November 11, 2020
Joe Biden’s victory gives the people who dream up big climate ideas something they haven’t experienced in years: an opportunity to wield power in U.S. and shape the future of the world’s second-biggest source of greenhouse gases. [...] We invited policy-minded people from think tanks, business, and finance to play White House climate counselor and give their best advice to Biden on his early climate priorities. The ideas run the gamut from carbon pricing to new power lines for renewable electricity to giving rural Americans a seat at the policy-making table. One thing everyone agrees on: As president, Biden will have his work cut out for him.
Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center
Put climate experts everywhere.
“Making climate change a top priority in the White House and Cabinet from day one begins during his transition—with people. Biden should appoint senior officials with climate expertise, including naming a respected Assistant to the President for Climate and creating a National Climate Council. To foster a ‘whole of government’ approach, climate policies should be coordinated through an inter-agency, Cabinet-level task force, with climate councils in all key agencies to identify and work toward aggressive goals.”
“With extraordinary climate leadership at the top, the substantive policy work of his administration will flow that much easier: Rejoining the Paris Agreement and committing to even stronger U.S. international leadership; cleaning up the power sector by 2035, in-line with his campaign promise; bringing the economy to net-zero emissions by midcentury; using the Clean Air Act to regulate climate pollutants across the economy, including reversing Trump regulatory rollbacks. With the Senate under Republican control, legislative opportunities will be limited but could include Clean Energy Standards. Continued Covid-19-related stimulus discussions will also provide opportunities to support investments in clean energy infrastructure and resilience.” —As told to Eric Roston