Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has unveiled a $2 trillion climate action plan which he says will create jobs and underpin the next generation of the American economy.
His four-year plan would see $2 trillion injected into the renewable energy sector, as well as investment into clean energy for the building, electricity and transportation sectors.
Mr Biden says the plan is equally targeted at providing the American economy with jobs, as well as building clean energy infrastructure to address climate change.
He said at a speech that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, America needs to cut its fossil fuel reliance and improve the country’s renewable energy infrastructure that will provide more employment opportunities than a fossil fuel-backed economy.
“These are the most critical investments we can make for the long-term health and vitality of both the American economy and the physical health and safety of the American people.”
In reference to President Donald Trump, Biden said that “when Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax.’ When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs.’”
“These aren’t pie in the sky dreams,” he continued to explain, “these are actionable policies that we can work on right away.”
“We can live up to our responsibilities, meet the challenges of a world at risk of a climate catastrophe, build more climate-resilient communities, put millions of skilled workers on the job, and make life markedly better and safer for the American people all at once and benefit the world in the process.”
In reference to the opposition party, Biden said, “the alternative? Continue to ignore the facts, deny reality, focus only on technologies of the last century, instead of investing in the technology that will define this century… this is all that Donald Trump and the Republicans offer.”
Biden’s official staff have said that a path to zero-emissions energy is possible if “millions of new solar panels and tens of thousands of wind turbines,” were to be installed.
The plan also calls for investment into storage technology for natural gas, as well as carbon capture developments.
Key aspects of the plan include:
- Implementation of a standard requiring carbon-free electricity generation by the year 2035.
- “Accelerated” $2 trillion investment into carbon-free power, grid infrastructure, mass transit, efficient buildings, ‘climate-smart’ agriculture and sustainable housing.
- Creation of a new “Environmental and Climate Justice Division” inside the Department of Justice.
- Discounts and incentives for car owners trading in an internal combustion engine for a U.S.-manufactured electric vehicle.
- Retooling of factories to build electric vehicles, batteries, solar cells and other renewable forms of electricity generation or storage.
Officials in the Biden camp have said that the funds will be raised through raising the corporate tax rate, as well as the tax rate on high-earning individuals, as well as “some amount of stimulus spending.”