John Kerry sold off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in oil and gas firms after he was made Joe Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate – and weeks after warning that mankind has just nine years to save the planet.
Kerry revealed in official disclosures that he has received millions of dollars from salary, consulting fees and from liquidating stock that he held since President Biden took office.
Documents that cover most of 2020 which run up to January 2021 reveal how Kerry, 77, also held hundreds of thousands of dollars of investments in energy-related companies that could well be affected by policies that 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 were a ‘significant risk of a conflict of interest’ – and agreed to sell them.
Kerry held between $204,000 and $960,000 stock in around three dozen firms connected to the energy sector, including electric, oil and gas, and nuclear energy.
He has also previously held high-ranking positions within firms and entities that could now by affected by his climate policies. The details were all contained in documents obtained by Axios.
Kerry told in February that mankind only has a matter of years to avoid a climate catastrophe.
He told CBS in February: ‘Well, the scientists told us three years ago we had 12 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis. We are now three years gone, so we have nine years left.’
Financial disclosures from Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and former Secretary of State John Kerry reveal that he is one of wealthiest members of Biden administration
The details were listed in a series of documents that details his financial dealings
And he suggested that the Paris Accords on climate change – which America recently rejoined after Donald Trump withdrew – 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 a rise in the Earth’s temperature to somewhere around 3.7 degrees or more, which is catastrophic.’
The disclosure documents also show how when Biden entered the White House, Kerry received the bulk of his income from a $5million salary from Bank of America for his role as chair of its Global Advisory Council.
It means Kerry is among the wealthiest members of the Biden administration.
He also received honoraria from other banks, universities and healthcare companies totaling close to $400,000 along with various other salaries including $39,000 from Yale University.
Kerry managed to rake in more tens of thousands from Deutsche Bank and investment capital 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 which is an investment firm with a significant renewable energy portfolio.
Kerry’s vast stock portfolio is also enhanced through a trust fund he holds with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, 82, heiress to the Heinz food company, pictured center. Daughter, Alexandra Kerry, 47 is pictured right, in 2016
Kerry received the bulk of his income from a $5million salary from Bank of America for his role as chair of its Global Advisory Council
The filings also reveal he divested between $4 million and $15 million in assets across more than 400 companies.
A disclosure report filed by Kerry show that he served as the chairman of the advisory board for Climate Finance Partners and as president of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Corporation.
‘The State Department’s Ethics Office reviewed Special Presidential Envoy Kerry’s assets and investments upon his appointment to identify holdings that could pose a significant risk of a conflict of interest,’ a State Department spokesperson said in s statement. ‘Special Presidential Envoy Kerry agreed to divest the assets identified by the Ethics Office and has done so.’
Some of the energy-related companies which Kerry had invested include hydrocarbon exploration company ConocoPhillips, international petroleum refinery company Valero Energy and gas and electric provider Southern Company.
The amount of shares held was relatively small with values between $1,001 to $50,000 each.
The disclosure also reveal that Kerry has reduced his financial interests in energy sector companies in recent years.
Kerry, who was a senator for Massachusetts for 28 years from 1985 to 2013 became Secretary of State under the Obama Administration from 2013 to 2017. Both are pictured here in 2008
The documents show that Kerry earned between $15 million to $65 million from his other investments, mainly from dividends and capital gains from divesting his financial assets.
They include shares in big firms including Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs.
Kerry’s vast stock portfolio is also enhanced through a trust fund he holds with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, heiress to the Heinz food company.
‘The State Department’s Ethics Office reviewed Special Presidential Envoy Kerry’s assets and investments upon his appointment to identify holdings that could pose a significant risk of a conflict of interest,’ a State Department spokesperson told Axios.