President Joe Biden has signed a set of executive orders aimed at tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad.
The first order starts with the statement, “It is the policy of this administration that climate considerations shall be an essential element of U.S. foreign policy and national security.”
This order creates both a White House interagency task force to address environmental justice, as well as an advisory council. It directs the Department of Health and Human Services to create an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity. And it tasks the Department of Justice with establishing an Office of Climate Justice.
Biden established a National Climate Task Force and the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. He also ordered the creation of a Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities.
The order also directs the Secretary of the Interior to stop issuing new oil and gas leases on public lands and offshore waters. And it sets a goal of doubling offshore wind production by 2030. “We’re going to review and reset the oil and gas leasing program,” Biden told reporters.
Biden will host on April 22 global Leaders’ Climate Summit aimed at raising climate ambition and making a positive contribution to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in November.
Washington will reconvene the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, beginning with the Leaders’ Climate Summit.
The United States is one of the worst CO2 emitters in the world. The U.S., China and the European Union together contribute more than 55 percent of the carbon emissions in the world.
The U.S. Government will immediately begin to develop a climate finance plan. A plan for promoting the protection of the Amazon rain forest and other critical ecosystems that serve as global carbon sinks is also on the cards.
The Secretary of Defense has been instructed to develop and submit to the President an analysis of the security implications of climate change within 120 days.
Biden’s new climate policy aims to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050, and envisages a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035, and clean and zero-emission vehicles for government fleets.
Blaming the Trump administration for reversing the Obama-era vehicle standard and picking Big Oil companies over American workers, Biden said his administration will not only bring those standards back, but also “set new, ambitious ones that our workers are ready to meet.”
Biden promised that he is not going to ban fracking. He added that he is going to ask the Congress to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
“We’re going to take money and invest it in clean energy jobs in America — millions of jobs in wind, solar, and carbon capture”.
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