More On: Kerry
Kerry's office talked with environmental groups about whether the US would back a plan to get rid of fossil fuel investments.
According to emails shared with Fox News Digital, the office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) John Kerry had a number of conversations with left-wing environmental groups that seemed to help make policy decisions.
Officials in the SPEC office tried to talk about important issues with the Sierra Club and the United Nations Foundation as recently as December, according to documents that government watchdog Protect the Public's Trust (PPT) got and gave to Fox News Digital.
The documents, which were gotten through a request for information, didn't show any similar meetings or conversations with fossil fuel energy groups or companies.
"You'll see from the list of participants that there's a lot of interest in this conversation," Alden Meyer, a climate policy consultant and senior associate at the green group Third Generation Environmentalism, wrote in a May 2021 email about setting up a Zoom call between environmental groups and SPEC officials.
Meyer's email had the subject line "Zoom information and topics for tomorrow's G7 discussion," and it was sent to 13 environmental group leaders and four SPEC officials whose names were blacked out. The email came a few weeks before high-level G7 meetings in the UK and listed the different topics that the parties planned to talk about on the virtual call.
Officials were going to talk about, among other things, whether the U.S. would back a G7 statement to stop fossil fuel infrastructure financing, stop selling traditional gas-powered cars, and stop making coal-powered electricity. On the call, we also talked about whether or not the U.S. would lead a global effort to cut methane emissions.
The email also showed that the participants would talk about a so-called "clean counteroffer" to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a huge infrastructure project that runs from China to Europe and is run by the Chinese government.
It's not clear how much the policy discussion changed things, but in June, President Biden announced a $200 billion counter to the BRI that put climate change first, and in November, the U.S. made a global methane pledge at a UN climate summit. Biden also set a goal for August 2021 to make sure that at least half of all new cars sold by 2030 are electric.
Also, an email from Jake Schmidt, the managing director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) international program, in December 2021 showed that several environmental groups were invited to a briefing about overseas fossil fuel finance by the SPEC office and the National Security Council (NSC), which Kerry is a part of.
Schmidt wrote to other environmentalists on December 16, 2021, "I'll send a calendar invite with Zoom details, but I wanted to bring this to your attention." "The State Department (ENR and SPEC) and the National Security Council (NSC) have offered a briefing on the International Energy Engagement Guidance."
The email was sent to the heads of groups like Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, Sierra Club, Oil Change International, the Climate Reality Project, World Resources Institute, the Bank Information Center, RMI, and the Center for International Environmental Law. All of these groups are pushing for a quick switch from fossil fuels to green energy sources like wind and solar.
According to the documents shared with Fox News Digital, a similar email was not sent to industry groups that support traditional forms of energy like oil and natural gas.
"Just as FOIA showed that teachers' unions had too much power in deciding how to reopen schools, these conversations seem to show that large, powerful activist groups may be pushing for the same expensive climate policy that just passed, which some people are calling the "Green New Deal Lite." This is what PPT Director Michael Chamberlain told FOX News Digital.
"For an administration that says it is guided by science, there are more than a few signs that the advice of their political allies may be more important," he said. "It's not hard to see why Americans are losing faith in their government."
A spokesperson for the State Department told Fox News Digital to contact the agency's "Requester Service Center." The spokesperson didn't answer questions about the emails or whether Kerry's office also works with fossil fuel energy groups.
The email dump also showed that the SPEC office likes to keep its employees' names secret, so it chooses to hide each official's name from the public. A previous Fox News Digital report showed that SPEC officials have strong ties to the same environmental groups that the office consulted when making policy.
The documents also showed that officials talked about keeping some conversations "off paper" to avoid being watched.