The Biden plan calls for the U.S. energy sector to go carbon free by the year 2035 which would lead to the country becoming a net zero
carbon emitter by 2050. Net zero means that any carbon emitted by various sources is balanced out by removing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere through activities like planting forests. To achieve this goal will take a herculean effort.
The Biden platform is available online, so here is a quick rundown. The Biden ‘Build Back Better’ plan blends job creation with building a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy. In the auto industry, the plan is to create one million new jobs in the auto industry, domestic auto supply chains, and auto infrastructure that includes electric vehicle charging stations. The plan includes providing zero-emissions public transportation in cities with more than 100,000 residents, such as light rail networks, and adding bicycle and pedestrian paths, and greening existing transit and bus lines.
The energy will move towards generating more clean energy and relying less on fossil fuels. The plan includes upgrading 4 million buildings for energy efficiency and weatherizing 2 million homes. Supply chains for energy efficient building retrofit and appliance manufacturing will get government incentives. Also included is driving dramatic cost reductions in clean energy technologies like battery storage, renewable hydrogen, negative emissions technologies, next generation of building materials and advanced nuclear. Also, there is a goal of creating jobs in climate-smart agriculture and conservation. This includes plugging abandoned natural gas and oil wells and reclaiming abandoned coal, uranium and hardrock mines. Biden wants to promote commuter transportation to reduce air pollution, upgrade water and sewer infrastructure, expand broadband so people can leverage the next generation of smart infrastructure and clean up and redevelop abandoned and underused Brownfield properties, old power plants and industrial facilities, landfills and abandoned mines.
Whew! This is a transformation plan, and the items mentioned are just a sample of what is in the Biden plan. The Biden plan focuses on creating jobs in environmental sustainability efforts by targeting people of color in diverse, underserved communities and women. That is where social justice meets environmental sustainability. The clean energy plan has an element for securing environmental justice and equitable economic opportunity. The goal is that 40 percent of spending in clean energy in every sector – housing, power production, workforce training, transit and transportation, pollution reduction, clean water – will be in disadvantaged communities.