Top Ten Stories of 2020: Biden-Harris’ Historic Win

When 2020 began, many people were counting Joe Biden out and Kamala Harris’ Presidential run had already ended — what a difference a year makes.  Biden surprised many progressives with a strong climate and environmental justice plan that only got stronger as the campaign went on.  In April, we wrote about how Biden received his first endorsement from a major environmental group, the League of Conservation Voters, which has spent tens of millions in recent elections to help elect green candidates. The LCV was the first of many green groups to engage with Biden’s campaign on environmental issues and eventually issue their own endorsements.  On Earth Day, Biden received the endorsement of 80 leading scientists — many of them Nobel Laureates — underscoring the fact that his policies would be based, as he often said, on science rather than fiction.  Our Daily Planet endorsed Biden in June.

Biden’s climate plan got stronger after a task force of leaders from across the climate movement advised him on how to strengthen his proposals — ultimately resulting in a $2T plan that was the strongest climate plan ever supported by a Democratic Presidential candidate.  Perhaps the defining moment on climate came in the speech Biden gave outlining the plan in which he said, famously now,

When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax.’  When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs.”

In addition to rejoining the Paris Agreement on Day 1 and re-engaging other nations like China to elevate their climate goals, highlights of the Biden-Harris climate plan, dubbed “Build Back Better,” include:

  • 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035
  • 1 million new US auto jobs for green cars
  • Upgrading 4 million buildings and weatherizing 2 million homes over 4 years
  • Building out zero-emission public transportation options in 100,000 cities
  • Supporting the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units
  • Reducing costs for critical clean energy technologies: battery storage, negative emissions technologies, the next generation of building materials, renewable hydrogen, and advanced nuclear
  • Creating 250,000 jobs plugging abandoned oil and natural gas wells and reclaiming abandoned coal, hardrock, and uranium mines
  • Centering environmental justice in policymaking including establishing an Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the U.S. Department of Justice.

We are looking forward to a year from now when we expect much of the hard work of implementing these ambitious climate objectives will be well underway.

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