Breaking Down Biden's Climate Plan

President Biden wasted no time when it comes to tacking the ongoing issue of climate change. Shortly after his inauguration he signed many executive orders for the benefit of the planet. He also created a climate team and plan during his presidency on how to tackle climate change and lessen the almost inevitable impact we are facing.



Executive orders already signed

  1. Rejoining of the Paris Agreement after Trump withdrew in 2017. The US will officially be back in the agreement in 30 days after re-signing. The Paris Agreement was established in 2015 and adopted by 196 parties to come together to tackle climate change and keep global warming below 2 degrees celsius, preferable 1.5 degrees.

  2. Halting the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline is an oil pipeline from Canada to the US. This pipeline has bene highly protested since its original proposal in 2008 due to risks of endangering climate, drinking water, and health. Since 2010, the pipeline has already leaked its hazardous tar sands over a dozen times. By discontinuing the Keystone pipeline, greenhouse gas emissions will reduce, about 178.3 million metric tons to be exact.

  3. Reimplementing vehicle emission standards. Supporting California's efforts to reduce emissions from cars and goal to ban gas powered cars in California by 2035. Biden requested that administration immediately reevaluate the vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions.

  4. Temporary prohibition on extracting oil and natural gas from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Late last year Trump initiated controversial sales to oil companies to drill in this animal sanctuary. Many threatened animal species live here and the drilling of oil would put them in danger. It would disrupt ecosystems causing irreversible damage.


*Not related to the environment but also important to mention these executive decisions from Biden:

  1. Rejoining the World Health Organization

  2. Protecting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or "Dreamers" from being deported.

  3. Halted construction of "Trumps wall" while also looking into the legality relating to the wall's funding and contracts.

  4. Repealed the ban on travel to the US from Muslim and African countries

  5. Reinstated that the federal government cannot discriminate based on gender identity and sexual orientation

  6. Repealed Trumps 1776 Commission which had reports misrepresenting the history of slavery in the US.


Biden's Climate plan in the long run


I read through Biden's extensive climate plan and summarized some key points that I thought were important. Overall this plan doesn't have as big of an impact as The Green New Deal, but it does still have an impact and will benefit the economy, create MORE jobs (around 10 million), and benefit the environment. I've bulleted out some key points below:

  • US to have net-zero emissions by 2050 (net zero emissions mean balancing the amount of green house gasses produced between the amount taken out of the atmosphere).

  • Holding polluters of greenhouse gasses accountable (ex-carbon tax).

  • Investment into clean energy - specifically in areas where people have suffered from pollution and poverty.

  • Have America running on 100% clean energy by 2050.

  • Smart infrastructure investments - ensuring buildings, water, and transportation can withstand the inevitable impacts of climate change.

  • Reconsider approach to foreign policy and trade putting environmental risks as a concern and priority.

  • Protecting biodiversity, natural habitats and ecosystems with a goal to protect and conserve 30% of the US land and water by 2030.

  • Partnering with farmers to implement better agricultural practices and invest in climate friendly faming techniques.



Who is on Biden's climate team?


John Kerry:

United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Gina McCarthy:

Head of White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy

Michael Regan:

Environmental Protection Agency

Deb Haaland:

Interior Department *one of the first Native American's to serve in Congress

Jennifer Granholm:

Secretary of Energy

Brenda Mallory:

Council on Environmental Quality

Ali Zaidi:

Deputy National Climate Advisor

Pete Buttigieg:

Department of Transportation

Tom Vilsack:

Secretary of Agriculture

Janet Yellen:

Secretary of Treasury

David J. Hayes:

Special Assistant to President on Climate Policy

Cecilia Martinez:

Senior Director for Environmental Justice on the Council for Environmental Quality

Stef Feldman:

Deputy Assistant to the President

Maggie Thomas:

Chief of Staff in the Office of Domestic Climate Policy

Jeff Marootian:

Oversee special hires for climate and science agency personnel



Photo Cred: REUTERS




Sources:

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/what-keystone-pipeline

https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/future-of-environmental-policy

https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/politics/biden-executive-action.html?campaign_id=56&emc=edit_cn_20210121&instance_id=26240&nl=on-politics-with-lisa-lerer&regi_id=77405422&segment_id=49891&te=1&user_id=06e6ac1b0059c83d6b0c83c576abd444

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/01/14/biden-climate-staff/