By Juliet Eilperin and Annie Linskey
President-elect Joe Biden is poised to embed action on climate change across the breadth of the federal government, from the departments of Agriculture to Treasury to State — expanding it beyond environmental agencies to speed U.S. efforts to mitigate global warming and to acknowledge that the problem touches many aspects of American life.
The far-reaching strategy is aimed at making significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions even without congressional action, by maximizing executive authority.
“From the very beginning of the campaign, when President-elect Biden rolled out his climate plan, he made it clear he sees this as an all-of-government agenda, domestic, economic, foreign policy,” said Stef Feldman, campaign policy director for Biden, a Democrat. “From the very beginning, when he talked about infrastructure, he talked about making sure that it built in climate change, that we are making our communities more resilient to the effects of climate change.”
University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone, who served as chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, said plans like the ones outlined in the new report make sense, but in the end, “the planet only cares about greenhouse gas emissions. So, the acid tests will be whether there are meaningful emissions reductions in the United States, and whether those reductions leverage reductions in other countries.”