President-elect Joe Biden is promising that his climate agenda will begin in his first few days as president to combat the climate crisis and reduce emissions. Biden’s ambitious climate plan will include a series of executive orders:
- Require limits on methane pollution for oil and gas operations.
- Work towards 100% clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles.
- Ensure US government buildings and facilities are more efficient and climate-ready.
- Develop new fuel economy standards: ensure all new light/medium-duty vehicles are electrified and for heavy duty vehicles to complete annual improvements.
- Make agriculture a fundamental part of the solution to the climate crisis by strengthening the use of advanced biofuels.
- Cut consumer costs and reduce emissions with new standards on appliance and building efficiency
- Require federal permit decisions to consider effects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, and ensure every federal infrastructure investment reduces climate pollution.
- Set requirements for public companies to release climate risks and greenhouse gas emissions information
- Protect biodiversity, slow extinction rates and conserve 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030.
- Permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
A Need For Worldwide Participation
Along with the executive orders, Biden promises to rejoin the Paris Agreement on his first day of office. The Paris Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the climate crisis by keeping a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsus. The U.S. left the agreement in 2017 under the Trump Administration.
In order for the participating nations to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement, greenhouse gas emissions need to decrease substantially. To achieve this, the entire world will need to switch how it sources its energy.