Can a trillion dollars save the planet? As we humans amass stacks of wealth by exploiting nature, how much of our wealth are we willing to give back? When you look at it from a financial perspective, it is simply retaining profits in a business to let it grow sustainably. We are very well aware of the old adage, you can’t have your cake and eat it. In today’s article we look at Joe Biden’s plan to bring the USA back to the forefront of climate leadership.
In my search for Joe Biden’s climate deal, I found out one thing- It definitely isn’t a top priority for the American people. Why? The top three priorities for the Biden-Harris campaign is to beat Covid-19, the post-pandemic economic recovery and affordable healthcare for all. I understand that these are pressing issues for the people but what I do not understand is why do we have the climate emergency 12th on the list of his plans?
If an ecological emergency is 12th on the list of the winning candidate in a democracy, it shows the relevance of the issue in the eyes of the people. Why is this a problem when he is already better than President Trump who is in climate denial? The problem is that in Biden’s list, climate emergency comes after an economic recovery. An economic recovery for a consumer nation such as the US means people go back to buying goods and services. The scale of pollution the capitalist recovery can bring shall be the topic for another day.
Let us forget the massive problems that come with a green deal that isn’t really green and look at the bright side for a bit. The first part of the plan ensures net-zero emissions and a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. The second part is to build resiliency i.e., withstand the impacts of climate change. And the third part is what I am excited about, the US will be back on the global stage in pushing the climate agenda. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement paved the way for countries to go back on their agreed goals. A better partnership between the US, Europe and China might help the human race survive a little bit longer.
While 1.7 Trillion dollars is larger than the economies of the poorest 100 countries combined it is still significantly less than the radical Green New Deal. In Biden’s push to gain more moderate voters, he had to disregard the voices of the climate crusaders. How can we push the climate agenda to the top of a government’s priorities in the future? It is all about grassroots level campaigns from mass movements such as Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future. There will be a huge void for young environmental activists towards the end of Covid19 when the world enters a new phase of balancing economic growth and natural disasters.
Biden will face resistance in all directions. His support for Trump’s pro-Israel plans might keep the Middle Eastern issues brewing for a wee bit longer and his attempt to pull out troops from the ongoing battles will mean that some of the allies will feel betrayed at the end. Meanwhile the man, the myth, the legend- Donald Trump is surely waiting to pounce at every single mishap this administration may cause as all he needs is a 2024 election with less than 100,000 voters in the key swing states switching over to his camp. But I have confidence in Obama’s confidante.