Take Climate Action in Your Community
President Biden’s Actions to Tackle the Climate Crisis
President Biden campaigned on a bold vision of tackling the climate crisis with the urgency that science demands, by building a clean energy economy that benefits all Americans—with lower costs for families, good-paying jobs for workers, and healthier air and cleaner water for communities.
Since Day One, President Biden has delivered. After rejoining the Paris Agreement and restoring U.S. leadership on the world stage, President Biden created the first-ever National Climate Task Force, with more than 25 Cabinet-level leaders from across agencies working together on groundbreaking goals:
- Reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030
- Reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035
- Achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050
- Delivering 40% of the benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities
The Biden-Harris Administration is taking decisive steps to reduce emissions, increase resilience, advance environmental justice, and achieve true energy security. This federal mobilization, building on the leadership of states, Tribal Nations, and local governments, has already spurred historic progress:
- The United States set records for clean energy deployment in 2021, bringing enough new solar and wind projects online to power 10 million homes and tripling utility-scale battery storage capacity.
- Since President Biden took office, the two-millionth electric vehicle hit the road, companies announced investments of over $100 billion dollars in American EV manufacturing, and the rate of public EV charger installation nearly doubled.
- Major climate “firsts” included the Administration’s approval of the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in federal waters, the first commercial flight powered by 100% sustainable aviation fuel flying from Chicago to DC, and U.S. steel and cement companies committing for the first time to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
- Clean energy is by far the biggest job creator in America’s energy sector, with over 3 million Americans employed in clean energy jobs during 2021 earning wages 25% over the national median.
- On the international stage, President Biden worked with E.U. counterparts to rally more than 100 countries to join the Global Methane Pledge, a new partnership to reduce super-polluting methane emissions 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.
President Biden and Vice President Harris also made climate action and environmental justice a centerpiece of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This legislation provides the largest federal investments ever in upgrading the power grid, improving public transit and investing in zero-emission transit and school buses, installing a nationwide EV charging network, cleaning up legacy pollution, replacing lead pipes and delivering clean water. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will also strengthen the nation’s resilience and save taxpayer money, helping communities safeguard against extreme weather events, catastrophic wildfires, and other climate-related disasters—which last year caused more than $145 billion in damages from the biggest 20 disasters alone.
This is the decisive decade for the world to confront climate change and avoid the worst, irreversible impacts of this crisis. That’s why the President has called on Congress to act on climate by providing clean energy investments and tax credits that will bring down the sticker prices of EVs, weatherize homes and businesses to cut energy costs, and save American families an average of $500 a year. President Biden will continue leading to meet this moment and deliver economic opportunities, health benefits, and household savings here at home—by accelerating our transition to clean energy, and protecting Americans from fossil fuel price spikes.
Leadership in Action
Through executive and regulatory actions, public-private partnerships, international diplomacy, and more, President Biden is working towards achieving his bold goals while taking steps to grow the economy, create jobs, and build a clean energy future – all while rallying the world to step up too.
Reducing Emissions and Accelerating Clean Energy
President Biden and Vice President Harris have mobilized a whole-of-government effort in every sector of the economy – taking executive actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate clean energy production and deployment, and create good-paying jobs that strengthen the economy. In addition to the actions below, the Administration is leading by example across federal operations and procurement through the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan.
- Launched the American offshore wind industry, approving the first large-scale projects, identifying new wind energy areas in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and holding a record-breaking $4.3 Billion lease sale in the New York Bight – putting this major new industry on track to achieve the President’s bold goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, all while creating good-paying union jobs up and down the supply chain.
- Fast-tracked clean energy projects to bring jobs and savings to communities, by approving record levels of solar and other renewables on public lands, helping local governments advance community solar projects and rooftop installations, and launching a new initiative to deploy distributed energy resources in disadvantaged communities.
- Advanced power grid upgrades to increase reliability, lower costs, and unlock more clean energy through the “Building a Better Grid” initiative to deploy more than $15 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and build out long-distance transmission lines, and by helping Puerto Rico harness $12 billion in federal recovery funds to strengthen grid resilience and achieve its 100% clean electricity target.
- Invested in rural electric infrastructure through a $464 million investment from USDA to expand smart grid technologies and help agricultural producers and rural small businesses install clean energy systems.
- Accelerated innovation by creating an Energy Earthshots Initiative to drive clean energy breakthroughs and dramatically reduce the cost of critical technologies, hosting the first White House Fusion Summit, and launching a new DOE Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to oversee more than $20 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Rallied automakers and autoworkers around an electric transportation future, setting a national target of 50% electric vehicle sales share in 2030 and spurring investments in new American factories to manufacture EVs, batteries, and chargers.
