Biden Confronts Our Climate Crisis Head On

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Stopping climate change is back on the White House agenda. President Biden came into with the most ambitious climate change plans of any administration to date. He not only promised to reverse the Trump administration's regressive climate policies, including regulatory rollbacks and a withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, but also to push the United States farther on climate change action than it has ever gone before. He named climate change action as a top priority, right alongside the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, and racial justice. Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones’ environmental politics and policy reporter, joined Jamilah King on the podcast this week to talk about Biden’s executive orders and what they mean.

"That was the first time we had a president enter office saying climate was that high of an ambition," says Rebecca Leber. ""Any one of these items on their own would be huge. But the fact that we're seeing them all together is even bigger."

In his first few days in office, President Biden signed a series of executive orders to get the Untied States back into the Paris agreement, to pause the lease of fossil fuel on public lands, and to establish environmental justice in multiple federal agencies, including the Departments of State, Energy, and Treasury. He issued an executive order to set up a Civilian Climate Corps. He promised to get the United States on track to conserve 30 percent of lands and oceans by 2030. He directed federal agencies to eliminate subsidies to Big Oil and invest in clean energy solutions. His actions already seem to be prompting change in US industry. General Motors (GM) announced last week that it aims to move entirely into electric vehicle manufacturing by 2035.

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