The Clock Ticks on Biden’s Climate Action Plan


Photo by Tom Swinnen from Pexels

Adya Jha, Online Staff Writer

Over the last few years, the indisputable effects of climate change have taken a real toll on Americans; whether it be in the form of raging wildfires or a never-ending hurricane season, ordinary citizens have started to see the devastating impact of climate change on their lives. As politicians grapple with this highly complex issue, bitter infighting and an inability to reach a legislative consensus on global warming have resulted in a near-standstill in the government. Joe Biden ran for office promising to work towards easing climate change’s effect on Americans; however, balancing the interests of ordinary citizens, corporations, and personal political gain has proved challenging for the now-President.

When President Biden assumed office on January 20, he delivered on a few key campaign points: with a stroke of his pen, the United States rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, a global treaty promising aggressive climate action from developed countries—the same treaty former President Donald Trump had withdrawn the nation from four years earlier. Senior and co-head of EnAct Caroline Ewing added, “Shortly after starting in office, Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming below 2℃, and stopped the Trump Administration’s permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would have majorly destroyed ecosystems and contributed to the release of greenhouse gases. Additionally, Biden’s massive ‘Build Back Better’ plan promised to increase the emphasis on renewable energy, build efficient infrastructure and more efficient transit, and invest in environmental justice campaigns. Overall, he has claimed he will do things like take action against fossil fuel companies and ensure that the U.S. achieves a 100 percent clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions before 2050.”

However, many argue that President Biden’s climate plan is not aggressive enough—in a world rapidly deteriorating due to climate change, the country and its leaders should understand the gravity of the climate situation. Others point out that the Paris Climate Agreement itself is ineffectual, as the energy pledges countries have declared are insufficient to curb emissions to a sufficient degree. Even more wonder if there is any way to save the planet and its life without overhauling the entire system and penalizing corporations for their role in exacerbating the effects of climate change. As of right now, the nation is on an unsure footing when it comes to climate action. Ewing said it best: “We must hold Biden and future presidents/representatives to a high standard in order to keep this issue at the forefront of discussion and policymaking.”