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Joe Biden hits the ground running with a climate-crisis framework

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice president-elect Kamala Harris were declared the winners of the US election on Saturday, and their climate change priorities have already been published on the Biden-Harris Transition website.

Biden’s ready to go

We excerpt the “executive summary” here:

[Biden] is working to launch a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future.

It has exacerbated historic environmental injustices. Biden will immediately invest in engines of sustainable job creation — new industries and re-invigorated regional economies spurred by innovation from our national labs and universities; commercialized into new and better products that can be manufactured and built by American workers; and put together using feedstocks, materials, and parts supplied by small businesses, family farms, and job creators all across our country.

President-elect Biden is working to make far-reaching investments in infrastructure, zero-emissions transit, zero-emissions power sector, buildings, housing, innovation in such sectors as battery storage, agriculture and conservation, plugging abandoned oil wells, and environmental justice. You can read the details for each category by clicking this link. And in the auto industry, here’s the plan:

Create 1 million new jobs in the American auto industry, domestic auto supply chains, and auto infrastructure, from parts to materials to electric vehicle charging stations, positioning American auto workers and manufacturers to win the 21st century; and invest in US auto workers to ensure their jobs are good jobs with a choice to join a union.

Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, issued the following statement:

Now it’s time to turn promises into progress, with policy solutions and sound investments that cut climate pollution, create millions of good-paying jobs, protect the health of our people, and advance justice and equity for us all. That’s how we will get the economy humming again and get our workers back on their feet.

It’s how we will improve people’s health nationwide, which is more important than ever in the middle of a respiratory pandemic, especially for communities of color who are being hit the hardest.

It’s how we get our arms around the climate crisis that’s upending more and more lives from the heartland to the sea. And it’s how we build a world we can be proud to pass on to our children and our grandchildren.

Electrek’s Take

This is not going to be easy, but there is great potential. There is a lot of focus in the mainstream media on impending bipartisan political wrangling in Washington, and, of course, that will have a direct impact on how much can be achieved to implement green energy and climate change policies. But climate change doesn’t recognize national borders — and there is great international support and encouragement for the US’ journey ahead.

For example, in the UK, which will host COP26, the UN climate change summit, in Glasgow in 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson weighed in, hoping to use the common cause of climate change to bring the two countries closer:

The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.

The US will rejoin the Paris Agreement on day one of the Biden presidency, which brings the US back into the global fold. It can also quickly reverse the Trump administration’s energy rollbacks, make climate change part of COVID relief, and revise fossil-fuel production rules. Further, according to the New York Times, “[Biden] has said on the first day of his administration he will sign an executive order to conserve 30% of United States land and waters by 2030.”

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.