How urgent do people think climate change is? Very urgent, according to a survey of 1.2 million people across 50 countries. The survey was conducted by the UN Development Program through popular gaming apps.
It is clear from the survey that the call to address climate change is louder now than ever before. This is prompting world leaders to take executive steps toward a greener planet.
Over the past few weeks, the country watched as the Biden Administration unveiled ambitious policies aimed at addressing global warming. Let's find out more.
The Biden Administration’s Next Steps
In the weeks leading up to his inauguration, President Biden announced a trillion-dollar plan to fight climate change.
On Day 1, he announced the US would rejoin the Paris Accord, a global agreement to reduce the effects of climate change. On the same day, Biden also revoked the permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
He imposed strict regulation of oil drilling by suspending the sale of federal land to oil and gas companies - a move that was praised by environmentalists but criticized by the companies and supporters of the fossil fuel industry.
Equally important is the protection of the environment by reducing pollution. This is why the Biden administration vowed to crack down on polluters and hold large companies accountable for their careless pollution of the land. On a smaller scale, Biden also announced that he would attempt to reinstate restrictions that would require products like clothes and lightbulbs to be made more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient.
Reducing Greenhouse Emissions
The Biden administration aims to make the US carbon neutral by 2050 by reducing greenhouse emissions.
The President has appointed former Secretary of State John Kerry, to lead the effort towards renewable energy. The team will also work with car companies to implement high standards of fuel efficiency. They are reinstating Obama-era regulations on methane, a potent greenhouse gas, that were discarded during the Trump administration as well.
The Biden Administration is also making history by using the full power of the government to address environmental issues. Federal agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Transportation are implementing new standards in order to become more sustainable. For example, the Department of Agriculture is working with farmers to help reduce one of the country’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions!
Companies Join The Fight!
In December, 42 companies including Amazon, Google, and Walmart sent an open letter to President Biden before he took office.
They urged him to take bold and bipartisan action and that the steps we take will also revive the economy by creating more jobs. Each of the companies also committed to taking sustainable action themselves by employing environment-friendly practices.
General Motors (G.M.) recently announced that it would try to eliminate gasoline-powered cars from its fleet by 2035. This will create more competition and buzz among companies to pursue the “green path”, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the environment.
The steps being taken by the new administration and companies are just the beginning of a long road towards a sustainable future. It is a future that cannot be delayed.
Sources: NY Times, Politico. Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Politico