Alice Hill: U.S. Climate Policy and the New Administration

Alice Hill- US reversal of climate change policies

Mr. Biden made two things clear: the US is back in climate action and will actively join the fight against climate change.

Main goals right now:

  1. The US must fight climate change
  2. Water levels are rising – flooding is a real problem on the coastline and even inland
  3. The US should lead the world with innovation 

Focusing the government around climate – task force for government action against environmental change.

  • Mr. Biden wants to bind climate and politics in his diplomacy.
  • Wants to stop funding fossil fuel tech improvement and use.
  • Pause with drilling for new oils and gas and trying to use more green energy.

What can we expect?

  • Strong alliance with EU and GB
  • Shared democratic values will help in fight against CC
  • Economic recovery from Covid – buffing trade with the EU
  • Nordstream 2 – relations with Germany are important
  • Democrats say that climate change is an important issue
  • Lasting progress on climate and energy issues
  • 2015 Paris agreement
  • US-China relations
  • Surge of immigrants – climate impacts

Rebuilding trust in local community – the US wants to decrease CO2 emissions locally. There are challenges in Congress – senators are skeptical in climate change actually happening and blame natural causes.

Covid made fossil fuels more popular than renewables because they are cheaper and countries are trying to stay afloat – green energy technology is delayed. It’s important to figure out how to reduce emissions – pressure point right now.

Transition to green energy, natural gas also possess problems, especially fracking. China is the largest emitter of CO2 – maybe by 2060 net 0, seems to be a fruitful area of debate and cooperation. Trade routes on the poles by Russia and China, could mean militarization of the Arctic Ocean.

Public education about global warming? There are no government funded programs for that, the US is behind Europe in education. University students aren’t interested in climate change in the US educational system.

US has suffered a lot of casualties because of climate change already – big floods and storms, wildfires (gigafire). People live in dangerous areas – problem with infrastructure, the US must invest more into making towns safer in cases of natural disasters. There are no plans with large scale evacuations – the US will try to work on that.

Inter generational justice – Investments are focused on short term values, because of term length. It’s a problem that investments are not going into more resilient infrastructure.

Power crisis in Texas – infrastructure is not prepared for extreme climate change, turns out investments have not been made to make the grid stronger – these investments are extremely important and need to be made so. Texas governor blamed green energy in power shortages.

Now the US wants to invest more in being more prepared for future disasters with the electric grid. Power loss in major cities is a very big problem – cities stop working and get wasted.

Alice Hill

Lawyer – criminal prosecutor – Judge – Homeland security department – Mr. Obama wanted someone to take on the climate issue – Climate change is indeed a big problem for the US and the world.