Biden Determined To Go Green

Biden Determined To Go Green

With Democrat Mr. Joe Biden, winning the US presidential election on Saturday, 7th November 2020, against Republican Mr. Donald Trump, and being the President-Elect of the Unites States of America, he is now in position to push forward his Green Agenda and contribute to the fight to combat climate change.

The US President-Elect has called climate change an “existential threat to humanity” and pledged a USD 2 trillion green stimulus package in clean energy and infrastructure plan, in order to help reduce US emissions (https://theconversation.com/biden-says-the-us-will-rejoin-the-paris-climate-agreement-in-77-days-then-australia-will-really-feel-the-heat-149533).

Additionally, a Biden administration is also expected to set up the first National Climate Council, a high-level group whose chair would direct policy across the federal government (https://www.ft.com/content/5ce99af6-e776-43af-9c74-593d49dc5125?segmentId=b0d7e653-3467-12ab-c0f0-77e4424cdb4c).

There will also likely be a pandemic stimulus bill, which could offer support for clean energy jobs and R&D (https://qz.com/1927494/how-bidens-climate-plan-will-work-without-a-democratic-senate/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=daily-brief&utm_content=10145729).

Mr. Biden’s win broadens the possibilities for new climate legislation, including a national carbon tax, permanent tax breaks for wind and solar, and eliminating tax cuts for fossil fuels.

Moreover, he released a transition website over the weekend that puts climate change as a top priority for his administration. He laid out a climate action roadmap to Covid-19 recovery that includes investments in infrastructure, the auto industry, transit, the power sector, upgrade and weatherize buildings, housing, innovation, agriculture and conservation, and environmental justice (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/09/politics/biden-climate-plan-election-intl-hnk/index.html) (https://buildbackbetter.com/priorities/climate-change/).

Most importantly, Mr. Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accord on his first day in office, and a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 – an Agreement which Trump announced its intention to withdraw from the agreement back in 2017 , and has officially withdrawn on 4th November 2020, a day after the US elections (https://www.ft.com/content/5ce99af6-e776-43af-9c74-593d49dc5125?segmentId=b0d7e653-3467-12ab-c0f0-77e4424cdb4c).

This move could put the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C “within striking distance”, according to detailed analysis provided by the Climate Action Tracker (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/09/politics/biden-climate-plan-election-intl-hnk/index.html).

The significance of US rejoining is reflected by what Laurence Tubiana, chief executive of the European Climate Foundation, and one of the key architects of the Paris pact, stated, “It is a big relief that the US comes back,” and that “the positive domino effect from [the] Biden presidency will be enormous” (https://www.ft.com/content/5ce99af6-e776-43af-9c74-593d49dc5125?segmentId=b0d7e653-3467-12ab-c0f0-77e4424cdb4c).

It should be noted that Mr. Biden’s domestic climate agenda could be challenged if the Republican party retains control of the Senate, although a Biden administration might find common ground with Republicans who are willing to include clean energy in broader economic stimulus measures.