All Woes and No Action for the Biden Administration?

By: Tanya Arora

The regional IPCC report for North America, displays a bleak future for the USA. With the changing climate, temperatures are reaching new heights particularly in winters, an increase in the annual precipitation has been observed in the Northern regions causing floods, even as droughts and wildfires plague Central and Western America. The frequency of such extreme events is only bound to increase over time. 

President Biden’s ideology was markedly different from that of former President Donald Trumps’ in terms of Climate Action. While Trump was a sceptic, Biden didn’t only acknowledge Climate Change but has incorporated and deemed climate action as one of the cardinal policies under his presidency, thereby winning the support of environmentalists all over the country. The way the candidates planned to respond to climate change played a pivotal role in the result of the elections. 

A hundred days into his tenure as the President of the USA, he re-entered the Paris Agreement, launched a process with the help of the National Climate Task Force to establish the 2030 emission targets known as NDC’s (a formal submission to the UNFCCC). He strongly believes that even though climate change threatens the existence of all species, it also provides us with an opportunity to mend our ways and advance by creating jobs, building resiliency, and tackling climate change simultaneously. But, the question remains, is this enough? 

One of the most ambitious and crucial of his goals is to create a carbon pollution free power sector by 2035, and a net zero emission economy by no later than 2050. Actions speak louder than words, and in contrast to his pledges, Bidens’ Administration has taken actions that will guarantee the utilisation of fossil fuels in the energy sector for decades to come. Some of these instances include:

  1. Defending the Willow project (had been approved by the Trump Administration) in the parliament. The project involved drilling operations in Alaska’s northern slope, and as reported by environmentalists could prove lethal for the region, as it could lead to thawing of permafrost. 
  2. Supported decision of the former president to grant oil and gas lease on federal land in Wyoming.
  3. Displaying lack of action despite getting an opportunity to stop crude oil flow through Dakota Access Pipeline

In an interview with MSNBC, Greta Thunberg, a renowned environmentalist activist who previously endorsed Biden quoted that, Biden isn’t taking sufficient action as the President of one of the worlds’ leading carbon dioxide emitters. And that even though she understands the Presidents’ delicate position in managing the political and environmental affairs of the country, accepting that she won’t like to be in his position, she hopes that the new administration would begin treating climate change like a crisis as opposed to a political topic.

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