Ceres Applauds President Biden's Bold Executive Action on the Climate Crisis on First Day

On Inauguration Day, President Biden took swift action to reenter the U.S. into the global Paris Agreement and announce a new executive order aimed at tackling the climate crisis



As President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are sworn into office today, Ceres, business leaders, and advocates around the globe are applauding their swift action to reenter the U.S. into the global Paris Agreement, and a set of new executive actions to tackle the climate crisis. Among the actions include placing a moratorium on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, revising fuel economy and emission standards and methane emission standards, and revoking the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber said: 

“We applaud President Biden and Vice President Harris for hitting the ground running and demonstrating bold executive leadership on the first day of office. With so much at stake, their in-depth understanding of the interwoven crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, economic insecurity and a warming world give me hope and optimism. It truly is a new day for our democracy, our health, our economy and our planet, and U.S. efforts to address the compounding crises we face as a country. 

President Biden and Vice President Harris have promised time and again that their approach to the climate crisis will be based on science and facts and centered on environmental justice. Today, they’ve shown they are already following through on their promises with executive actions to rejoin the Paris Agreement and reinstate some of the most devastating environmental rollbacks of the last four years. These actions are critical to restore U.S. climate leadership in the world and ensure we do our part to build a net-zero economy and safeguard our planet. 

Investors and companies have repeatedly voiced their support for the U.S. to play a leading role when it comes to climate action and efforts to limit average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Last year, the CEOs of The Investor Agenda issued an urgent plea to the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Agreement, and nearly 1,500 U.S leaders, including many influential investors and companies, declared  “America Is All In”  in reference to Biden’s commitment to re-join the accord. 

Now, we call on policymakers at all levels of government and on both sides of the aisle to build on today’s momentum with continued climate action. We must see the swift confirmation of all Cabinet nominees to ensure the administration is well positioned to work together to rapidly reduce U.S. emissions across all sectors of the economy. Biden has assembled a dream team of environmental and climate experts including naming John Kerry as a special presidential envoy on climate and Gina McCarthy as the administration’s National Climate Advisor.

From there, other top priorities must be the swift approval of mandatory disclosure of climate risk, a fair and effective market price on carbon, increased investments in public transit, and incentives for electric vehicle deployment. Communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis must be at the center of any and all policy solutions to ensure we are building back a more equitable and inclusive economy. As the Biden administration acts on the most significant of these priorities in short order, it can count on widespread private sector support.  

We know, with this administration, change is coming and it is coming fast. This is a time of transformational change like no other toward a more just and sustainable world, and we are ready and here for it.” 

Editor’s Note: 

More details below on the executive actions announced today by the Biden-Harris administration. 

Rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change: The president-elect will sign the instrument to rejoin the Paris Agreement. The instrument will be deposited with the United Nations today, and the United States will officially become a Party again 30 days later. The United States will be back in position to exercise global leadership in advancing the objectives of the Agreement.

Roll Back President Trump’s Environmental Actions in Order to Protect Public Health and the Environment and Restore Science: Today, President-elect Biden will sign an Executive Order that takes critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and advance environmental justice, while reversing the previous administration’s harmful policies.

The order jumpstarts swift, initial action to tackle the climate crisis by:

  • Directing all executive departments and agencies to immediately review and take appropriate action to address federal regulations and other executive actions taken during the last four years that were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment, unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in the national interest, including agency actions identified on the attached list;
  • Directing agencies to consider revising vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, methane emissions standards, and appliance and building efficiency standards to ensure that such standards cut pollution, save consumers money, and create good union jobs;
  • Directing the Department of Interior to protect our nation’s treasures by reviewing the boundaries and conditions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears, Northeast Canyons, and Seamounts Marine National Monuments and placing a temporary moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Re-establishing the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) and directing the issuance of an interim social cost of GHG schedule to ensure that agencies account for the full costs of GHG emissions, including climate risk, environmental justice and intergenerational equity; and
  • Revoking, revising, or replacing additional Executive Orders, Presidential Proclamations, Memoranda, and Permits signed over the past 4 years that do not serve the U.S. national interest, including revoking the Presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including the climate crisis, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

Tweet me: "This is a time of transformational change like no other toward a more just and sustainable world, and we are ready and here for it,” says @CeresNews CEO @MindyLubber. https://bit.ly/3p71wkm


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