Biden Signs Sweeping Executive Orders on Climate Change

The goal is to undo four years of inaction.

Doug Mills/CNP/Zuma

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On Wednesday, one week after taking office, President Joe Biden signed a series of sweeping executive orders on climate in his effort to create clean energy jobs, promote environmental justice, and reintroduce pressing climate-change concerns into America’s foreign policy.

Among the orders’ most substantive bits are a pause in new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, and a proposed doubling of offshore wind production by 2030.

At a press conference prior to the signing, former Secretary of State John Kerry, now the United States’ first special presidential envoy for climate, stressed that improving the economy and facing the climate crisis are not mutually exclusive.

“Workers have been fed a false narrative,” he said. “They’ve been fed the notion that somehow, dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No it’s not.”

Echoing proponents of the Green New Deal, he added that the goal was to employ people in disadvantaged communities to construct a green energy infrastructure.

Kerry declined to state the Biden administration’s specific emissions-reductions goals, but he said he plans to announce them prior to a climate leaders’ summit the administration plans to host in April.

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