From coastal towns to rural farms to urban centers, climate change poses an existential threat — not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities, our national security, and our economic well-being. It also damages our communities with storms that wreak havoc on our towns and cities and our homes and schools. It puts our national security at risk by leading to regional instability that will require U.S military-supported relief activities and could make areas more vulnerable to terrorist activities.
The current COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how profoundly the energy and environmental policy decisions of the past have failed communities — allowing systemic shocks, persistent stressors, and pandemics to disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities.
At this moment of profound crisis, we have the opportunity to build a more resilient, sustainable economy — one that will put the United States on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050. Biden is working to seize that opportunity and, in the process, create millions of good-paying jobs that provide workers with the choice to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers.
President-elect Biden is leading the world to address the climate emergency and leading through the power of example. Biden knows how to stand with America’s allies, stand up to adversaries, and level with any world leader about what must be done. He will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change – he will go much further than that. He is working to lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets.
“I know that climate change is the challenge that’s going to define our American future — and I know meeting this challenge will be a once-in-a-century opportunity to jolt new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, and protect our planet for future generations.”
President-elect Biden will ensure that — coming out of this profound public health and economic crisis, and facing the persistent climate crisis — we are never caught flat-footed again. He is working to launch a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future.
The current coronavirus crisis destroyed millions of American jobs, including hundreds of thousands in clean energy. It has exacerbated historic environmental injustices. Biden will immediately invest in engines of sustainable job creation — new industries and re-invigorated regional economies spurred by innovation from our national labs and universities; commercialized into new and better products that can be manufactured and built by American workers; and put together using feedstocks, materials, and parts supplied by small businesses, family farms, and job creators all across our country.
President-elect Biden is working to make far-reaching investments in:
- Infrastructure: Create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure – from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband – to lay a new foundation for sustainable growth, compete in the global economy, withstand the impacts of climate change, and improve public health, including access to clean air and clean water.
- Auto Industry: Create 1 million new jobs in the American auto industry, domestic auto supply chains, and auto infrastructure, from parts to materials to electric vehicle charging stations, positioning American auto workers and manufacturers to win the 21st century; and invest in U.S. auto workers to ensure their jobs are good jobs with a choice to join a union.
- Transit: Provide every American city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation options through flexible federal investments with strong labor protections that create good, union jobs and meet the needs of these cities — ranging from light rail networks to improving existing transit and bus lines to installing infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Power Sector: Move ambitiously to generate clean, American-made electricity to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. This will enable us to meet the existential threat of climate change while creating millions of jobs with a choice to join a union.
- Buildings: Upgrade 4 million buildings and weatherize 2 million homes over 4 years, creating at least 1 million good-paying jobs with a choice to join a union; and also spur the building retrofit and efficient-appliance manufacturing supply chain by funding direct cash rebates and low-cost financing to upgrade and electrify home appliances and install more efficient windows, which will cut residential energy bills.
- Housing: Spur the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units.
- Innovation: Drive dramatic cost reductions in critical clean energy technologies, including battery storage, negative emissions technologies, the next generation of building materials, renewable hydrogen, and advanced nuclear – and rapidly commercialize them, ensuring that those new technologies are made in America.
- Agriculture and Conservation: Create jobs in climate-smart agriculture, resilience, and conservation, including 250,000 jobs plugging abandoned oil and natural gas wells and reclaiming abandoned coal, hardrock, and uranium mines — providing good work with a choice to join or continue membership in a union in hardhit communities, including rural communities, reducing leakage of toxics, and preventing local environmental damage.
- Environmental Justice: Ensure that environmental justice is a key consideration in where, how, and with whom we build — creating good, union, middle-class jobs in communities left behind, righting wrongs in communities that bear the brunt of pollution, and lifting up the best ideas from across our great nation — rural, urban, and tribal.