Candidate Joe Biden ran on a platform that included a belief in the impact of global climate change and a promise to address it as a serious current and future threat to our nation.
Now that he has been President Joe Biden for over 100 days, has he been faithful to those promises? Here are five things that the Biden Administration has already done for the environment.
Held a Climate Summit and Put the US Back as a Leader on Cutting Climate Pollution
After four years of the US being basically AWOL on climate action, the world is now racing to keep up. Biden convened world leaders for a climate summit on Earth Day, putting them on the spot to increase the pace of action. Most importantly, he committed to an ambitious new US target for cutting climate pollution — 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. That’s almost double what we promised in the Paris Agreement.
Appointed a Steller Climate Team
In Washington, they say “personnel is policy,” meaning what you achieve depends on whom you appoint. Politico calls Biden’s team his “climate all-stars,” and many came straight from jobs as advocates. Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is the “climate czarina” in the White House. Michael Regan, who was a state environment leader, is EPA chief. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement, is Biden’s envoy for climate. And below them are scores of experts and advocates who went from demanding government action to being the government: They are now in a position to push bold action.
Built Green Technologies and Green Jobs Into The Biggest Jobs Plan Ever
Biden says, “When I think about climate change, I think about jobs.” His $2.7 trillion American Jobs Plan will rebuild a much cleaner US economy. It proposes billions for the transition to electric vehicles and clean electricity, support for clean manufacturing, and more. It would be the most ambitious climate plan ever, creating millions of jobs.
Made “Environmental Injustice” a Priority
For too long, unjust policy decisions — like where to build highways and factories — meant more pollution for Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and other communities that have been historically marginalized. Addressing this injustice and achieving equity is key to dealing with climate change. Biden has committed to ensuring that 40% of the benefits from investments flow to disadvantaged communities. He has also established a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council and a White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Started Rolling Back Donald Trump’s Harmful Environmental Rules
At Biden’s request, Congress is preparing to eliminate Trump’s weak rule on methane pollution in order to create much stronger protections. He reestablished states’ ability to have stricter air pollution rules. He’s reversed or halted Trump’s actions on drilling on public lands, EPA scientific standards, climate assessments in project planning, and more. The administration has overturned or targeted Trump’s environmental actions at a pace of one per day so far.
This is just the tip of the spear of Biden’s attack on the Global Climate Crisis. How much more he and his administration can accomplish over the rest of his presidency depends a lot on cooperation in Congress and the will of the American people, come the mid-term elections, but environmentally speaking, the President is off to a great start.