Joe Biden would be a disaster for climate change

(The Guardian, 13 May 2019) The Democratic contender for president provided details of his climate plan and it boils down to: business as usual.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called for “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avert full blown climate catastrophe. It’s not too late to stave off the worst impacts, they urged – indeed, it’s “possible within the laws of physics and chemistry”. But we need to act fast.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden, 76, seems to have a very different understanding of the climate crisis than the world’s leading climate scientists. Several top advisers to the former vice-president previewed his “middle of the road” plan on the issue for Reuters on Friday. He’ll have the US rejoin the Paris agreement, which Trump has said he will leave exit as soon as that document’s terms allow in early 2021. He’ll preserve existing regulations on emissions and fuel efficiency that the current administration has targeted. Like Obama, he’ll embrace an “all of the above” energy strategy, with plenty of room for new natural gas development and exports as well as carbon capture and storage, to indefinitely extend the life of the coal industry.

The Sunrise Movement – one of the leading groups pushing for a Green New Deal – has rightfully called Biden’s plan a “death sentence for our generation”, advocating instead the kind of economy-wide mobilization scientists have urged.

“Right now, we need a little bit more reality around this dialogue,” Heather Zichal told Reuters, taking a swipe at such plans. Zichal, “who has become Biden’s informal advisor on climate change policy,” Volcovici writes, also served as a top climate advisor to the Obama administration.

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The Guardian, 13 May 2019: Joe Biden would be a disaster for climate change