President Biden came to office with one of the most ambitious climate agendas of any president. The Biden-Harris administration has done quite a lot since taking over the White House... here's just a few things of note they've done to help the environment.
What are national momuments?
In the United States, national monuments are nationally significant lands and waters set aside for permanent protection. These aren't actual physical monuments but historic landmarks, structures, and objects of interest. U.S. presidents create national monuments by using the authority granted to them by Congress in the Antiquities Act of 1906, and as such they are created by the executive branch rather than the legislative branch of government.
Late 2017, former President Trump announced he was reducing Bears Ears National Monument area by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half. When placed in office, President Biden and Vice-President Harris prioritized both monuments in an Executive Order issued within the first month of 2021, establishing a policy to "restore and expand our national treasures and monuments." Late 2021, Biden restored the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Win!
US ocean and coastal management strategies
Overfishing and unsustainable bycatch are the biggest threats to our oceans. Which is why the Secretary of Commerce initiating consultations with fishers, fisheries regulators, scientists, and others is of vital importance! In early 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had 30 days open for the public to comment on how to make fisheries and protected resources more resilient to climate change. By making sure our fisheries are sustainable and our marine resources are protected, this puts us not only as a country but as a planet in a good spot against many climate change impacts.
climate action plans
Mid-2021, Biden signed an Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk that required agencies to outline actions for climate-related financial risks into their respective agency’s procurement process in their Climate Action Plans. In October 2021, the White House announced new climate action plans for over 20 federal agencies, including protections for workers and communities. Climate change isn't going anywhere unless we change our trajectory, fast... might as well be prepared for it.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) reviewed 2019 building energy standards and that buildings meeting these standards would result in national site energy savings of 4.7 percent compared to the previous 2016 standards. This report requires all states to review their commercial building codes and either update them to meet the 2019 standard or surpass them. Why does this matter? Buildings are responsible for 40% of global energy consumption and 33% of greenhouse gas emissions! So ensuring buildings are sustainable and as energy-efficient as possible can help as we all come together to tackle climate change.
putting science back at the forefront
In March 2021, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-relaunched their climate change page on its website after being taken down by the Trump administration. In January, the Bureau of Land Management also
In your opinion, what are the biggest "wins" for
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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