Statement: Biden Takes Bold Action To Combat Climate Crisis, Create Jobs, Build Back Better

Washington, D.C. – Today, making good on his promise to take bold action to address the climate crisis, create a racially just economy, and build a clean energy future, President Joe Biden announced a series of executive actions and directives to combat climate change and bring a whole-of-government approach to the crisis.

“In his first week in office, President Biden is already delivering on his bold, campaign promises to take climate action, create new clean energy jobs and protect our natural resources,” said Climate Power Executive Director Lori Lodes. “President Biden and his Climate Cabinet are ready to meet this moment. Now, it’s time for Congress to treat the economic and climate crises with the urgency they both demand and work with President Biden to make the investments necessary to create millions of good-paying, union clean energy jobs.”

Today’s executive orders build on President Biden’s day one actions on climate, including rejoining the Paris climate agreement. The new actions announced today include:

  • Instituting a Whole-of-Government Approach to Tackle the Climate Crisis: A new task force will devise a government-wide action plan to combat the climate crisis and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Focus on Environmental Justice and Clean Energy Job Creation:New White House environmental justice councils will focus on environmental justice, clean energy job creation, and a just transition for displaced coal communities. Plus, a new Justice40 initiative prioritizes federal investments in disadvantaged communities.
  • Leveraging Government Buying Power to Support Clean Electricity and Zero-Emissions Vehicles to Create Union Clean Energy Jobs: The order directs federal agencies to use their procurement power to buy clean electricity and zero-emissions vehicles, all consistent with President Biden’s Buy American order and his commitments to workers’ rights, including the right to join a union.
  • Protecting our Nation’s Public Lands and Waters: A new directive sets out the goal of conserving 30 percent of all federal lands and waters by 2030.
  • Creating a Civilian Climate Corps: The new Climate Corps will mobilize young people and create new jobs to restore public lands and waters and address the changing climate.
  • Making Climate a Foreign Policy and National Security Priority: Building on action taken by President Obama and reversed by President Trump, a presidential memorandum elevates climate change to a foreign policy and national security priority. It requires intelligence agencies to produce a National Intelligence Estimate on the national security implications of climate change and to incorporate climate into their analyses of national security threats.
  • Moratorium on New Drilling on Federal Lands and in Federal Waters: There will be an indefinite moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and in federal waters while leasing programs are evaluated. Despite disingenuous protestations from oil and gas front groups like API, the oil and gas industry is currently sitting on more than 13 million acres of land under existing leases that are not under production. Offshore, more than three-quarters of leased acreage remains unused. The industry is also sitting on 7,700 unused, approved permits to drill.
  • Push to Eliminate Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Spur Deployment of Clean Energy: Federal agencies are directed to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and identify new ways to support the development and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.
  • Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policymaking: A presidential memorandum directs agencies to use the best available science and data to make evidence-based decisions free from improper political interference.