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Planet Earth Rejoices

Even if Donald Trump still refuses to admit his election defeat, the U.S. will soon have a new President named Joe Biden. The biggest winner of this election success is likely to be the climate.

Joe Biden (right) and the last Democratic President Barack Obama (Image): PixabayJoe Biden (right) and the last Democratic President Barack Obama (Image): Pixabay

As already reported, last week's election rhetoric mostly completely ignored the fact that the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement last Wednesday. Now that Joe Biden is next President-elect, the world is waiting to see how his election promises will be implemented.

After all, they include the biggest climate protection package the U.S. has ever wanted to tackle: Biden wants to invest a total of two trillion dollars in the decarbonisation of the U.S. economy in the coming years. Even former President Barack Obama's programme envisaged 'only' 90 billion dollars, recalls Der Spiegel.

It remains to be seen which parts of Biden's programme can actually be implemented, because to be effective, Biden needs a majority in the Senate as well as in the House of Representatives. As things stand today, decisions will probably not be made before January, when the run-off elections in Georgia are over.

If the Republicans retain the majority in the Senate, Biden will have to govern by means of executive orders, which means that he won't be able to implement all parts of his programme. Wood Mackenzie assumes, however, that in any case the return of the U.S. to the Paris Agreement will happen with such an order, especially since Biden has already announced that he will prompt this step immediately after taking office in January.

American offshore wind power, which still hasn't got off the ground under wind energy opponent Donald Trump, should also receive the necessary impetus through Biden's presidency: Not only can permits be issued and leases concluded, but the government is also interested in buying up the renewable energy and using it in government buildings.

A light on the horizon: Joe Biden has ambitious plans for U.S. climate protection (Image: Pixabay)

Renewable energy associations in the US have reacted enthusiastically to the news of Biden's election victory. AWEA's Tom Kiernan said: "The President-elect and his team have laid out an ambitious, comprehensive approach to energy policy that recognizes renewable energy’s ability to grow America’s economy and create a cleaner environment, while keeping electricity costs low and combating the threat of climate change. The U.S. wind sector and its growing workforce of over 120,000 Americans stand ready to help put that plan into action and support the Biden administration in delivering on the immense promise of renewable energy to add well-paying jobs to the U.S. economy and reach the President-elect’s 100% target for a carbon-free America by the middle of this century.”

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is also very pleased with the election result. Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO, said: "The nation’s renewable energy sector looks forward to working with the new Administration and Congress to realize the clean energy future that Americans want, and scientists say we need."

But time is pressing, as the past four years under Trump have been a heavy burden. The world is well on the way to ripping the set climate protection target of keeping temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius from being met. Thus Wetstone warns: "The time has come for the U.S. to move beyond climate denial and resume a global leadership role in the fight against climate change."

At the same time, renewable energies offer an opportunity for his country in view of Joe Biden's second major construction site - the corona pandemic. In recent years, the renewable energy industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. However, many of these jobs have been lost - at least temporarily - as a result of the pandemic. A revival of this sector has positive effects on the entire U.S. economy, as Wetstone emphasises: “An accelerated transition to renewable power provides both climate protection and economic prosperity. With more than $60 billion in annual investment, and two of the nation’s fastest-growing job categories – wind turbine technician and solar power installer – renewable energy can help power America’s economic recovery, as it did in 2009 [after the financial crisis].”

Katrin Radtke
USA, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, election, renewable energy, solar, wind, AWEA, ACORE, climate change, Paris Agreement, investment, economy, recovery

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