Joe Biden announced his $2 trillion updated climate plan as part of his new “Build Back Better” economic agenda. It emphasizes creating new jobs with innovative input from national labs and universities, relying on American manufacturing and using small businesses to supply materials.
“The current coronavirus crisis destroyed millions of American jobs, including hundreds of thousands in clean energy,” the plan reads. “It has exacerbated historic environmental injustices. And all this comes at a moment when the science tells us there is no time for delay on climate change.” Biden exhorts the U.S. to chart “an irreversible path” to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s plan includes investing in infrastructure, the auto industry, transit, the power sector, buildings, housing, innovation, agriculture, conservation and environmental justice. He promises to create millions of union jobs to repair roads, bridges and electricity grids and to install universal broadband. Every American city with more than 100,000 residents would have zero-emissions public transportation, creating more union jobs. The plan would fund innovation in the areas of “clean energy technologies, including battery storage, negative emissions technologies, the next generation of building materials, renewable hydrogen, and advanced nuclear.”
Biden recognized environmental justice as a key consideration in his climate plan. He aims to include BIPOC in these millions of promised union jobs and to right the wrongs in communities that suffer from unfair shares of pollution.
“When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax,’” Biden said in his speech announcing the plan. “When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs’ — good-paying union jobs that’ll put Americans to work.”
Image via Gage Skidmore