The new Biden-Harris administration has committed to tackling climate change by creating jobs, building infrastructure, and delivering environmental justice. This week, President Joe Biden issued a series of Executive Orders (EOs) that follow through on these promises, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and reviewing the previous administration’s rollbacks of environmental standards.
According to the Administration, President Biden’s ambitious goals empower “American workers and businesses to lead a clean energy revolution that achieves a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and puts the United States on an irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050.”
A summary of these EOs are as follows:
- Center the Climate Crisis in U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security Considerations: affirms that the United States will exercise its leadership to promote a significant increase in global ambition of the Paris Agreement, and kicks off the process of developing the U.S.’ emission reduction target under the Paris Agreement, as well as a climate finance plan.
- Take a Whole-of-Government Approach to the Climate Crisis: formally establishes the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy – led by the first-ever National Climate Advisor and Deputy National Climate Advisor – and establishes the National Climate Task Force composed of leaders from across 21 federal agencies and departments.
- Leverage the Federal Government’s Footprint and Buying Power to Lead by Example: directs the federal agencies to procure carbon pollution-free electricity and clean, zero-emission vehicles, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and identify new opportunities to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.
- Rebuild Our Infrastructure for a Sustainable Economy: catalyzes the creation of jobs in construction, manufacturing, engineering and the skilled-trades by directing steps to ensure that every federal infrastructure investment reduces climate pollution and that steps are taken to accelerate clean energy and transmission projects under federal siting and permitting processes in an environmentally sustainable manner.
- Advance Conservation, Agriculture, and Reforestation: commits to the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and oceans by 2030; calls for the establishment of a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative.
- Revitalize Energy Communities: establishes an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization and directs federal agencies to coordinate investments and other efforts to assist coal, oil and natural gas, and power plant communities.
- Secure Environmental Justice and Spur Economic Opportunity: establishes a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council and a Environmental Justice Advisory Council to prioritize environmental justice and ensure a whole-of-government approach to addressing current and historical environmental injustices.
Many of these EOs echo the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council’s commitment to champion advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy for Tennessee. TAEBC does so by informing the national energy agenda; supporting the Tennessee Valley Authority and our local power companies’ efforts to become the energy companies of the future; helping Tennessee become the #1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs; and fostering the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups.
Learn more about our 2020 accomplishments here.