Comment: The Biden Plan for Climate Change

The past four years have certainly been turbulent in American politics, particularly concerning the Trump Administration's approach to climate policy. President Trump's 'America First Energy Plan' has or was in the progress of rolling back 64 environmental pieces of legislation. The outgoing President - a known climate change sceptic - also notoriously withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement. Will incoming President-elect Biden signal a change in direction for the USA and therefore Global Climate Policy?

What is Joe Biden's environmental strategy?

President-elect Biden's campaign website has a dedicated page regarding his approach to clean energy. It lists a clear commitment to achieving net zero climate emissions by 2050. It speaks of reaching this target through the implementation of a sustainable infrastructure in the US economy, which will both create jobs and reward innovation in clean energy technology.

His list of commitments includes:

  • Job creation as a foundation for sustainable growth
  • Investment in electric vehicle production
  • Investment in zero-emissions public transportation
  • A carbon-pollution free energy sector by 2035
  • Retrofitting existing buildings and building 1.5 million new sustainable homes

How will this impact the UK?

There appears to be areas of common approach between the Prime Minister and President-elect when it comes to climate change. The first opportunity for a formal meeting between the two leaders may come at the United Nations' Climate Change Conference (COP26) when it is held in Glasgow in 2021. COP26 exists to hold countries and world leaders to account against the Paris Climate Treaty. With the United States committed to reengaging with the Paris agreement, there should be a more coordinated global approach to tackling key issues.

As recently as November 2020, Boris has reaffirmed the UK's own commitment to tackling climate change. We are awaiting further details of the Government's '10-point plan' to boost investment in green infrastructure, jobs and to reach net zero emissions. The language and policy promises between the UK and USA are clearly aligned and should be echoed by our European partners in the G7.

What's next?

Stroma Certification has seen a growth in demand for our PAS 2035 online Retrofit Assessor training course during 2020 as domestic retrofit projects come to the fore. In recent weeks we've also seen a publication of the PAS 2038 Consultation into the retrofit approach for commercial buildings.

If you have any questions about PAS 2035, PAS 2038 or emerging sustainability policies, please email certification@stroma.com.