Presidential candidate Joe Biden released an ambitious climate plan on Tuesday, one that would cost $2 trillion and would almost entirely remake how multiple sectors of the American economy operate. The plan’s highlight is that it actually sets specific targets for greenhouse gas reductions. From investment in carbon-capture technology to a complete transition to renewable energy by 2035, Biden’s team massively ramped up their climate initiatives in a broad appeal to address one of the most pressing issues of our time. The plan also appears to be a “boots on the ground” attempt to attract supporters of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing, which largely backed Bernie Sanders in his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Biden’s report promises jobs in energy and manufacturing, as he aims to use the American labor force in developing both renewable energy projects like solar and wind farms and electric vehicles. He even hinted at converting fleets of US government vehicles to electric. “The auto industry and its deep bench of suppliers will step up, expanding capacity so that the United States, not China, leads the world in clean vehicle production,” Biden said in a Medium post outlining his plan.
But the most important part of the plan focused on environmental justice. BIPOC communities are often left unheard in major climate change debates, and Biden’s plan calls for an end to that. The plan addresses pollution and other health issues that tend to plague lower-income communities and communities of color, and would create an office of environmental and climate justice at the US Justice Department. Disadvantaged communities would receive 40 percent of all benefit from the plan, Biden said.
It would likely take a Democratic-controlled Congress to get this bill passed. This is a possibility in the coming presidential election, if Democrats can hold onto the House and retake the Senate.