Readout of the Fifth National Climate Task Force Meeting
On the heels of the latest IPCC report, the National Climate Task Force met to discuss delivering on President Biden’s entire Build Back Better agenda in Congress and driving additional climate ambition.
Today, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy convened the fifth National Climate Task Force meeting where she was joined by Cabinet members and senior leadership from 17 federal agencies. The Task Force discussed the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, and its “code red” warning for the global community to take immediate action to avert the worst effects of climate change. This report underscores the need for action and achieving the President’s goal of taking bold action in this decisive decade on the path to economy-wide net zero emissions. Americans are already feeling the effects of climate change – from devastating wildfires to extreme heat to a historic drought – and the IPCC report reminds us that we must act swiftly and decisively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
During the meeting, Biden Administration officials discussed passage of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal through the Senate, and the Senate’s important step forward to passing the President’s full Build Back Better agenda, which includes creating an energy efficiency clean energy standard, expanding tax cuts for clean electricity, electric vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing, and creating a Civilian Climate Corps.
Additionally, agency leadership shared updates on the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to deliver the President’s vision to build back better:
- Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory and Acting OMB Director Shalanda Young discussed the recently-released Justice40 interim guidance that will ensure the federal government is delivering at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The interim guidance identifies a pilot of 21 priority programs that will provide a blueprint for other agencies to help inform their work to implement the Justice40 Initiative across government.
- Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and EPA Administrator Michael Regan discussed the recent proposed rules issued by their agencies that would establish the most robust standards for fuel efficiency and emissions ever. They also discussed the President’s new goal that half of all vehicle sales be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, and the accompanying standard-setting actions directed by the President, which will strengthen save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis.
- Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack provided an update on the devastation caused by the current wildfire season and the on-going severe drought that is afflicting communities across the West, including information on how each of their agencies are taking steps to invest in both immediate response efforts and long-term climate resilience to reduce the catastrophic effects of future wildfires and droughts.
As outlined by President Biden’s January 27 Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, the Task Force is chaired by the National Climate Advisor and includes Cabinet-level leaders from 21 federal agencies and senior White House officials to mobilize the Biden-Harris Administration’s implementation of a whole-of-government approach.
Task Force membership is comprised of the following government officials:
- National Climate Advisor (Chair)
- Secretary of the Treasury
- Secretary of Defense
- Attorney General
- Secretary of the Interior
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of Commerce
- Secretary of Education
- Secretary of Labor
- Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
- Secretary of Transportation
- Secretary of Energy
- Secretary of Homeland Security
- Administrator of General Services
- Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
- Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
- Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
- Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy
- Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
- Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
- Assistant to the President for Economic Policy