We know that President Elect Biden has a Climate Change commitment on his agenda and that it is a top priority item. What will he actually do and what do those that have been mulling over the problem for a long time think he should do?
Bloomberg Green (cool name) reached out and asked some influencers and thinkers for their thoughts. The result is a rather interesting list.
Titled “The 40 Things Biden Should Do First on Climate Change“, I’ll give you a quick summary below as a list. For details of each it is perhaps best to read the full article.
Side notes: They have a paywall, but you can get access to several articles per month free, so if you are not a regular reader then it should be open to you.
- Joseph E. Aldy, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School – Adopt a carbon price benchmark.
- Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center – Put climate experts everywhere.
- Mirza Baig, Global Head of Governance & Stewardship, Aviva Investors – Remove subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuels.
- Kathy Baughman McLeod, Director, Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center – Address the impacts of climate-fueled extreme heat.
- Randolph Bell, Director for Global Energy Security, Atlantic Council – Take care of fugitive methane emissions.
- John Berger, CEO, Sunnova Energy International Inc. – Extend tax credits for wind and solar energy.
- Mark Carney, Co-Chair G30 Working Group on Climate Change and Finance, and UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance – Force companies to disclose their climate risk.
- Sean Casten, U.S. Representative, Sixth District of Illinois – End fossil fuel subsidies.
- Mike Davis, CEO, Global Witness – Stop subsidizing the exploitation of natural resources.
- Ottmar Edenhofer, Director and Chief Economist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – Put a price on CO₂.
- Christiana Figueres, Founding Partner, Global Optimism & Former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC – Follow through on his promises.
- Catherine Flowers, Founder, Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice – Give people from rural communities a voice in the process.
- Kate Gordon, Executive Committee, Clean Energy for Biden – Make Commerce climate-conscious.
- Michael Greenstone, The Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, University of Chicago – Bring back the social cost of carbon.
- Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Director of Climate Policy, Roosevelt Institute – Apply Green New Deal principles to everything that moves.
- Hal Harvey, CEO, Energy Innovation – Implement clean standards widely.
- Zeke Hausfather, Director of Climate and Energy, The Breakthrough Institute – Go hard on RD&D
- Katharine Hayhoe, Atmospheric Scientist, Texas Tech University – Put scientists in charge of science.
- John Hoeppner, Head of U.S. Stewardship and Investments, Legal & General Investment Management America – Reveal the real financial risks of climate change.
- Jesse D. Jenkins, Assistant Professor and Macro-Scale Energy Systems Engineer at Princeton University; & Constantine Samaras, Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University – Make sure the real power-brokers are power-brokering for climate.
- Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Jean Flemma, Co-Founders, Urban Ocean Lab – Think of the ocean.
- Janis Searles Jones, CEO, Ocean Conservancy – Clean up shipping.
- Lynn Jurich, CEO, Sunrun Inc. – Throw support behind solar energy.
- Joseph Lake, COO, The Climate Service – Take advantage of the Fed’s agenda-setting power.
- Joseph Majkut, Director of Climate Policy, Niskanen Center – Build—with a carbon price.
- Gina McCarthy, President and CEO, Natural Resources Defense Council; Former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency – Appoint a champion for the EPA.
- R.L. Miller, Political Director, Climate Hawks Vote – Flood the zone.
- Alejandro Pérez, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, WWF – Retake global leadership.
- John Podesta, Founder and Director, Center for American Progress – Join the global consensus on climate change.
- V. Ram Ramanathan, Frieman Presidential Professor of Climate Sustainability at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Council Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City. – Target superpollutant emissions.
- Valerie Rockefeller, Peter Gill Case, Daniel Growald, and Vanessa Fajans-Turner, BankFWD Co-Chairs, Co-Founders, and Executive Director – Keep finance honest on their contributions to climate change.
- Steven M. Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets – Mandate disclosure of climate risk in finance.
- Ricardo Salles, Minister of the Environment of Brazil – Buy carbon credits from Brazil.
- Scott Segal, Energy Lawyer and Lobbyist, Bracewell LLP – Don’t give up on Congress.
- Mike Sommers, President and CEO, American Petroleum Institute – Back carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies.
- Leah Stokes, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara – Enact a clean electricity standard.
- Samuel Thernstrom, Founder and CEO, Energy Innovation Reform Project – Pass enduring—i.e. bipartisan—climate legislation.
- Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation – Move the U.S. away from natural gas.
- Janet Yellen, Co-Chair, G30 Working Group on Climate Change and Finance; Former Chair, Federal Reserve – Establish a carbon tax.
- Adam Zurofsky, Executive Director, Rewiring America – Shoot for the moon on a clean power grid.
One further thought
Read the list and what becomes clear that that there is indeed a common theme there. Independently, you can see many promoting similar thoughts.
Well yes, the guy who runs a solar company would of course request support for solar energy, but overall you get a feel for which way the wind is blowing here. Biden will not go full-Trump and change in thinking he knows all the answers, but will instead listen to knowledgeable advisers, then test those proposals with others. The above gives you a feel for what that guidance will be.
Doing nothing about Climate Change has never been an option, and luckily we now have Biden who will do his very best to ensure that decisive meaningful action is taken.