Climate Report Card: Biden’s First 100 Days


by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer

In the Biden administration’s first 100 days, the climate crisis and environmental issues have been at the forefront of the administration’s agenda. As Environment America writes in their progress report, “despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken numerous steps to restore environmental protections.” Emerging from the Trump administration, some of that early focus has been on undoing past damage, including 

Forward-looking steps have been made as well, including an executive order to protect 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 and introducing an infrastructure package that has climate at its core. This all tracks (and exceeds) closely to what PopSci speculated the administration could take on right after the election. 

Why This Matters: Tackling the climate crisis requires systems-level change and a realignment of governmental policy that facilitates it. In order to avoid the worst impact of climate change, the country needs to make big shifts, from eliminating fossil fuel emissions to building infrastructure that will withstand the climate changes already taking place. The Biden administration’s first 100 days has jump-started this work, from the recent pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas pollution by at least 50% by 2030 to appointing cabinet secretaries with strong environmental backgrounds. Now the next 1,360 days of the administration are an opportunity to continue to build on the momentum of the first 100. 

Go Deeper: Checking on Promises

Graphic: Environment America


Both Environment America and the Wilderness Society released first 100 day progress reports. Some additional highlights:

Done

  • Freeze oil and gas leasing on public lands — Biden paused new leases just days after the inauguration. 
  • Elevate environmental justice as a priority across all federal agencies — Biden signed an executive order with this directive. 

In progress

  • Setting stronger fuel economy and emissions standards — the administration is undoing the Trump administration’s lower standards
  • Get lead out of drinking water — the infrastructure package includes calls for replacing all lead pipes, which requires approval by Congress

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