- Launched EV Charging Action Plan to deploy $7.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out a national charging network that is convenient, reliable, and equitable, through a new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation.
- Finalized strongest passenger vehicle standards in American history to increase average fuel economy to 49 miles per gallon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect communities from pollution, and save drivers money at the pump.
- Accelerated clean buses, trucks, and ports with Vice President Harris announcing actions to reduce pollution from heavy-duty transportation and invest in electric vehicle models for public transit, school bus fleets, freight and port operations – providing relief to fenceline communities who bear the brunt of these dirty emissions.
- Strengthened battery supply chains by invoking the Defense Production Act to support American production of critical minerals and materials such as lithium, securing nearly $7 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for domestic battery manufacturing and recycling—all while adhering to strong sustainability and community engagement standards.
- Advanced the future of American aviation, coordinating leadership and innovation across the federal government, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, fuel producers, and more to produce three billion gallons of sustainable fuel and reduce aviation emissions by 20% in 2030.
- Expanded a program to help families weatherize homes with a $3 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program to increase energy efficiency, make homes healthier, and lower energy bills for thousands of American families.
- Updated energy-saving appliance and equipment standards with a roadmap for 100 actions by the end of 2022 that will save households an average of $100 dollars a year through more efficient air conditioners, stoves, refrigerators, and more.
- Supported subnational action, launching a new Building Performance Standards Coalition of over 30 states and local governments to reduce building emissions, create good-paying union jobs in energy efficiency and electrification, and lower energy bills.
- Invested in school facility upgrades with Vice President Harris announcing a new Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure to support energy efficiency retrofits and other improvements that save school districts money and deliver health and education benefits to students, educators and school staff.
- Accelerated innovation with the launch of the Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity on RDD&D of clean heating and cooling systems to support sustainable buildings and updated ENERGY STAR standards to promote innovative heat pump technologies and encourage electric appliances.
- Advanced clean domestic manufacturing, with major announcements on using trade policy to reward American manufacturers of clean steel and aluminum, a Buy Clean Task Force for federal purchasing of low-carbon construction materials, $9.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for clean hydrogen, and more, and the first comprehensive U.S. government plan to build an Energy Sector Industrial Base.
- Issued the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan with more than 40 actions across multiple agencies to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, abandoned coal mines, landfills, agriculture, buildings, and more, while protecting public health, promoting U.S. innovation in new technologies, and helping employ thousands of skilled workers across the country.
- Launched the phasedown of super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons found in refrigerators, air conditioners, and other equipment, with actions from six agencies to reduce HFC emissions by 85% over 15 years while strengthening domestic manufacturing of alternatives.
- Promoted responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies, with guidance to help agencies ensure projects are environmentally sound, create union jobs, and reduce cumulative pollution in nearby communities.
- Expanded partnerships to reduce industrial emissions, with DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program now covering 3,500 facilities representing almost 14% of the U.S. manufacturing footprint, and launched the Low Carbon Pilot to support even greater ambition.
- Launched the America the Beautiful challenge to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 by accelerating locally led conservation, leveraging $1 Billion in public and private investments, and putting natural solutions to work in our fight against climate change while strengthening local economies.
- Restored and strengthened protections for cherished places, including Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments, as well as the Tongass National Forest and Bristol Bay in Alaska—all of special importance to Tribal Nations.
- Protected sensitive areas from oil, gas, and hardrock mineral leasing, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Chaco Canyon, and Boundary Waters, and ensured thorough and science-based review of all fossil fuel projects on public lands.
- Accelerated the restoration of the Great Lakes with a $1 Billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide clean drinking water, economic opportunities and environmental benefits for communities in the region.
- Announced a $1 Billion-dollar investment in Climate-Smart Agriculture through a partnership initiative that will create new market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart practices.
- Expanded access to outdoor recreation spaces in urban areas with $150 million in grants through the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership prioritizing communities that lack in outdoor recreation opportunities.
- Re-established regulations to protect America’s waterways to ensure environmental protections for water bodies that are critical to the health, safety and economic vitality of communities.
Advancing Environmental Justice and Empowering Workers
President Biden and Vice President Harris have worked since Day One to confront environmental injustices, toxic pollution, underinvestment in infrastructure and critical services, and disproportionate impacts from climate change on communities across the nation. The Administration has activated the entire federal government to advance environmental justice and for the first time in our nation’s history, elevate the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of environmental justice communities to guide White House and Federal Government priorities, policies, investments, and decision-making.
