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The United States is poised to make a 180-degree turn on climate change policy with Biden's win

He identified climate change as one of his top priorities as the 46th president of the United States in his victory speech on Saturday night.

The United States is poised to make a 180-degree turn on climate change policy with Biden's win
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/ US President-elect Joe Biden speaks to the media on November 09 at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Joe Raedle)

The United States will soon regain its position as one of the key players in the global fight against climate change under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden. Having defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, Biden is set to restore dozens of environmental safeguards that were abolished by the Trump administration and also launch the boldest climate change plan of any president in history, reports The Washington Post. He identified climate change as one of his top priorities as the 46th president of the United States in his victory speech on Saturday night where he said that Americans must marshal the "forces of science" in the "battle to save our planet."

 



 

 

"Joe Biden ran on climate. How great is this? It'll be time for the White House to finally get back to leading the charge against the central environmental crisis of our time," said Gina McCarthy, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency during President Barack Obama's second term and now helms the Natural Resources Defense Council. Biden's ambitious vision for America's return to the climate fight is already in motion with his team having fleshed out plans for how it will restrict oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters, block pipelines that transport fossil fuels across the country, provide federal incentives to develop renewable power, increase federal mileage standards for cars and SUVs, and call on other nations to make deeper cuts in their own carbon emissions.

 



 

 

Although the president-elect has vowed to eliminate carbon emissions from the electric sector by 2035 and spend $2 trillion on investments that benefit the planet, unless his party wins two Senate runoff races in Georgia in January, he will have to rely on a combination of executive actions and more-modest congressional deals to advance his agenda. Myron Ebell, who directs the Center for Energy and the Environment at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, said that if Biden faces a GOP-controlled Senate, "it means that all of the nuttiest and most radical ideas on the left are dead on arrival in the Congress. And that means he is much more likely to be successful because he can just tell his left-wing supporters, 'Hey, we just can't do this.'"

 



 

 

Meanwhile, McKie Campbell — managing partner of the bipartisan energy consulting firm BlueWater Strategies and a former top aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski — hopes that a divided government "means we may have a return of people working with each other to work out some solutions. The question is, in the middle, do you have compromise, or do you have a stalemate, and nothing happens." While some activists are pushing for the creation of a White House interagency group to steer decisions across the federal government, Biden's team might prove enough.

 



 

 

According to his advisors, they plan to elevate climate change as a priority in departments that have not always treated it as one, including the Transportation, State, and Treasury departments. This, in turn, will affect everything from overseas banking and military bases to domestic roads and farms. "Joe Biden's win ratifies what's been clear all along: despite Trump's best efforts, the American people have remained committed to the Paris agreement. Business, investors, cities, and states redoubled their efforts to solve the climate crisis, proving that the path to a sustainable economy is inevitable," former vice president Al Gore said in a statement on Saturday.

 



 

 

Although in theory, a Biden presidency sounds promising for climate activists, they aren't ready to let up on the pressure just yet. "We're seeing that Joe Biden has a climate mandate," said Varshini Prakash, head of the youth-led Sunrise Movement, "and we expect him to do everything in his power to act on climate change."

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