Newsroom /

Climate Conflict: Kerry’s Ties to Chinese Controlled Funds Raise Ethical Concerns.

Filings with Office of Government Ethics Show Millions in Investments in China.

Photo for: Climate Conflict: Kerry’s Ties to Chinese Controlled Funds Raise Ethical Concerns.

Key Points

  • Biden announcing a new era of diplomacy at UN.
  • He wants to work with China on climate change, reducing carbon emissions.
  • Climate change envoy John Kerry has millions in Chinese government controlled funds.

President Biden is preparing to propose a new era of diplomacy between America and China. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in his speech to the UN General Assembly, Biden will, “lay out the case for why the next decade will determine our future, not just for the United States but for the global community, and he will talk…about the importance of re-establishing our alliances after the last several years.”

One of the issues on Biden’s shortlist: climate. His administration hopes to work with China on addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions (China accounts for nearly 30% of global carbon emissions). But before talks even begin, there may be a problem.

According to the Daily Mail, “Joe Biden’s climate change envoy and former secretary of state John Kerry disclosed millions of dollars in Chinese investments held by his wife’s family trust, government documents show.”

“Kerry’s latest filing with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in March shows his wife benefits from an investment of ‘at least $1 million’ in a hedge fund that specializes in private partnerships and investments with Chinese government-controlled funds,” the DM reports.

This puts Kerry in a delicate situation and could cause an ethical conflict according to former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter:

 “As soon as anyone even hinted that the Chinese government would try to do anything to pull the rug from those companies if he didn’t do what they wanted, at that point it would create a problem for him under US code 208 [a conflict of interest law for government officials].”

Kerry’s wife Teresa is heiress to the Heinz family fortune, estimated to be worth $750 million. With millions tied up in Chinese-government-controlled funds, can Kerry be an effective negotiator?

“Whenever you’re negotiating with a country to try to get something done and you have investments in that country, there is that risk that negotiators could try to threaten to hold those investments hostage in the course of the negotiations,” Painter says.

[h/t Daily Mail