Biden presents team to fight ‘existential’ climate crisis
Sunday, 20 December 2020
US President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday presented key members of his team in charge of climate, stressing that his administration would make the fight against global warming a pillar of its action to rebuild a US economy hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The “brilliant, tested, trailblazing team” will be ready to “confront the existential threat of climate change,” Biden said at the presentation event, which took place in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
“We’re in a crisis,” he stressed. “Just like we need to be a unified nation to respond to Covid-19, we need a unified national response to climate change.”
The new picks presented on Saturday include New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland, selected to head the Interior Department, a portfolio that includes supervision of natural resources on federal lands, such as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Haaland will become the first Native American to hold a cabinet post in the United States if the Senate confirms her nomination.
Biden said his government would strive to modernise water, transport and energy infrastructure so that they are better equipped to resist extreme climate conditions, creating numerous jobs in the process.
He also said he wished to build 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles and 1.5 million energy-efficient social housing units.
The incoming US President further announced the “immediate” creation of 250,000 jobs to close millions of abandoned oil and gas wells considered health and security hazards.
Biden reiterated that the United States would return to the Paris Climate Agreement, from which President Donald Trump had pulled out, and restore a series of environmental regulations introduced by former President Barack Obama but scrapped by Trump.
Among other picks, Biden indicated that he had chosen Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Obama, to head the new White House Climate Policy Office.
He has also nominated Michael Regan, current head of the Department of Environmental Quality in the State of North Carolina, to head the EPA, and Brenda Mallory, an environmental lawyer, to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
With Regan and Mallory both being African-Americans, the president-elect said that his cabinet will have six members of the African-American community.