As the planet suffocates, Biden tries to salvage his climate ambitions

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As the planet suffocates, Biden tries to save his climate ambitions

The US president has touted his climate plan as the United States is going through a heat wave.

Joe Biden, paralyzed in Congress and limited by the Supreme Court, nevertheless tried on Wednesday to revive his climate promises, announcing new regulatory measures as a heat wave suffocates the United States and several European countries.

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Climate change is a clear and immediate danger as well as an existential threat to our nation and the world, the US president has said.

The health of our fellow citizens is at stake, as well as our national security and our economy, he added, visiting Massachusetts (northeast), at the site of a former highly polluting coal plant , closed since 2017 and in the process of converting to wind power.

Since Congress is not doing what it should, the 79-year-old Democrat lamented , which has just suffered a serious parliamentary setback on its environmental reform agenda, I will use my executive powers.

But he has not – at least for now – declared a state of climate emergency as demanded by some elected members of his party, a maneuver whose impact is not very clear, but who could grant him additional political powers.

As Joe Biden spoke, large parts of Europe were sweltering in the heatwave, and the United States usa was not spared: around 100 million people currently live there in areas affected by high heat or excessive heat alerts.

Our children and grandchildren rely on us. This is no joke. If we don't limit [warming] to less than 1.5 degrees, we'll lose everything. There will be no going back, the president said again. We have no more excuses.

The president intends to progress at his own pace. He has a number of prerogatives he can use to get started, his top climate adviser Gina McCarthy told CNN on Wednesday. But the White House stresses that declaring this state of climate emergency remains an option.

Among the executive orders prepared by the Biden administration: additional funds to help protecting regions facing extreme heat and measures to boost wind power generation in the United States.

In detail, the federal agency responsible for dealing with natural disasters and other emergencies, FEMA, will commit $2.3 billion to help local communities adapt. to climate change and its consequences (heat wave, drought, floods, etc.).

The federal government also wants to support the least favored households and the poorest residential areas. less affluent who do not have access to air conditioning, for example helping some families pay their electricity bills.

Finally, the Biden administration will allow the installation in the Gulf of Mexico of wind capacity capable of supplying up to three million homes with electricity.

La White House says it is determined to keep its climate commitments, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Joe Biden, who returned to the Paris Climate Accord that his predecessor Donald Trump had left, announced in April 2021 that the United States would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030, compared to 2005.

But the American president, like on the right to abortion, the regulation of guns and much other reform projects, is once again experiencing the limits of its power in environmental matters: it does not have a clear majority in Congress and the judiciary is against it.

< p class="e-p">His climate agenda took a hit when vote-critical Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he would not support legislation aiming to move the U.S. economy toward clean energy sources, likely dooming it to failure.

And Joe Biden faces a Supreme Court that has become fiercely coercive. conservative and deeply hostile to any centralized regulation, which has just severely limited the powers of the federal state in the fight against global warming.

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