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How President-Elect Joe Biden Plans To Fight The Climate Crisis

President-elect Joe Biden delivers a Thanksgiving address at the Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware.
President-elect Joe Biden delivers a Thanksgiving address at the Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware.

Many analysts and experts think that President-elect Joe Biden’s early cabinet-level appointments signal a change in how America is going to approach climate change. The former vice president has appointed John Kerry as his special presidential envoy on climate. It’s a brand-new position that’s the first ever to focus on climate and have a seat on the National Security Council.

Biden has also said that he will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, an international agreement to fight climate change that President Donald Trump formally withdrew from during his time in office.

The former senator will face challenges in trying to pass any climate-related legislation if Democrats aren’t able to take the Senate in January. The Green New Deal, championed by progressives, seems very unlikely to move forward. And if Republicans retain control, Biden could be limited to executive actions on climate.

And in a campaign dominated by personality, it didn’t seem like Biden’s climate plan got much scrutiny.

Heated’s Emily Atkin wrote about it, while votes were still being counted after Election Day.

Most journalists—and, frankly, most of the American electorate—say they accept that climate change is real; that it’s a deadly and dire threat to human life and the economy; that it’s caused by fossil fuels; and that action must be taken. Most journalists also say they accept that climate change is quickly becoming a priority of Democratic voters. And yet, throughout this election cycle, climate change routinely got the short end of the stick. It was left to the end of presidential debates, if it came up at all. When it did come up, it was botched by moderators who didn’t really understand it. It was routinely ignored in panel political discussions; poorly framed in news articles; and lied about on Facebook. And on Tuesday, the state most likely to get swallowed by the ocean voted overwhelmingly for Trump—just in time to be hit by the 28th named hurricane of the season.

We’re exploring Biden’s climate plan, looking at its path forward and talking with you about your priorities in fighting climate change.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

Avery Kleinman