Story at a glance

  • President-elect Biden staff say that he will issue multiple executive orders aimed at reversing Trump’s environmentally lax policies.
  • A major campaign promise included Biden returning the U.S. to the Paris Agreement and going carbon neutral by 2050.

As part of the Biden Administration’s ambitious plans to hit the ground running upon being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, sources say that he will sign more than a dozen executive orders slated to reverse environmental policies former President Trump issued while in office.

The Washington Post reports that some of Biden’s intended legislative actions will protect air and water regulations, endangered species, national park lands, fuel and emissions restrictions and climate change provisions.

The new president will also delegate federal agencies to review some of the Trump administration’s climate policies and decisions. Among these regulations include a Labor Department rule prohibiting sustainable mutual funds to be included in retirement investment packages, as well as looser restrictions on transporting liquid natural gas by train. Biden is also expected to rescind the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil to the U.S. from Canada.


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Gina McCarthy, Biden’s national climate advisor, told reporters on Tuesday that the new administration will “begin undoing some of the harmful actions that happened in the previous administration’s watch, so that we can move forward in combating the climate crisis.”

Among these policy moves will be a far-reaching executive order that will target climate change, as well as creating union jobs in potentially sustainable industries. Environmental justice initiatives will also be a priority.

McCarthy elaborated that more than 100 of the Trump Administration’s environmental policies will be reversed. Some 15 executive orders are estimated to be executed by Biden during his first hours in office as president. 

In the months leading up to Biden’s inauguration, environmental advocates have paid close attention to his pledge to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, placing the U.S. back on track to reduce greenhouse gas-induced temperature increases by 1.2 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels. 

His official website also outlines a plan for the U.S. to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and references the current announcements regarding fresh executive orders.

“On day one, Biden will sign a series of new executive orders with unprecedented reach that go well beyond the Obama-Biden Administration platform and put us on the right track,” his climate page reads. “And, he will demand that Congress enacts legislation in the first year of his presidency that: 1) establishes an enforcement mechanism that includes milestone targets no later than the end of his first term in 2025, 2) makes a historic investment in clean energy and climate research and innovation, 3) incentivizes the rapid deployment of clean energy innovations across the economy, especially in communities most impacted by climate change.”


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Published on Jan 20, 2021