What are Biden’s solutions to climate change?

Joe Ronan

Joe Ronan

Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden in front of the White House

Before President Biden came into office, he made a whole host of promises regarding solutions to climate change. Ones that seemed highly unattainable.

Finally we can see a glimmer of hope, a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

Now that Biden has been in office for a little while, his promises to tackle the climate crisis appear to be holding up with further insight into what steps we must take to implement indefinite solutions to climate change.

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Biden’s Solutions to Climate Change: Overcoming Trump

After only one full term in office, former President Donald Trump managed to roll back over one hundred environmental policies. Policies that were put in place to govern clean air and water, the country’s wildlife, and toxic chemicals.

The result?

An enormous deficit of environmental sustainability.

The Trump administration managed to take several large steps backward in dealing with the climate crisis. Most notably, the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement- a legally binding international treaty on climate change.

This was a huge slap in the face to climate activists, not only across America but throughout the world. Without support from the US, one of the world’s biggest polluters, the goal to keep the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees, within this century, would have become incredibly difficult.

In March 2019, approval was given to go ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline. A project allowing TC Energy to expand their existing operations in transporting tar sands oil to market as quickly as possible.

Keystone XL was previously vetoed by the Obama administration due to its negative environmental impacts, damage to local ecosystems, pollution of water sources, and detriment to public health.

The sage grouse in its natural habitat

On the sidelines

These two issues gained significant attention from media outlets. Unfortunately, other important changes haven’t shared the same spotlight…

  • Oil and gas companies were granted access to the habitat of sage grouse, enabling further destruction of their home.
  • The National Wildlife Federation classifies sage grouse as an indicator species, meaning their population is on the decline. 

Seismic airguns towed by boats blast compressed air into the ocean. The air travels miles deep into the seafloor’s crevasses. These loud blasts go off every 10 seconds continuously up to months at a time.

They impair marine life such as whales’ or dolphins’ ability to communicate with each other. Something that is detrimental to their survival.

Diagram of seismic airguns in action

Biden’s Solutions to Climate Change: Pre-2020 Election

Each new administration faces a whole host of challenges, and this one is certainly no exception. The previous administration made radical changes to remove the protections put in place to reduce the effects of global warming.

Because of these developments, there had to be solutions to climate change that not only sound appealing but can also be put into action.

Biden didn’t have an impact on his party’s voters in the same way as previous presidents. Some commentators of the time saying they only voted for him because the alternative was unthinkable. His campaign was, however, made stronger by the tremendous amount of support from younger voters, particularly minorities.

Before President Biden came into office, he planned to invest in climate change research in clean energy innovation. With this plan, money would be funneled into creating a new Advanced Research Projects Agency on climate (ARPA-C) and funding for national laboratories.

Investments could be made in land-grant universities. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other institutions that primarily serve minorities. Biden also promised to tackle poverty all over the country whilst implementing his solutions to climate change.

Soon, he will be guiding the country into a wonderful, new, green future.

The Los Angeles refinery - California’s largest producer of gasoline

A step in the right direction

By investing in climate change research, that future will be reached through moving the auto industry towards clean energy. The Clean Cars for America proposal was introduced to help clean energy become easily attainable.

Following this plan will reduce the number of carbon-emitting cars on the road by a whopping 63 million and make electric cars and charging stations accessible to Americans across the country. 

Not only that, but it will also create tens of thousands of new well-paying jobs. Public transport will be revolutionized in towns and cities across the country. With additional funding put toward light rail networks and the improvement of existing bus lines. 

Quality, green, transport for all Americans is the goal for 2030.

Biden’s Solutions to Climate Change: In Action

As we wonder what the Biden administration will achieve, we need to remind ourselves of what has been accomplished so far

During his first 50 days, it was reported that Biden had already achieved 16 out of the 61 pledges he had made. The first three executive orders were signed on live television and highlight the key areas that are to face improvements throughout Biden’s term in office.

Biden signed a grand total of seventeen executive orders within the first few hours of his inauguration ceremony. A move that ignited a sense of urgency from the President to undo the damage caused by his predecessor. 

President Joe Biden signing executive orders within hours of his inauguration ceremony

The first executive order was signed, and the administration’s top priority is now to get Covid-19 under control. With more than 100 million people now fully vaccinated across the country, Covid rates continue to drop after peaking in January.

When Biden took office the average death rate was 3,000 per day. Now, numbers are beginning to drop, with a seven-day average of 707 deaths and falling.

With already having such drastic success in reducing the threat of covid, the focus can begin to shift over to the other important issues faced by Biden’s government.

The second executive order focused on improvements to the underserved communities across the country. This will make healthcare, transport, and job opportunities more accessible.

Undoing previous wrongs

The rejoining of the Paris Agreement was the third executive order signed. This was a huge first step in meeting the promises made to the American people with his solutions to climate change.

The aim of the Paris Agreement is to achieve a climate-neutral world by 2050. Meaning a significant reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Of course, this is a significant milestone in moving on from an administration that dismissed global warming as hearsay.

Since then, Biden has paused oil and gas drilling on federal land, unveiled an investment plan for clean energy, and in April announced the US carbon-cutting pledge at the climate summit.

Biden’s Solutions to Climate Change: Can He Deliver?

With the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency just recently behind us, we can continue to see how his promises to make a positive impact on the climate crisis are in action.

At the end of April 2021, The White House released its Fact Sheet. Answering one important question – 

President Biden announced at the two-day virtual summit hosted at The White House a new target for the US to achieve reduced greenhouse gas pollution of 50-52% by 2030. 

This can be achieved by granting new opportunities for Americans and spurring innovation in areas, such as transportation. This way, the country cut down on pollution and still enjoy the road. 

Important, and admirable, goals for the US are to produce electricity that is 100% carbon pollution-free by the year 2035, to reduce emissions from forests, and to enhance carbon sinks (e.g. increasing plant life).

Joe Biden hosting the virtual leaders’ summit from the White House, Washington DC

What’s Next?

In the coming weeks and months, the Biden administration plans to progress further. Creating thousands of jobs and achieving the impressive goals set out to tackle global warming.

Within the solutions to climate change set out by Biden’s administration lies wonderful opportunities to support well-paid union jobs, strengthen working communities, protect public health, advance climate change research, and push for environmental sustainability.

This can, and will, be achieved through the plans put in place for environmental justice and rural America. Having already made a tremendous start on achieving the solutions to climate change, we can only hope this progress continues in the future.

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