During his inaugural address, President Biden stated, “a cry for survival comes from the planet itself.” We are grateful that the Biden-Harris administration has moved quickly to answer this cry. The executive orders signed in the first week of the administration set the stage for the transformation of climate policy in the United States.
The President’s Executive Order on rejoining the Paris Agreement signals to the world the country’s commitment to protect our planet. Reengaging in the international climate arena gives the U.S. government an opportunity to present a different, more constructive face to the international community, one based less on military might and more on diplomacy, collaboration, and engagement.
Reengaging in the international climate arena gives the U.S. government an opportunity to present a different, more constructive face to the international community.
While this is a good and important step, America’s international climate policy will only be successful if backed by a robust domestic climate policy that protects the health of people and the planet. Biden’s Jan. 20 Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis moves us in that direction by:
- Reducing the oil and gas sector’s methane emissions.
- Restoring America’s national monuments.
- Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Accounting for the social cost of greenhouse gases.
We are further encouraged by Biden’s Jan. 27 executive actions to address the climate crisis, including his focus on revitalizing energy communities and extending environmental justice to historically marginalized groups.
Taken together these moves by the Biden-Harris Administration are a welcome first step, but more is needed. Now it is time for Congress to set aside partisan divisions and focus on legislative actions that place the United States on a path toward a sustainable, low carbon, 21st century economy—one that works in harmony with nature and offers opportunity and justice for every American. We look forward to working with the Administration and the Congress to achieve a cleaner, healthier future.