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Biden’s New Executive Orders Targeting Climate Change

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed sweeping executive orders to force the federal government to plan and respond to an urgent threat of a warming planet, giving his historic vision of how the United States can once again become a global climate leader.

These moves will prevent new fossil fuel lease contracts on public land, promote development and conservation of renewable energy, as well as the creation of new government offices and interdisciplinary groups to give priority to job creation, pollution cleaning and environmental justice.

Since taking office last week, Biden and his Cabinet nominees have repeatedly said solving the climate crisis is one of their top priorities. With these new actions, Biden is detailing how he intends to make that happen by making the federal government the center of the response.

“The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis,” major executive order Biden signed said. “We have a limited time to pursue action at home and abroad to avoid the catastrophic effects of that crisis and seize opportunities to deal with climate change.”

Biden’s early climate moves are in stark contrast to former President Donald Trump’s actions, including immediately removing climate change from the White House website, discouraging climate action, and exercising rights. to promote the development of oil, gas and coal.

Biden’s climate actions of the day were a direct response to Trump, including directing his staff to review more than 100 anti-environmental rules issued by Trump and to initiate the process for the country. rejoin the Paris climate agreement. But these new actions go far beyond reversing Trump’s actions or even reviving climate initiatives that former President Barack Obama once championed.

Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Rising Sun Movement, said: “Today made it clear that President Biden heard the demands of our generation, understood the strength of our movement and was serious. in using executive power to fulfill your election promises, ”said the statement.

As part of the new executive order, Biden is instructing the Home Office to indefinitely suspend new oil and gas lease contracts on public lands and offshore waters “to the extent possible”. The order does not specifically prohibit new coal leases and permits the lease of fossil fuels on tribal lands at their discretion.

Furthermore, Biden is directing a review of existing fossil fuel rental and development projects, while asking the Ministry of the Interior to seek ways to promote renewable energy projects, especially offshore wind, on land and federally owned water.

The American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas trade association, was dissatisfied by the new restrictions. “Limiting the lease and development of natural gas and oil on federal lands and waters could threaten US energy security, economic growth, and well-paid employment. America”. The API tweeted.

While the order will not affect the majority of the nation’s oil and gas drilling and coal mining, which takes place on private land, it can still have a major impact on the climate. The extraction of fossil fuels on public lands between 2005 and 2014 accounted for about 25 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions during that time, according to the US Geological Survey. report.

An important part of executive orders is the creation of new offices and committees that focus on addressing specific climate problems and goals. In addition to formally establishing the new White House Domestic Climate Policy Office, led by Gina McCarthyBiden, a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Biden on Wednesday formed the National Climate Task Force to direct members in agencies and departments “to create a whole-government approach. to combat the climate crisis, ”according to a White House memo.

Biden is also establishing the Civil Climate Corps Initiative designed to create new jobs in conservation, the Interagency Working Group on the Power and Coal Plant Community and Economic Regeneration to implement projects to reduce pollution from existing and abandoned fossil fuel infrastructure, as well as the White House’s Interagency Council for Environmental Justice and the White House’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council to strengthen monitoring and enforcement of environmental justice.

Little details have been provided about exactly who will lead many of the new efforts, the amount of funding they will receive, or the timelines for these bold goals.

In most cases, Biden’s actions follow his climate campaign promises, such as his promise to dedicate 30% of public land and water to conservation by 2030 and host a gas summit. Post-international for his first 100 days – a conference to be held on Earth Day, April 22, 2021.

“The past four years have been a frenzy on our public lands and waters, and this ban is the right way to begin our overdue transition to a more sustainable economy. “, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona and chairman of the House of Representatives. Natural Resources Commission. Grijalva last year co-financed the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act of 2020, which similarly supported a 30% conservation goal. He said Congress will now proceed with the bill.

John Kerry, the President’s Special Envoy for Climate, said in a news conference Wednesday: “The climate change stakes simply cannot be higher than they are today.”

“Convening this summit is essential to ensure that 2021 will be the year to make up for the lost time in the past four years,” he added, referring to the upcoming climate meeting. “The world will measure us by what we can do at home.”

Additionally, McCarthy on Wednesday said the US is planning to make a climate update commitment to the Paris climate deal ahead of the April summit.

As part of a separate memorandum of scientific integrity, Biden is re-establishing scientific advisory committees that were disbanded under Trump. In addition, he is also restarting the President’s Science and Technology Advisory Council.



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