At least he's made a start
Whatever else one might think of President Biden, that is, whether he really represents a significant change from Trump (and some commentators don’t seem so sure, apart from his being more civil) his promotion of the climate change agenda merits attention for what it includes (and doesn’t). The headline favoured in the media is that the US will return to the Paris Agreement. That Agreement, to recap, allows signatory nations to create their own ‘Nationally Determined’ plans which they can and probably will use as a fig leaf for not doing all that is required to solve a global problem. So it is not clear whether lots of useful, but insufficient policies will actually get us to the top of the down escalator. But one of Biden’s policies contained in his Executive Order caught my eye:
'Sec. 215. Civilian Climate Corps. In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 214 of this order, the Secretary of the Interior, in collaboration with the Secretary of Agriculture and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit a strategy to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order for creating a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative, within existing appropriations, to mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers and maximize the creation of accessible training opportunities and good jobs. The initiative shall aim to conserve and restore public lands and waters, bolster community resilience, increase reforestation, increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protect biodiversity, improve access to recreation, and address the changing climate.'
Perhaps this is something we should emulate, not least to find work for the millions made redundant because of the pandemic. A feature of this policy and many others in the Order is that action has to be formulated ‘within 90 days.’ That would be a challenge for the Johnson government. Another difficulty the Tories would face is the use of the language creating union jobs which is sprinkled throughout the Order.
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