Energy Transition Handbook 2021 - Flipbook - Page 14
U.S. Climate Initiatives under the
President Biden entered office with an ambitious climate agenda that envisioned a
carbon-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Executive
actions and initiatives early in his Administration underscored this commitment.
On his first day in office, Biden signed the
“Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis
at Home and Abroad,” (Climate Crisis EO),
which directs that climate change be at the
forefront of agency decision-making. The Climate
Crisis EO takes a “whole-of-government”
approach, creating the White House Climate Policy
Office to coordinate domestic climate policy,
and establishing a National Climate Task Force to
develop a plan to increase U.S. climate resilience.
The Biden Administration also resurrected the
Obama-era Interagency Working Group on Social
Cost of Greenhouse Gases, which announced
new interim valuations for the Social Cost of
Greenhouse Gases, specifically carbon, methane,
and nitrous oxide. The revised valuations will have
far-reaching impacts on federal and state-level
regulatory actions, including the crucial cost-benefit
analyses that government agencies undertake as part
of permitting and rulemakings.
During his campaign, President Biden promised to
create over 10 million well-paying jobs in the clean
energy sector. He has also stressed the importance
of increasing renewable energy production and
aims to double offshore wind capacity within
the decade. Various agencies are charged with
ensuring proper funding for commercialization
and deployment of clean energy technologies, and
to help soften the transition from an economy and
grid reliant on fossil fuels.
Another Executive Order issued on Biden’s first
day in office specifically stressed the importance
of tackling methane emissions. Methane is
the second most important greenhouse gas;
NASA estimates it is responsible for one-quarter
of all global warming. The President has directed
the responsible agencies to identify the regulatory
actions that are needed to control these emissions.
The President has also focused on global initiatives
and partnerships, including rejoining the Paris
Climate Agreement, signaling that the US accepts
its global responsibility in combating greenhouse
gas emissions. Additionally, in his Climate Crisis
EO, President Biden reconvened the Major
Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to
address various climate-related issues, including
initiatives on the clean energy transition, with the
global community. He also tasked the Secretary
of Energy to assess clean energy technology
deployment through international collaboration.
President Biden is expected to pursue broad-based
regulatory initiatives to tackle climate change.
These measures will encompass various energy
transition initiatives and will likely prioritize
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, alternative
fuels, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency, as well
as clean energy initiatives focused on renewables,
hydrogen and advanced nuclear.