US President Joe Biden has signed a new batch of executive actions placing the climate crisis back on the United States government agenda and elevates science to presidential advisory status.
Climate change has been blamed for severe weather conditions and climate-related catastrophes such as storms, flooding, heatwaves and wildfires in recent years. According to the think-tank Germanwatch, these disasters have killed 500,000 in the last 20 years and have cost the global economy a staggering $2.56tr in the last 100 years.
Biden’s orders on Wednesday map out the direction for the Democratic president’s climate change and environmental agenda and mark a reversal from policies under his predecessor Donald Trump, who sought to maximise US oil, gas and coal output by removing regulations and easing environmental reviews.
“In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis,” Biden said at a White House ceremony, noting the threats the nation faces from intensifying storms, wildfires and droughts linked to climate change.
“This is a case where conscience and convenience cross paths, where dealing with this existential threat to the planet and increasing our economic growth and prosperity are one and the same. When I think of climate change