 degrees or more, which is catastrophic. ”
The disclosure documents also show how, when Biden entered the White House, Kerry received most of his income from a $ 5 million salary from Bank of America for his role as chairman of its Global Advisory Board. .
This means Kerry is among the wealthiest members of the Biden administration.
He has also received honoraria from other banks, universities and healthcare companies totaling nearly $ 400,000 as well as various other salaries, including $ 39,000 from Yale University.
Kerry has managed to attract over tens of thousands of dollars from Deutsche Bank and private equity firm CSLA Limited.
He also made $ 125,000 in consulting fees from The Rise Fund, a $ 2 billion “social impact” investment project founded by musician-turned-activist Bono and philanthropist Jeffrey Skoll. The fund claims to be an investment company with a large portfolio of renewable energies.
Deposits also reveal that he has divested between $ 4 million and $ 15 million in assets in more than 400 companies.
A disclosure report filed by Kerry shows that he served as chairman of the advisory board of Climate Finance Partners and chairman of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Corporation.
“ The State Department’s ethics office reviewed the assets and investments of Special Presidential Envoy Kerry upon appointment to identify assets that could pose a significant risk of conflict of interest, ” said a spokesperson for the State Department in a statement. “President Kerry’s special envoy agreed to hand over the assets identified by the Ethics Office and did so.”
Some of the energy-related companies Kerry had invested in include hydrocarbon exploration company ConocoPhillips, international oil refining company Valero Energy and gas and electricity supplier Southern Company.
The amount of shares held was relatively small, with values ranging between $ 1,001 and $ 50,000 each.
The disclosure also reveals that Kerry has scaled back its financial interests in energy companies in recent years.
The documents show that Kerry earned between $ 15 million and $ 65 million from her other investments, mostly dividends and capital gains from the divestment of her financial assets.
They include stocks of large companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs.
Kerry’s large stock portfolio is also enhanced by a trust fund he holds with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, heir to the Heinz food company.
“ The State Department’s ethics office reviewed the assets and investments of Special Presidential Envoy Kerry upon appointment to identify assets that could pose a significant risk of conflict of interest, ” said a State Department spokesperson in Axios.