Mon. May 16th, 2022

All eyes are on President-elect Joe Biden for the next four years. Young generations are ready and waiting to force real systemic changes in the United States’s contributions to the global climate crisis. His plans seem to pinpoint the exact problems the Trump administration introduced throughout the last four years; one can only wonder if it is truly enough to save the planet from environmental destruction.

Biden’s climate change plan includes environmental measures such as the ambitious goal to be a completely carbon-neutral country by 2050. In his July 14 speech in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden highlighted his ambition to “not just to build back to where we were before but better, stronger, more resilient.” 

Dubbed a “climate change pioneer,” Joe Biden seeks to keep the economy and the environment connected. His plans include “historic” investments in a future of clean energy, simultaneously creating jobs for Americans and paid with the tax incentives President Trump implemented during his time in office. Biden also wants to address the clean water crisis in Flint, Michigan, rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and implement more punishments for corporate pollution, which the Trump administration mysteriously lacked.

These changes can either make the U.S. a driving force for economic and ecological change, or it can cancel out wrongdoings leaving the country back at square one. Simply undoing the environmental detriment that the last four years have caused is not enough.

However, President-elect Biden agrees. He is prepared to use every tool in the American arsenal to drive the ambition of other countries. His thorough plan covers multiple solutions that Americans have been waiting to see. Looking at his published climate plan, Biden covers everything from agriculture to urban sprawl.

Biden could be trying to please everyone, but it may be at the sacrifice of true climate progress. The founder of Carbon Switch research company, Michael Thomas, comments, “The commitments listed in his plan would only reduce emissions by a few percent each year — not enough to get there, or even close.” This projection carries a daunting truth behind what could be the bare minimum of what the planet needs from us.

Most Americans take this plan as a breath of fresh air after enduring the last four years of environmental regression. It is a positive sight to see a politician who addresses the needs of all Americans emphasizing the ever-growing issue of climate change. 

Young concerned voters and future generations, inspired by Greta Thunberg, will not hold back on demanding better from Biden moving forward. Climate change is a complicated phenomenon. Biden’s outward willingness to listen to science is exactly the step needed by citizens to force some real change. The people have spoken.

Lots of young people see this as a sigh of relief because they finally have someone in the highest position of power who will listen.

There is still hope in what Biden can and promises to do for the environment with his time in office. After speaking on the issue with popular figures like Justin Trudeau and Pope Francis, Biden’s climate plan is already being discussed by many in hopes to see the world change… not the climate.


Kristine Kearns is a first-year English major with a minor in Creative Writing.

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