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US President Joe Biden has appointed his clean energy adviser John Podesta as the country’s top climate diplomat, moving swiftly to fill the vacancy despite a looming presidential election.

The appointment comes at a critical time for US climate and international energy policy, with allies concerned about the country’s commitment to global climate goals if Donald Trump wins the 2024 presidential election.

The White House said Podesta, who is currently in charge of rolling out clean energy subsidies and other parts of the Biden administration’s flagship Inflation Reduction Act, would continue in his current role alongside the additional duties of advising the president on international climate policy.

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