A New Wind Blowing for Climate Change in the US

A New Wind Blowing for Climate Change in the US

With the recent election of Joe Biden to be the 46th President of the United States, times could be changing surrounding the U.S.' position on climate change.

Throughout the election, Biden was generally regarded to have much more progressive views regarding climate change than his competitor, with strong sentiment in his policies towards changing the current state of energy-related emissions in the U.S. But what exactly is it that Biden hopes to change? And how will this impact climate change in the bigger picture?

Biden’s Policy On Climate Change

President-elect, Joe Biden, has a strong pillar in his policy dedicated towards sustainability and combating climate change. His climate policy includes a $1.7 trillion investment in clean energy and green jobs, and calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and a ban on new oil and gas permits on public lands. Biden has also announced that as President, he will ensure that the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a non-profit analysis group which tracks government climate action, found that, if successful, Biden's plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 75 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050, decreasing global warming by 0.1°C by the end of the century. This is a massive step forward for the climate change community.

Biden also recently announced his intention for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Agreement.

Reaching The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is an accord signed by various countries in the UN to “bring all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects”. It deals with issues surrounding climate change, such as greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. The agreement includes commitments from all major emitting countries to cut their climate-altering pollution and to strengthen those commitments over time, most major nations committed to this agreement in 2016.

In 2017, Donald Trump announced that the US would no longer be supporting the Paris Agreement and would be formally exiting the accord in 2020. This message was received with much disheartenment from the rest of the UN. However, President-elect, Joe Biden, has confirmed that rejoining this pact will be one of his first presidential acts.

You can learn more about The Paris Agreement here.

Increasing Global Efforts Towards Climate Change

And the US isn’t alone in this venture. Many countries in the EU, Japan, China, and South Korea, are all committing to net zero carbon emissions by around 2050, following an increasing global desire to prevent climate change and invest in clean energy. China’s announcement particularly came as a surprise, as China has the highest pollution rates on earth, being responsible for around 28% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and they have announced that they are going to cut back to virtually zero emissions within 40 years.

With Biden's election, this would mean that two thirds of the world economy and over 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions would have net-zero emissions by mid-century.

All that’s left now is to see whether Biden fulfills these promises. Could this spell out a new direction in the fight for climate change? Let us know what you think!

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