Energy & Environment

Climate advocates press Biden in buildup to State of the Union

Climate advocates are seen during a press conference on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 to discuss climate change provisions in the Build Back Better Act.
Greg Nash

Environmental groups are pressuring President Biden to act faster and more decisively to tackle climate change ahead of his State of the Union address.

Evergreen released a recent report warning that greenhouse gas emissions rose 6 percent in 2021, which “demands full mobilization on climate in 2022.”

“There are only eight years left in this critical decade for the US to transform its economy and meet the ambitious and necessary commitment to slash greenhouse gas pollution in half below 2005 levels,” the report said. “That means that this year — 2022 — is the year for President Biden to harness the full power of both legislative and executive action to tackle the climate crisis.”

Evergreen also called for the Build Back Better (BBB) social spending package, which included $555 billion to address climate change, to be passed this year. The legislation was halted in the U.S. Senate by centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) and remains in limbo.

Biden put billions of dollars into climate investments in the infrastructure package signed into law last year, and he worked with global leaders at the COP26 forum in November as part of an effort to keep average global temperatures at or around 1.5 Degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

The Biden administration is aiming to reduce emissions in the U.S. by up to 52 percent from 2005 levels in 2030; create a 100 percent carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035; and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.

But environmental groups say a whole-of-government approach is needed and are raising the alarm that the consequences of global warming are already here.

On Wednesday, Climate Power tweeted that in 2021, the hottest single month in history was recorded in July, while wildfires scorched “twice as many” acres than the average in the last five years.

“Less than a week away from @POTUS first State of the Union … the State of the Climate Crisis is dire,” the environmental group tweeted.

According to CNN, Climate Power is pouring more than $600,000 into ads pushing for more investments in clean energy.

The Center for American Progress also told CNN that administrative action was important to fight climate change, but Congress must approve $320 billion in clean energy tax credits included in the BBB package.

Christy Goldfuss, the senior vice president for energy and policy at the environmental group, said “where we are right now as a climate movement is feeling pretty panicked.”

“We need to see the White House and climate champions in Congress really make the case for investing in renewables at home now as an answer to the fossil fuel fluctuations we see every decade,” Goldfluss told CNN.

Tags Biden address Build Back Better Build Back Better Center for American Progress Climate change Climate Power Evergreen green groups Infrastructure Joe Biden Joe Manchin State of the Union State of the Union
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