Now Back to Work
by Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director
Cupidity walked out the door and competence stepped in.
On his first day on the job, President Biden renewed the United States commitment to the Paris climate agreement. The eight days following have offered a series of breathtaking announcements:
- Tackling climate change is now at the core of all foreign and national policy decisions
- The US will achieve a carbon-free electricity sector no later than 2035
- Zero-emission vehicle fleets will become the standard at all federal agencies
- Oil and gas drilling permits are halted on all federal lands and waters pending review
- Taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels are dead
- Billions of federal dollars will be invested in climate resilience
- All federal agencies must quickly perform climate action and resilience plans
- A promise to protect 30% of US land and 30% of US oceans by 2030
To make this ambitious plan a reality, Biden has created a national climate task force, a climate policy office, an environmental justice interagency council, an office of climate and health equity, a civilian climate corps, a climate finance plan, and plans for a global climate summit.
The Biden-Harris administration’s bold vision holds the promise of catalyzing the creation of many thousands of great-paying green jobs. Jobs for the future. Jobs that can deliver hope for our future.
This is not timid policymaking. Read for yourself.
The breadth and boldness of Biden’s climate actions has left me a little speechless.
This morning I joked to a friend who manages the climate portfolio at a utility, “Hey, perhaps it’s time to retire.” He replied, “Yeah, I said the same thing to my executive team. But they were dead serious in their response: No, now you’ll be busier than ever.”
It’s true. Climate Resolve will now be busier than ever, as we help to implement this bold new vision.
It’s all about implementation now.
In 2009-2010, after the Copenhagen talks fell through, after the Waxman-Markey legislation collapsed, part of the analysis was that they had been killed by bureaucratic inertia. It seemed people didn’t want to risk exploring a new path. A second barrier was the lack of proof-of-concept. The markets doubted that solar power and electric vehicles could scale.
Flash forward to 2021 and General Motors just announced their commitment to go 100% electric by 2035 .
Time to roll-up our sleeves and take-on that inertia problem . . .