Biden is involved in the Paris Climate Agreement. Environmental advocates hope the best is yet to come.


Hours after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, his first actions at the White House included the signing of two executive orders related to climate change – a move that environmental activists say That an administration is ready to bolster the Herald. Steps to reduce losses incurred in last four years.

The executive orders came on the day of the inaugural orders that Biden is serious about the commitments he made on the campaign path to prioritize climate action, adding that Andrea Marpilero-Colomina, a clean transportation advocate for Greenlossos, a nonprofit Organization that focuses on the environment and environment Conservation issues that affect the Latino community.

“The administration is sending a message, and it’s really exciting and important that these conversations are happening so quickly,” Marpilero-Colina said. “I hope that these actions are the beginning of a sustainable climate-oriented agenda.”

On the White House’s updated website, Climate Change ranks second on the administration’s list of priorities. But faced with a raging epidemic that has already killed more than 400,000 people in the US, racial inequality, economic uncertainty, and as a deeply divided nation, the Biden administration will have its hands full.

In his inauguration speech, Biden referred to these “cascading crises”: “We face an attack on our democracy and truth. A raging virus, growing inequality, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis. Any one is enough.” . To challenge us. The fact that we are facing them all at once is presenting this nation with more than one responsibility performed by us. Now we are going to be tempted. “

But the reality of climate change demands immediate action, especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency, when climate change was rarely addressed or even acknowledged, Marpilero-Colomina said .

“It’s a wakeup call for this country,” she said. “The impact of not participating in climate negotiations in the last four years has actually been evident on the board, both in domestic and foreign policy relations.”

Indeed, Biden has indicated that he plans to reinstate several environmental regulations and regulations that were reverted by the Trump administration. Michael Mann, author of the book “The New Climate War” and a professor and climatologist at Penn State University, said those efforts would be important because America needs to make up for lost time.

“This administration has to hit the ground running, because we are four years down the road,” said Mann. “It means we are going to work even harder.”

He said that part of this work would be to bring the country’s reputation to international level. Joining the Paris Agreement would help restore the nation’s credibility, but Biden would have to set an example by pushing for an even more aggressive emission target to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.

Mann said, “The current commitments under the Paris Agreement are not enough to keep us below 1.5 ° C of planet warming.” “It will be incumbent on the United States to demonstrate leadership to keep warming below catastrophic levels. What I want to see in the next 100 days is language that will substantially meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement.” Speaks of commitment. “

Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit marks a shift away from fossil fuels. During his campaign, Biden proposed an ambitious $ 2 trillion climate plan that included the goal of achieving a 100 percent clean electricity standard by 2035.

While there are major challenges, Marpileiro-Colomina said he is happy with the many cabinet appointments Biden has made so far. In addition to tapping veterans such as Gina McCarthy, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency in the Obama administration, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, Biden appears to constitute a diverse cabinet.

His selection includes Rep. Deb Holland, DNM, whom Biden chose as the first Native American head of the Department of the Interior; Cecilia Martinez, an advocate for environmental justice, who will join Biden’s White House team; And former Michigan government Jennifer Granholm, Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Energy.

Marpilero-Colomina said that by including leaders from the environmental justice movement, Biden hopes that those who work with Black and Latino communities who are absolutely affected by climate change will be heard.

“This does not mean that environmental advocates can sit back and file their nails, but as we push for the needs of our communities, at least one of those people is the one with hearing ears and Have the ability to care and take meaningful action, ”she said.

Biden is gathering climatologists for positions throughout the government, beyond just standard appointments at the EPA and the Department of Energy, which Mann said is an accolade suggesting that efforts in all agencies and departments disrupt climate action should go.

“When you look at all the appointments, there is a clear theme: there is a recognition that climate impacts every sector of society, and therefore climate action has to be included in every area of ​​society,” Mann said.

But beyond appointments and initial executive orders, environmental advocates will look for other signs that Biden’s administration is working towards core climate policies. For Melissa Miles, executive director of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Coalition, it meant showing a commitment to engaging disadvantaged communities in climate action. Equally important, she said, is a solution that addresses the inequalities and root causes of climate change and their direct health implications.

“What I have seen so far suggests that Biden was listening to front-line climate justice and environmental justice leaders, but now we have to look at his plan,” she said. “Will they really have teeth? Will it really impact the communities that need it the most?”

Miles said he is excited about the opportunities for a new administration, a kind of reserved enthusiasm.

“It is hard to be optimistic when there is hundreds of years of inequality that already tells us – not just one administration but hundreds of years of inequality”. “If we’re optimistic, it’s always going to be cautious, and it’s not in the mindset we can relax now. We still need to push as loud as our voices can be heard and our agenda To do.”


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