Biden's election: Will the planet thank America for its choice?

Sophie Wilson gives her opinion on what the recent US election result will mean for the climate crisis

Sophie Wilson
20th November 2020

Joe Biden’s recent election has led to many - including environmentalists - rejoicing. However, the pressing need for drastic action regarding climate change begs the question: will the planet thank America for its choice? 

Biden has notoriously called for a “clean energy revolution” and “environmental justice”, with paragraph after paragraph on the Biden Harris website stating that the climate poses an “existential threat” that is not just detrimental to our environment, but also to our “health, our communities, our national security, and our economic well being”. But what does this mean in practical terms? 

Calling for America to look at this as an “opportunity” to better its future, Biden aims to ensure the US achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050. The elected president also calls for building a “stronger, more resilient nation” that can “withstand the impacts of climate change”, with goals such as improving transportation, water systems, and energy-related infrastructure. However, Biden's plan to tackle climate change extends further than this seemingly holistic approach.

Biden is really placing himself at the forefront of the activist battle

As well as focusing on climate change occurring directly within the US, Biden wants to “rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change”, stating that it is a global challenge that requires "decisive action from every country around the world”. The recognition that tackling climate change requires international collaboration is, in my opinion, an immensely positive, progressive approach. By stating that he will “lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets”, Biden really is placing himself at the forefront of the activist battle. 

Biden’s election thus seems to have placed America at the heart of the current climate movement. However, only time will tell how these promises play out.

Featured image: Eric Haynes on Earth.Org

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