Earlier in the year we reported on the impact of US President Donald Trump withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change. This week Joe Biden was announced as the 46th US President Elect, and is due to take the reins of the White House in January 2021. But what does this mean for the Paris Climate Agreement? And how will his win impact the environment with his new US plans for change?
Who is Joe Biden?
Joe Biden is part of the Democratic Party, whereas Donald Trump is Republican. Just as there are a number of differences in the priorities of UK parties split by Labour and Conservative, a similar split occurs between Democrats and Republicans. You can see a list of comparisons between the parties here; however one of the most noticeable differences is in their current attitudes towards climate change and environmental issues. Biden has already stated his plans to restore multiple regulations that historically protected the environment, recently abolished under Trump’s single term as President.
What Are His New US Plans Exactly?
A New Green Deal has been much talked about by America in the lead up to the election, however Biden has made clear that he is planning a more focused strategy to implement a pioneering plan for the climate in accelerating the country’s contribution to slowing global warming. His plan involves four key points:
1) He will pledge $2trillion to fight climate change in a new policy – 40% of spending is expected to go to disadvantaged communities.
2) He plans to immediately re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, which was officially exited by the US on the 4th November (ironically, right in the middle of the election count!)
3) He wants to decarbonise the US electricity sector by 2035 (60% is still powered by fossil fuels)
4) He hopes to install half a million charging stations for electric vehicles across the nation, as well as build 1.5 million new sustainable and energy efficient homes.
And Who is Kamala Harris?
Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s right-hand woman, and is set to be the next Vice President of the United States. She is the first ever female VP of the White House, as well as the first black VP AND first South Asian VP! An outstanding achievement for both equality and diversity, Kamala Harris has truly made history in 2020 and has stated with confidence: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last…”