Biden aims to create 1 million new jobs in the U.S. auto industry alone, and employ a great number of people on public works projects.
FLORIDA—Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, the struggling economy, and the nationwide call for racial justice, Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has flagged climate as one of the central crises facing the country in 2020.
This is just one of the major ways in which the former vice president stands in sharp relief to President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed the science behind climate change, and rolled back many of Obama-era environmental protections, among other decisions some environmentalists have called catastrophic for the health of the planet.
This is also a major way in which Biden connects with the growing number of Americans who describe climate change as a real and present crisis.
According to a 2019 poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a large majority of Democrats (90%) and independents (82%) agree that human activity is causing changes to the world’s climate, including an increase in average temperature. A solid majority of Republicans (60%) agree with this assessment.
Another poll taken by The Pew Research Center that same year revealed that two-thirds of respondents think Trump is doing too little to deal with the problem, and about half believe effective action is needed to avert the worst effects of climate change.
Biden’s Action Plan
To counter the current administration’s inaction on this crucial issue, the former vice president has announced an ambitious $2 trillion plan to combat climate change and environmental racism during his first term.
Overall, the plan aims to make investments in new infrastructure, public transit, agriculture, clean electricity, buildings and housing, and the electric vehicle industry, in order to build a 100% clean energy economy.
- Ensuring the U.S. has a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050. The plan would include upgrading 4 million buildings and weatherizing 2 million homes over four years to increase energy efficiency.
- Providing cities with a population of 100,000 or more with zero-emissions public transportation, including infrastructure for bicyclists.
- Creating 1 million new jobs in the U.S. auto industry by encouraging the switch from internal-combustion engines to electric-powered vehicles.
- Ensuring that disadvantaged communities receive 40% of the overall benefits of spending on clean-energy and infrastructure upgrades.
- Establishing a new Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the Justice Department, as well as creating a Civilian Climate Corp that would employ legions of people on public works projects.
- Rejoining the Paris agreement, which aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, including in developing countries.
You can read the entirety of Joe Biden’s Climate Plan HERE.
A “Clean” Jobs Plan
One important aspect of Biden’s plan is that it is being presented as both a jobs plan and a climate plan. This could help allay the concerns of the 32% of respondents who, according to the Kayser/Washington Post poll, are somewhat concerned that investing in environmental issues will adversely affect the economy for the average American, as President Trump has claimed.
“When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax,’ ” Biden said in July. “When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs.’ ”