US President Joe Biden has ordered the new administration to review all ongoing oil and gas projects on federal land, scrap fossil fuel subsidies, and even replace the government’s huge vehicle fleet with electric cars, in a move seen as a radical shift in the country’s climate policy.
Biden also ordered suspending any new oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore waters, in what might pave the way for banning all new fossil fuel projects on land managed by the US federal government, according to media reports. The Trump administration allowed drilling on almost all federal land, which was heavily criticized by environmentalist organizations.
The US has “already waited too long to deal with the climate crisis”
Biden, who was sworn in last week, said that the US has already waited too long to deal with the climate crisis and that it cannot wait any longer. He described the climate crisis as the “existential threat of our time.”
The new US president also said that investments in renewable energy, such as wind and solar, along with energy-efficiency measures for households, will create millions of new jobs.
Washington is set to rejoin the Paris Agreement
Last week, on his first day in office, Biden initiated the procedure for the US to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which the country exited in 2017 during the term of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
The US plans to announce its 2030 emissions reduction target before the Earth Day climate summit in April
The US special envoy on climate, John Kerry, said the country plans to announce a target for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 before an upcoming international climate summit that the US will host on Earth Day, April 22.
The White House has said the new president’s executive orders will help the US’ efforts to achieve its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.