From many different points of view the new leader in America can surely only be viewed as a good thing. In terms of Climate change – certainly a positive move forwards, or perhaps catch up…..
Simple and easy introduction here from the economist this week. I am sure we will be hearing much in the coming months.
During his campaign Joe Biden vowed to decarbonise America’s power sector by 2035 and its whole economy by 2050. He is off to a flying start, suggesting that he intends to follow through on some of his more ambitious campaign pledges. This gives observers hope that those promises can be fulfilled. At the very least, he takes environmental regulation more seriously than did his predecessor. And it suggests the new administration understands the urgency of the climate challenge.
The biggest reversal was one of Mr Biden’s first acts: rejoining the Paris climate agreement. In 2015 signatories pledged to keep global warming below 2°C compared with pre-industrial levels. America left the accord under Mr Trump. Re-entry has huge symbolic significance on the world stage and means America will have to produce an emissions-reduction plan. Many of Mr Trump’s other decisions are also likely to be rolled back. Mr Biden has already scrapped the permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried crude oil from Alberta to Texas.. The Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law at Columbia University is keeping tabs on the new administration’s “reregulation” of climate policy.
Plenty of Mr Biden appointments have solid climate credentials too. Headliners include John Kerry, the new climate tsar, Jennifer Granholm, the new energy secretary, and Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve who is now the Treasury secretary. Ms Yellen, for instance, was one of the authors of a paper for the G30 in October on how to shift economies to net-zero emissions. It advocates a host of climate-friendly policies including carbon-pricing, a surge in green-infrastructure spending and the delegation by governments of some environmental decisions to independent councils.