During his campaign, President Biden made a commitment to the environment, including a promise that one of his first actions as president would be to rejoin the Paris climate agreement. Not only did President Biden keep this promise, he also signed a host of other executive orders on the same day, just a week after his inauguration.
The main goal of the Paris climate agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid catastrophic global warming. While it is good news that the United States is getting back into the agreement, we have a lot of catching up to do, and in order to avoid catastrophic warming we will have to go further than our commitments under the Paris agreement.
President Biden also signed an executive order directing his administration to: center the climate crisis in U.S. foreign policy and national security considerations, take a whole-of-government approach to the climate crisis, leverage the federal government’s footprint and buying power to lead by example, rebuild our infrastructure for a sustainable economy, advance conservation, agriculture and reforestation, revitalize energy communities, and secure environmental justice and spur economic opportunity. Finally, President Biden signed an executive order to establish the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
For New York State these executive orders will mean more clean jobs, a more rapid transition to electric vehicles, increased resiliency planning for future impacts of climate change, transitions to climate-smart agricultural practices, and increased renewable energy. Having a partner in the federal government also means that New York’s own climate programs under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act can move faster and go ruther.
President Biden’s executive orders are a good start, but in order to meet our climate goals we need bold, ambitious federal climate legislation. We know that President Biden is committed to passing this legislation in his first year in office, and NYLCV looks forward to working with the President and New York’s Congressional delegation to make it a reality.