President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States officially began their respective terms in office after the inauguration ceremony January 20, 2021. The 46th president has promised an extensive plan for a clean energy revolution and environmental justice once in office.
According to Biden’s official website joebiden.com, he believes that there is no greater challenge facing the U.S. and our world than climate change. The Biden-Harris Climate Plan is the bold plan he is outlining to address this grave threat and lead the world in addressing the climate emergency.
The U.S. Green Party believes that “Human societies must function with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet.”
Biden’s statement is a big step forward in itself given past president Donald Trump’s views on the environment as a whole. Trump had formally announced the U.S. withdrawing from the Paris Agreement – a deal drafted in 2015 to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change – at the White House in June 2017.
“President Biden should use all the tools at his disposal to avert further climate devastation while helping people recover from the pandemic,” said Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA Executive Director. “He’s off to a strong start in week one of his presidency, but he will need to go further. It will not be enough to simply reverse Trump’s climate damage — our communities deserve both progress and repair.”
Given Biden’s position on environmental justice, he has wasted no time in taking concrete actions. He moved immediately to review more than 100 Trump administration actions, according to Inside Climate News. This includes re-joining the Paris Agreement and revoking the Keystone XL pipeline permit on January 20, 2021.
Although President Biden is seemingly keeping his campaign promises at the moment, Greenpeace U.S.A. seeks to ensure he keeps his promise by pushing him to fulfill his commitment to the U.S. communities.
“We know that Big Oil executives and climate-denying politicians are already gearing up to prevent Biden from keeping his campaign promises,” says Greenpeace U.S.A. on their website. “It’s up to us to speak up and hold Biden accountable so that he fulfills his pledge to stop new fossil fuel leasing and permitting on our public lands, and that he ensures workers and communities have the resources they need to thrive in a world beyond fossil fuels.”
The tools U.S. communities need to thrive in a fossil fuel free world are addressed in key elements in the Biden Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and an Equitable Clean Energy Future which include achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, advancing sustainable agriculture and conservation, creating a new Advanced Research Projects Agency on Climate
,—a new, cross-agency ARPA-C to target affordable, game-changing technologies to help America achieve their 100% clean energy target.
According to Greenpeace U.S.A., “By issuing an executive order halting new fossil fuel drilling and permitting on our public lands and water and committing resources to support affected communities and working families to thrive in the transition to a renewable energy future, you [Biden] will begin to fulfill your commitment to heal our communities and build back better from the climate, health, and economic crises we face.”
“We’re calling on President Biden to Build Back Fossil Free,” said Leonard. “There’s more he must do to protect and invest in frontline communities, reject fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 and Dakota Access pipelines, and launch a national climate mobilization to deliver jobs, justice, and opportunity for all.”
“To be a true climate leader and usher in a green, just, and peaceful future, President Biden must take action at the scale that science and justice demand,” said Greenpeace U.S.A. on whichside.org. “That means saying YES to a Green New Deal and NO to fossil fuel corporations.”
We will have to wait and see if President Biden and his administration can exemplify climate leadership. In the eyes of the U.S. Green Party that is “a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation.”