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Between Joe Biden's climate plan and the Green New Deal

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Welcome back to Way To Zero Waste. In today's post we come to talk about the measures taken by the president of the United States Joe Biden in relation to climate change.

Former President Donald Trump has done more harm to the planet than many of you might think. It was he who decided to break with the Paris agreement, becoming the only country in the world to remain outside the agreement. In addition, one of the first measures of the Environmental Protection Agency under the command of Scott Pruitt was to eliminate the obligation of the 15,000 oil and gas operators to measure methane in their fuel wells, as well as to end Obama's Clean Power Plan and to bet on coal and authorize oil extraction in the Arctic; among many others.

Joe Biden has begun his term in office by rejoining the Paris agreement, but has initiated his Green New Deal plan to ensure a carbon-free, 100% clean energy, net-zero emissions U.S. economy by 2050.

Before Biden, 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders once proposed a blueprint for decarbonizing the U.S. economy. In March 2019, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey promoted in the U.S. Congress their proposals to that end.

What is the Green New Deal?

When referring to the Green New Deal (read more) one must go back to the public works agreement promoted by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s as a way out of the Great Depression of 1929.

IInspired by groups of academics and activists following the 2008 financial crisis, the Green New Deal aims to combat the climate crisis and address issues such as social inequality in vulnerable communities such as indigenous peoples, immigrant communities or deindustrialized communities and the benefit these will bring to the green economy.

The Green New Deal refers to a plan to achieve net zero "0" greenhouse gas emissions within ten years by 2030, since the United States is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China. He has set a goal of eliminating fossil fuel pollution from the energy sector by 2035 and from the country's economy in general by 2050. To this end, his administration seeks to boost the growth of the clean energy sector, such as solar and wind, and decrease dependence on oil and gas.

On the other hand, the oil industry in the United States employs up to 10 million Americans, which generates a clash of forces between productive and economic factors to carry out any reform in the area. The destruction of jobs in the oil sector is the main criticism of his adversaries and that is why Biden promises to all those who may be affected that they will not be left without work, but that it will evolve and redirect towards the green energy sector.

Joe Biden's Green New Deal and climate agreement position.

From the Democratic Party, U.S. President Joe Biden's group has been trying both to advocate for changes that will not disrupt the country's oil and gas industry and employment levels without abandoning green economy reforms advocated by less conservative groups.

Among Joe Biden's first executive orders is a review of fracking leases for gas extraction, where up to 30% of federal lands are set aside for conservation use and subsidies to the energy car industry. Currently fracking is linked to thirty-five percent of U.S. energy production.

The costs of the Green New Deal project are clear:

American Action Forum, a think tank that promotes free market economic and fiscal policy solutions. They estimate that it could cost between $51 trillion and $93 trillion, while another group in the Democratic Party, Green New Deal supporters, argue that the projected climate crisis could be equally or even more costly to the U.S. economy.

Green New Deal ideas to curb net greenhouse gas emissions:

- Obtaining 100% of electricity from renewable energy with zero emissions.

- Building or upgrading to modern smart grids

- Creation of millions of high-wage jobs in the green economy.

- Infrastructure renewal: electric vehicles and public transportation such as some high-speed rail.

- Upgrading all existing buildings to achieve energy efficiency.

- Strengthening capacity to overcome circumstances in the face of traumatic scenarios such as climate change-related disasters.

- Restoring forests to address greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

- Working with farmers in their agricultural sector working methods to reduce emissions from the sector.

Joe Biden has defended his support for fuel as a means toward the move to renewables and argued that he will not ban fracking altogether with projections toward green economy reforms within 20 years.

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