Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Regulation - January 27, 2021
Biden signs executive actions on climate change
President Biden signed a series of executive orders on January 27 to establish climate change as a foreign policy and national security priority and to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies in favor of clean energy technologies.
A fact sheet distributed from the White House noted that these actions will create “good-paying union jobs and equitable clean energy future, building modern and sustainable infrastructure, restoring scientific integrity and evidence-based policymaking across the federal government, and re-establishing the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.”
In signing the order to tacking the climate crisis, President Biden has directed his administration to clearly establish climate considerations as an essential element of U.S. foreign policy and national security. Building on the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the U.S. will exercise its leadership to promote a significant increase in global ambition. The fact sheet says that the order “makes clear that both significant short-term global emission reductions and net-zero global emissions by mid-century – or before – are required to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.” The order also kicks off the process of developing the country’s emission reduction target as well as a climate finance plan.
Another order establishes the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, charge with coordinating and implementing the President’s domestic climate agenda. A National Climate Task Force will coordinate leaders from across 21 federal agencies and departments to “enable a whole-of-government approach to combatting the climate crisis.
An order to Leverage the Federal Government’s Footprint and Buying Power to Lead by Example will direct federal agencies to procure carbon pollution-free electricity and clean, zero-emission vehicles to create good-paying, union jobs and stimulate clean energy industries. The order directs each federal agency to develop a plan to increase the resilience of its facilities and operations to the impacts of climate change and directs relevant agencies to report on ways to expand and improve climate forecast capabilities.
The order also directs federal agencies to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law and identify new opportunities to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.