Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Clark University Professor Edward Carr, Biden will struggle to truly transform society, though restoring California’s control of automobile environmental standards and re-imposing Obama era methane rules will help.
Biden’s climate change plans can quickly raise the bar, but can they be transformative?
November 11, 2020 6.20am AED
Edward R Carr
Professor and Director, International Development, Community, and Environment, Clark University
The day Joe Biden becomes president, he can start taking actions that can help slow climate change. The question is whether he can match the magnitude of the challenge.
If his administration focuses only on what is politically possible and fails to build a coordinated response that also addresses the social and economic ramifications of both climate change and the U.S. policy response, it is unlikely to succeed.
To start moving the country back toward its obligations under the Paris Agreement, Biden can recertify the waiver that allows California to implement its fuel economy and zero-emissions vehicle standards. The Trump administration had revoked it. California is a big state, and its actions are followed by others, which puts pressure on the auto industry to meet higher standards nationwide.
The administration can also limit climate-warming greenhouse emissions by regulating activities like the flaring of methane on public lands. The Trump administration rolled back a large number of climate and environmental regulations over the past four years.
There are even legislative actions that could get through a divided Congress, such as funding for clean energy technology.
One of the big challenges – and the place where Biden needs to start – is the lack of understanding of systemic risks, opportunities and costs of both climate actions and inaction.
Right now, there is no federal agency tasked with developing a systemic understanding of climate change impacts across society.
…Read more: https://theconversation.com/bidens-climate-change-plans-can-quickly-raise-the-bar-but-can-they-be-transformative-149355
Who is Edward Carr? In February this year he was named climate adaption advisor on the Global Environment Facility, a well funded multinational UN affiliated body established in 1992 in the wake of the Rio Earth Summit, According to his university bio he’s an anthropologist. I get the impression he’s more a vision guy than an engineer.
My thought, it is easier to talk about transformation than to actually come up with a detailed costed plan to do it. We all love the idea bountiful free energy which doesn’t hurt the planet. As long as you don’t stray too close to engineering reality this fantasy renewable energy transformation thing all looks so beautiful.