Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, last week proposed a $2 trillion plan to tackle climate change and stimulate an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Biden’s plan, which would take four years to roll out over his first term in office, calls for increasing clean energy use in transportation, electricity generation, and buildings.
The plan sets an ambitious goal of decarbonizing the United States’ power grid by 2035, on course with a larger target of the country achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The proposal also calls for establishing an Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the Department of Justice, aiming to create job opportunities in the clean energy sector while keeping racial and socioeconomic equity in mind.
In remarks former vice president Biden delivered in Wilmington, Del., to announce the climate action plan, he said, “When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax.’ When I think of climate change, the word I think about is ‘jobs’-good-paying union jobs that’ll put Americans to work.”
The Brink caught up with three of Boston University’s environment, climate change, and sustainability experts to ask their take on Biden’s proposal: Peter Fox-Penner, clean energy expert, contributor to BU’s Climate Action Plan, and director of BU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy; Randi Rotjan, marine ecosystems scientist and BU College of Arts & Sciences research assistant professor of biology; and Gregory Wellenius, environmental health researcher and director of the newly launched Climate and Health program at BU’s School of Public Health. Here’s what they liked about the plan and areas they thought could be improved.