On his first day as President of the United States, Joe Biden is expected to issue a number of executive actions that would take important steps forward on climate.
“President Biden has given America and the world a clear sign that his administration views climate change as an existential crisis requiring ambitious domestic and global action. By wasting no time in rejoining the Paris Agreement, reversing actions by the Trump administration to weaken public health protections including on vehicle and methane emissions, making racial justice an integral part of climate policy and directing government agencies to account for the costs of climate pollution, he is putting the health and well-being of Americans first from day one.
“Rejoining the Paris Agreement is a critical step toward restoring American leadership on climate action – but it is only the first step. The Biden administration will also put forth an ambitious and credible emissions target ahead of the COP 26 global climate talks in Glasgow later this year. Ambitious means committing the U.S. to a 50% cut in emissions below 2005 levels by 2030, in line with Biden’s campaign promise of getting the U.S. on a path to net zero by 2050 – which is necessary to achieve the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goals. A credible Paris commitment requires taking strong legislative and administrative action that powers America toward a prosperous low-carbon future – starting with an economic stimulus package that includes substantial climate and clean energy investments.
“Clean transportation, including zero-emissions trucks and buses, must be an essential part of any plan to deliver jobs, healthier communities, and less climate pollution. The next generation of pollution limits for cars, trucks and methane should help our nation move toward eliminating climate-destabilizing pollution from these major emitters – and all the needed solutions are already at hand. Slashing climate- and health-harming air pollution will save lives and help advance environmental justice in the communities that have been unfairly burdened by this pollution for far too long. Revising methane standards could bring quick climate benefits. Cutting methane emissions from oil and gas is the fastest and most high-impact way to slow the rate of global warming.
“By re-establishing the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases to direct government agencies to account for the true costs of climate pollution, President Biden is signaling a return to the principles of good government — and to policymaking that is transparent, accountable to the American public, and guided by strong science and economics. From day one, President Biden is making it clear that confronting the climate crisis will animate his presidency.”
- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
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