Joe Biden revealed Saturday that he has “ambitious” plans for combating what he called “the existential threat of our time — climate change.”
According to Fox News, Biden indicated that climate change and “environmental justice” will be priorities in his administration. The comments came at an event where Biden announced his picks for key energy and environmental positions, including Energy secretary.
“Like their fellow Cabinet nominees and appointees, the members of our environment and energy team are brilliant, qualified, tested and they are barrier-busting,” the former vice president said, according to Fox.
“Don’t be weak!”
Biden has also named other top staff picks — including Ron Klain for White House chief of staff, Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary, and Antony Blinken for secretary of State, according to New York Magazine — though President Donald Trump maintains that Biden actually “didn’t win” in November.
“Republican politicians have to fight so that their great victory is not stolen. Don’t be weak fools!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
Later that same day, Biden made clear that his administration would take a much different strategy than its predecessor with regard to energy and climate change; while Trump has worked to cut back environmental regulations in an effort to stimulate the economy, Biden wants to protect the environment through regulations aimed at achieving “environmental justice.”
“We will move with a sense of urgency on climate change, protecting our drinking water, and enact an environmental justice framework that empowers people in all communities,” he vowed Saturday, according to Fox.
“This is our moonshot”
Biden also insisted Saturday that “we’re in a crisis” and “need a unified national response to climate change,” the same sort of response that you would expect “during any national emergency,” he said, as CBS News reported.
Part of that response apparently includes adding the U.S. back to the Paris climate accords. Trump pulled out of the Paris deal in mid-2017 because he said it forced American “taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production,” but Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry — his “climate czar” — have vowed to make it “stronger,” according to NBC News.
“I’m confident we can get there,” Kerry said earlier this month. “The issue is, are we going to get there in time? And that’s our race. This is our moonshot.”
Others joining Biden in the environmental effort include his pick for Interior Department secretary, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland (D); Michael Regan, his pick for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator; and Jennifer Granholm, his pick for secretary of Energy, according to Fox.
“Already there are more people of color in our Cabinet than any Cabinet ever, more women than ever,” Biden said Saturday. “The Biden–Harris Cabinet, it will be historic, a Cabinet that looks like America, that taps into the best of America, that opens doors and includes the full range of talents we have in this nation.”