US election results: The green president? Joe Biden now has to live up to his climate promises

Environmentalists around the world are breathing a deep collective sigh of relief at the election of Joe Biden.

His victory means real hope that catastrophic climate change can be avoided; real momentum for world leaders to come together to collectively reduce greenhouse gases and the re-positioning of America as the world leader on the climate.

Donald Trump was a president who pulled out of the Paris agreement to limit global warming and even called climate change a hoax.

Joe Biden is the president-elect who says tackling climate change will be a top priority and has promised to preside over a green transformation of the US.

The fact is the climate policy of whoever lives at the White House is critical to tackling climate change – both as a major polluter and as a global influencer.

Mr Biden has said the urgency on the climate begins immediately and proof of that is his promise to re-join the Paris agreement.

His campaign message was that the changing climate affects everyone in the US – that it’s simply wrong to think only those living in the hottest and lowest lying parts of the country will be affected.

His climate strategy is underpinned by the belief that the climate is inextricably linked to the US’ health, wealth and national security.

Mr Biden has repeatedly called climate change an “existential threat” and is promising a “bold plan” and a “clean energy revolution”.

Tackling climate change doesn’t have to be a drain on the US but a saviour.

Crucially he’s signed up to the mantra of other major economies – including China – calling for the global recovery from coronavirus to be a green one citing climate change as an opportunity to provide new jobs across the US.

He has pledged $2tn of investment in clean energy over four years and called for 100% clean electricity by 2035.

There are also promises on key issues like electric vehicles; conservation and the energy efficiency of buildings.

Voters can now expect Mr Biden to sign a series of executive orders putting the US on the path to net zero – getting there, he says, “no later” than 2050.

Environmentalists will be looking out too for the White House to make good on the Biden promise to lead from the front on climate change – persuading other countries to set ambitious targets on reducing greenhouse gases and making climate change central to the US’ foreign policy.

But the new president faces a fresh rivalry from China which has also signalled its ambition to become the global leader on the climate.

Source: Read Full Article