Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has set out ambitious plans to invest two trillion dollars in climate protection if he wins the US election. The focus is on renewable energies and subsequently e-mobility.
The core of the Democrat’s plan is to decarbonize electricity generation in the USA by 2035 by investments in clean energy infrastructure in Biden’s first four-year term. In doing so, Biden wants to create millions of jobs in the renewable energy sector, for example, in wind energy.
Biden’s plan is in contrast to US President Donald Trump, who is heavily reliant on fossil fuels and has also watered down previously CO2 targets for mobility and other climate protection measures. However, analysts consider Biden’s move to be not only to position himself against Trump but also a pledge to those leaning further left in his party and among democratic supporters. The former vice-president’s already made a similar proposal last year, included spending $1.7tn on infrastructure and green jobs over ten years. It was largely rejected by environmental activists as too little, too slowly at the time. His latest plan is getting a much more enthusiastic reception, including from groups like the Sunrise Movement, which endorsed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries and have viewed Mr Biden with scepticism, as the BBC writes.
The climate protection plan would also have significant implications for mobility. For example, Biden envisions a scrappage scheme to switch to electric cars, the electrification of state fleets would be electrified, and subsidies for the car if they switched production to electric vehicles. The idea is “that the United States—not China—leads the world in clean vehicle production” – a claim that echoes Trump’s ‘American Energy Dominance’ agenda, only in the opposite energy. There are also plans to build 500,000 new charging stations. According to Biden, this will create one million well-paid jobs in the auto industry.
However, Biden and his presidential campaign still have to deliver the details such as the design of the scrapping programme, planned subsidy levels and how which charging stations are to be built where. According to an election campaign manager, they will follow up on the details in the coming weeks, also on questions of funding. The party has previously pledged to raise taxes on large corporations and reverse the Republicans’ tax cuts for high earners.
According to Biden himself, however, the climate program is to be extensive and will turn many US industries upside down. “We will not only tinker around on the edges,” said Biden. “When Donald Trump talks about climate change, he is only joking. When I think about climate change, I think about jobs.” Also, as previously reported in our newsletter, the candidate’s ‘Build Back Better’ campaign includes the promise to re-join the Paris climate agreement, which President Trump withdrew the US from in 2017.
Mr Biden’s trillion-dollar climate protection package announcement could help shore up supporters concerned with the bigger issues of the time as he prepares to face off against Donald Trump in November.
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