Press Release

Biden Takes Bold Actions to Combat Climate Change

Jake Thompson
jthompson@nrdc.org, 301-602-3627

Elizabeth Heyd
eheyd@nrdc.org, 202-813-8315

WASHINGTON – President Biden is expected to announce a robust and far-reaching package of actions today to combat dangerous climate change. The following are statements by experts at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) on key elements.

NRDC President and CEO Mitch Bernard said of Biden’s overall plan:

“The signal from President Biden today is unmistakable: For the next four years, every day will be climate day. That will not only help us avoid a fate of ever-worsening extreme weather disasters—it will help us rebuild stronger in the face of the multiple crises gripping our nation, from the pandemic to racial injustice and the economy. We look forward to working with the administration to answer this call of history. There is no time to waste.”

On Biden’s environmental justice announcements, Mitch Bernard said:

“For far too long, the low-income communities and people of color who’ve done the least to contribute to the climate crisis have been the very ones suffering the most. That’s environmental racism, and it’s why Biden’s climate action plan puts environmental justice and equity front and center. Importantly, this plan includes direct, substantial clean energy investments to low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, delivering both health benefits and job opportunities to the people on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”

On Biden’s fossil fuel moratorium on public lands and waters, Josh Axelrod, senior advocate in the Nature Program at NRDC, said:

“The era of putting polluters profits first is over. We can’t lock our children and grandchildren into decades more of the dirty fossil fuels of the past, and all the hazards and harms they bring to our public lands, oceans and coastal communities. This moratorium gives the country a chance to modernize the way we deploy our natural resources for developing energy – and to speed up a just and equitable transition to good-paying clean energy jobs of the future.” 

On Biden’s pledge to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands, freshwater and ocean by 2030, Andrew Wetzler, Interim Chief Program Officer and Managing Director of the Nature Program at NRDC, said:

“Biden’s determination to expand protections of U.S. lands, waters, and ocean by 2030 is essential. Scientists warn it is needed to save nature and communities, while avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. By using science to drive the process forward, we can support rural communities, Tribal Nations, and others on the frontlines of preserving nature. Four out of five voters support this bold vision that protects our water, air, food, public health, and economy, while ensuring all Americans – no matter their economic status or race – have access to the natural world.”

On Biden’s international agenda and a Climate Leaders’ Summit Brendan Guy, lead strategist in the International Program at NRDC, said:

"Convening a Climate Leaders’ Summit sends another powerful signal that the U.S. is back, re-engaged, and ready to lead again in the global race to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century – a goal that will help the world avoid climate catastrophe. Likewise, President Biden’s commitment to elevate climate in foreign policy and move to ratify the Kigali amendment to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) reinforces last week’s move to rejoin the Paris agreement. Together, these actions will breathe new energy into the global push for stronger climate ambition ahead of the pivotal COP 26 conference in Glasgow in November.”

On Biden’s plans to curb carbon pollution fueling the climate crisis, Derek Murrow, senior director of the Climate & Clean Energy program at NRDC, said:

“The all-of-government climate plan must come with strong pollution standards, including commonsense standards to clean up the cars, trucks and dirty power plants that together account for about two-thirds of the nation’s carbon footprint. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to advance these protective standards to rein in dangerous climate change.”

On Biden’s commitment to scientific integrity, Vijay Limaye, climate and health scientist at NRDC, said:

“While the previous administration moved to censor peer-reviewed research to help polluters, this administration is making science a priority and signaling that clean air and other health protections will be free from politics. Corporations should not be able to block critical safeguards and stifle public input to pad their own profits. There’s no Republican air or Democratic air.”

Additional NRDC commentary is forthcoming on these topics and will be posted at NRDC.org.

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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

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