Biden’s Plan Needs These Bold Measures to Better Tackle the Climate Crisis
By Steven Nadel, Executive Director
As we recently noted, President Joe Biden’s proposed jobs and infrastructure plan includes unprecedented investments to address climate change, in part through energy efficiency. So far, the proposal is high level, with many details still to be spelled out. Such details will be important to set the United States on a course to meet climate targets as well as economic and equity goals. As these details are developed, we recommend the plan include several key programs to save energy and money while reducing emissions. Four important ones are weatherizing more low- and moderate-income homes, incentives to replace diesel trucks with electric ones, incentives to use energy management in factories, and funding for scaling up transformative industrial technologies.
On Earth Day, April 22, the president is convening a summit at which the administration is likely to announce a new U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goal. Media reports suggest that the new goal is likely to be around a 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, relative to 2005 levels. To help achieve these ambitious reductions, the administration and Congress should include the following measures in the infrastructure package.
The Biden administration has proposed to build, preserve, and protect more than 2 million homes and commercial buildings. This includes building new affordable housing, rehabilitating public housing, renovating schools, and other initiatives for which details are not yet known. All new homes and major renovations should be built to high efficiency standards to avoid locking in energy waste and high carbon emissions.
In addition, we recommend a major investment in energy improvements, especially for affordable housing: a large increase in the number of…
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