CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Kerry himself owned a private jet. The jet belongs to his family. The story has been updated.
John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy who owned five mansions as recently as 2019 and whose family owns a private jet, warned developing African nations against investing in long-term natural gas projects which could expand their citizens’ access to electricity.
Kerry said that African nations should be wary of natural gas developments that could bring electricity to hundreds of millions of impoverished people as the gas projects will lead to more carbon emissions, according to Reuters. Kerry, who has a reported net worth of around $250 million, at one point owned five pricey homes in the U.S., including an $11.75 million 18.5-acre mansion in Martha’s Vineyard which they bought in 2017.
“We do not have to rush to go backward, we need to be very careful about exactly how much we are going to deploy, how it is going to be paid for, over what period of time and how do you capture the emissions,” Kerry told Reuters at an African environment ministers’ conference in Senegal.
Kerry and his wife owned a luxury townhouse in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood as recently as 2019 where the average property value is $2.89 million, according to Redfin. The couple also owned a house in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood that they sold for $7 million in 2020, according to The Washingtonian.
Kerry and his wife owned two additional houses as recently as 2015 in Pittsburgh and Idaho that have an estimated total value of almost 9 million, according to Fox News. Kerry’s family also owns a private jet that has emitted at least 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide since Biden took office, according to Fox News.
Over the year and a half that Biden has been in office, the jet has produced emissions that are equivalent to burning 331,923 pounds of coal, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas calculator. Kerry also owned a large luxury yacht but sold it in 2017.
Kerry argued that gas projects that would remain operational past 2030 would cause issues for African countries. He said that countries would struggle to break even on their investments within 10 years and added that projects that could last as long as 40 years were not needed.
Over 600 million people, or 43% of Africa’s population, do not have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency June 2022 (IEA) report.