•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Biden’s climate change plan is all about jobs and justice

15:06  27 january  2021
15:06  27 january  2021 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Climate Point: Biden takes office with ambitious climate plans but minimal details

  Climate Point: Biden takes office with ambitious climate plans but minimal details And another thing: Trump rips up conservation plans on his way out the doorJoe Biden is now the president, and the Democrats control Congress, although by the slimmest of margins. Later in this edition, I'm going to take you through a recently published series from the USA Today Network that dives into the strengths and weaknesses of Biden's environmental plans and what these mean for specific communities around the country. But first, he'll have to contend with the legacy of four years of environmental rollbacks from the Trump administration.

Welcome to climate day — the day the Biden administration kicks off its climate change agenda. The Biden plan includes investing in renewable energy and electric vehicles, rejoining international climate policymaking and adopting an ambitious 100 percent clean energy goal by 2050.

a man wearing a suit and tie: As a presidential candidate in 2019, Joe Biden checked out solar panels while touring the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative in New Hampshire. © Brian Snyder/Reuters As a presidential candidate in 2019, Joe Biden checked out solar panels while touring the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative in New Hampshire.

Although today’s agenda emphasizes a return to science-based climate change policy, the larger Biden climate plan represents an important trend in climate change politics: going beyond science to focus on questions of economic and social justice. Here’s what you need to know.

Members of the 116th Congress rail against social-media companies but posted to Twitter and Facebook a record 2.2 million times

  Members of the 116th Congress rail against social-media companies but posted to Twitter and Facebook a record 2.2 million times The Pew Research Center found lawmakers drew record-breaking followings on the platforms in 2019 and 2020 amid arguments over social-media moderation.The numbers for the 116th Congress eclipsed data collected during the previous two sessions. The research center began collecting data on members' social media usage during the 114th Congress, starting in 2015. The most recent Congress produced about 738,000 more posts on Twitter and Facebook than the 114th Congress, according to Pew.

What Biden faces if he wants to get the climate change effort back on track

Clean energy jobs are front and center

Like the Green New Deal, the 2019 congressional resolution that called on the federal government to shift the United States toward clean energy, the new administration’s plan starts with jobs. President Biden proposes to make a large public investment in clean energy and help create 10 million new jobs, including for displaced workers in fossil-fuel-intensive industries. Rather than focusing on the long-term risks of climate change, a strategy favored by earlier climate advocates like Al Gore and his “Inconvenient Truth,” the Biden administration is talking more about the economic and social justice opportunities of climate action.

Politics live updates: Biden to unveil executive orders on climate change; Fauci to speak on COVID

  Politics live updates: Biden to unveil executive orders on climate change; Fauci to speak on COVID Biden on Wednesday is set to issue another raft of executive actions tied to combatting climate change, while the White House COVID-19 team hosts its first of what will be regular news conferences.President Joe Biden on Wednesday is set to issue another raft of executive actions tied to combatting climate change, prioritizing science and evidence-based policy across federal agencies and pausing oil drilling on public lands. It's the latest move to unwind the environmental policies of Trump, who challenged the basis of climate change and had former energy industry lobbyists running key environmental agencies.

Indeed, the administration lists these reasons for supporting its plan: creating high-paying, union jobs in the manufacturing sector; protecting “workers and communities who powered our industrial revolution”; contributing to economic growth; improving national security; reducing inequalities in air pollution and climate change risks based on race, gender and class; and making polluters pay for their actions. Although reducing climate risks are part of the pitch, they are no longer the lead message.

The Paris agreement survived the Trump administration. What happens now?

How states have used this messaging strategy

In pushing for climate action based on reasons of economic and social justice, the Biden administration is continuing a long-running trend in climate politics and communication. In the early 2000s, many states promoted “stealth” climate policies by focusing on energy independence or economic development. New market-based plans such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — a 10-state pact to reduce utility emissions in the Northeast — California’s emissions trading program and British Columbia’s pathbreaking carbon tax all relied on arguments citing short-term economic and social gains.

Undoing Trump's policies and other things Biden did his first week as president

  Undoing Trump's policies and other things Biden did his first week as president President Joe Biden has signed over 30 executive orders ranging from reversing Trump-era policy to adjusting the nation’s response to the pandemic.The orders ranged in topic from dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to beginning the process for what he hopes will be immigration reform. Many take direct aim at the decisions of former President Donald Trump.

My research shows how RGGI advocates, for instance, succeeded by focusing public ownership of the atmosphere and keeping energy costs affordable. In California, political debate continues to center on the importance of protecting disadvantaged communities from disproportionate levels of pollution and associated health risks. And in British Columbia, the emphasis was on economic fairness via a “carbon dividend,” refunding much of the carbon tax revenue to citizens.

Research indicates that emphasizing economic and social issues in this manner is a winning strategy for a wide range of climate policy designs. This approach links additional features like affordable housing or new jobs to a climate change policy and draws upon new arguments about the likely social or economic benefits of the policy changes, rather than the anticipated effect on climate change. In recent years, successful climate policies have paid even greater attention to social justice, both for those living near high-emitting facilities as well as for those whose livelihoods are put at risk from proposals to transition away from fossil-fuel-based energy.

The Energy 202: Republicans prepare to fight Biden's climate actions they call 'divisive and illegal'

  The Energy 202: Republicans prepare to fight Biden's climate actions they call 'divisive and illegal' But Biden says "we've already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis." We are only one week into Joe Biden's presidency, and Republican lawmakers are raring for a fight as his administration begins an ambitious effort to address global warming.

The public wants to hear about environmental justice

The emerging realization is that this type of “justice talk” is politically advantageous as well as ethically important — politicians who neglect these larger impacts may find their climate policies at greater political risk. Environmental justice activism has had a significant influence on state-level climate policy actions in New York, Illinois and many other states in addition to California.

Don’t miss any of TMC’s smart analysis! Sign up here for our newsletter.

Of course, economic fairness arguments have also driven successful right-wing populist opposition to climate change policies by citing risks to “working class” consumers and jobs, as demonstrated by prominent policy failures in Canada and the United States. By contrast, research indicates that conservatives are more likely to support climate policies they perceive to be consistent with their economic values, such as the carbon tax and “dividend” proposal supported by a number of prominent Republicans.

As the Biden team rolls out its ambitious climate change agenda, expect to see an overdue discussion of potential economic and social justice benefits of specific proposals — and not just warnings about the perils of climate change.

Professors: Check out TMC’s expanding list of classroom topic guides.

Leigh Raymond is a professor of political science at Purdue University and author of “Reclaiming the Atmospheric Commons: The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and a New Model of Emissions Trading” (MIT Press, 2016). Find him on Twitter: @ls_raymond.

The Energy 202: Biden creates new climate adviser role at NASA .
Gavin Schmidt will serve in the newly created position of senior climate adviser. He is being brought on in an acting capacity until NASA’s incoming administrator, who has yet to be named, makes a permanent appointment. In an interview Tuesday, Schmidt said his vision for the position is to have “just one person that’s kind of really focused on the climate issues” at the agency. Right now, the agency has high-ranking officials who oversee Earth science research, but their purview encompasses more than just climate change.

usr: 0
This is interesting!