• Corinne E. Atton

Biden-Harris Administration Issues Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis


One week in and President Biden has signed another Executive Order putting the climate crisis at the fore. The Order establishes a National Climate Task Force, and pledges a government-wide approach, putting the climate crisis at the center of U.S. foreign policy and national security, and domestically, making it the focus of the influence and buying power of the Federal government.


The Administration acknowledges that the “United States and the world face a profound climate crisis,” and pledges “United States international leadership” to achieve “a significant increase in global climate ambition.”


Among the specific commitments made, the U.S. will host a Leaders’ Climate Summit prior to COP26, and “will immediately begin the process of developing its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement.”


At home, pledges are made to achieve “a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035,” to “increase renewable energy production” on land and water “with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030, and to convert to “clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets.”


The Administration acknowledges the need to drive innovation, and the commercialization and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure; to assess, disclose and mitigate “climate pollution and climate-related risks” in every sector of the economy; to achieve “sectoral decarbonization”; to “increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector”; to “increase reforestation”; to ensure that “Federal permitting decisions consider the effects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change”; to align “financial flows with the objectives of the Paris Agreement”; and the need to end “financing of carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based energy.”


These are big ambitions and draw clear lines in the sand.


(Image acknowledgement: The White House)

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