President Biden recently announced ambitious climate goals that would affect nearly every sector of the U.S.’s $21 trillion economy, in particular how it generates electricity and powers cars and trucks.
He wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030.
The Wall Street Journal reported that agriculture in the U.S. makes up about 10 percent of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for nearly one percent of the country’s GDP. The paper also pointed to the oil and gas sector, which makes up 0.6 percent of the GDP, while chemicals from fossil fuels account for about 1.9 percent.
Biden, who signed an executive order to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, said Friday that the workers who will lose their jobs in these industries due to the new reforms need to be provided new work opportunities near where they live, the New York Post reported.
“As we transition to a clean energy future, we must ensure that workers who have thrived in yesterday’s and today’s industries have as bright a tomorrow in the new industries as well as in the places where they live and the communities they have built,” Biden said.
The Post pointed out that in January, John Kerry, Biden’s climate czar, had a different message for impacted workers. He said those left unemployed by Biden’s policies could “go to work to make the solar panels.”
Richard Newell, the president and chief executive of Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan think tank, told the Journal that Biden’s initiative represents a “real sea of change in the degree of ambition by the U.S. government.”
“This is technically feasible but a substantial acceleration of existing trends,” Newell said. The paper reported that Biden’s new targets put the U.S. in line to comply with the Paris agreement, which was formed during the Obama administration.
The Journal cited a new report by the Boston Consulting Group that said the government will have to continue to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles, which would require a consistent supply of batteries and easy-access charging stations. Companies like Ford said it earmarked $22 billion in its move to electric vehicles.
Kerry, who was interviewed by NPR, said last week that Tesla is a good example of where the economy is going. He said Biden did not create the value of Elon Musk company – “the market did that… And the market did it because that’s where people are moving.”
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