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to continually fighting for environmental justice through early, meaningful, and sustained partnership with communities and dedicated leadership in Federal agencies.
- Launched and implemented the Justice40 Initiative to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities, with new guidance to help agencies transform hundreds of programs, and a new Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool to ensure that agencies are consistently identifying and delivering benefits to disadvantaged communities.
- Directed resources to reduce environmental and health burdens through historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments to clean up legacy pollution, cap orphan oil & gas wells, reclaim abandoned mine lands, and replace lead pipes.
- Helped families save on energy costs by doubling funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, accelerating home efficiency and electrification retrofits, and supporting locally-driven clean energy plans to lower utility bills.
- Established the first-ever White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council to ensure that voices of historically marginalized, underserved, and overburdened communities are heard in the White House and reflected in the policies and investments of federal agencies. The Council has provided extensive recommendations that are informing the implementation of the Justice40 Initiative and other policies and programs across the Administration.
- Created new environmental justice initiatives across the federal government, including a comprehensive DOJ and EPA enforcement strategy to protect overburdened communities and hold polluters accountable, the first-ever Office of Environmental Justice at DOJ, the first-ever Office of Climate Change and Health Equity at HHS, agency Equity Action Plans that advance environmental justice, and more.
- Formed an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization to help identify and mobilize over $200 billion in federal funding opportunities that can be used to reduce pollution, support new industries, and create good-paying jobs.
Strengthening Climate Resilience
Four in ten Americans live in a county that was impacted by a climate disaster last year. As climate-related extreme weather events increase in frequency and ferocity, the U.S. is taking bold steps to strengthen the nation’s resilience to severe impacts climate change has on our communities, infrastructure, economies, and more.
- Secured over $50 billion in resilience investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the most in American history, to protect communities against extreme weather.
- Announced a coordinated federal response for extreme heat by launching nationwide standards and employer training to protect workers from heat exposure on the job, using the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help provide A/C equipment, and more.
- Protected against flooding, superstorms, and sea level rise by re-establishing federal standards that will reduce flood risk, mobilizing new FEMA funding to help communities prepare, and launching interagency efforts on coastal restoration and nature-based solutions.
- Confronted growing wildfire threats by launching a new Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, releasing action plans from the Forest Service, Department of the Interior, and other agencies, and investing $8 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reduce wildfire risk.
- Strengthened drought prevention and protection by investing $8.3 billion in water resilience through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, launching a federal-state task force with Western governors, advancing drought and soil monitoring systems, and more.
- Launched a government-wide strategy on climate-related financial risk with actions to protect homeowners and consumers, businesses and workers, and the federal government from economic impacts of climate change.
- Established more than 20 federal agency climate resilience and adaptation plans to ensure that federal facilities and operations lead the way in climate resilient design and supply chain management.
Leveraging Domestic Ambition to Rally Global Peers
While the U.S. has committed itself to addressing the climate crisis, countries across the globe must also step up given that more than 85% of global climate pollution comes from beyond our borders. President Biden and his team are rallying the world to take the decisive action needed in this decade to tackle the climate crisis.
- Convened the first-ever Leaders Summit on Climate, a historic gathering of more than 40 world leaders to galvanize efforts from major economies to tackle the climate crisis and underscore the urgency and economic benefits of decisive action – growing the coalition to include strong Nationally Determined Contributions from Canada and Japan. In conjunction with the Summit, the governments of the United States and Canada launched the Greening Government Initiative, the first-of-its-kind forum for countries to cooperate on greening their government operations.
- Announced and expanded major climate initiatives at COP26 in Glasgow, including the Global Methane Pledge, the First Movers Coalition, the U.S. Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate and the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
- Advanced the world’s first carbon-based sectoral arrangement on steel and aluminum trade, announcing a commitment to negotiate an arrangement with the European Union that will reward American manufacturers, prevent dirty products from entering U.S. markets, and result in more jobs and lower prices for Americans.
- Supported those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide, by releasing the first-ever U.S. International Climate Finance Plan, pledging to quadruple U.S. international climate finance and including these investments in the President’s FY23 Budget, and launching the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience.
- Launched the Build Back Better World (B3W) infrastructure initiative at the G7 to mobilize hundreds of billions of dollars between G7 members and the private sector in sustainable, infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Rallied G7 leaders to end public finance for overseas unabated coal generation, with historic agreement on a set of new actions to accelerate the global transition and, for the first time in history, alignment across the G7 on long-term and short-term climate goals consistent with keeping the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold within reach.
- At the Quad Leaders’ Summit, launched a Green Shipping Network, Clean Hydrogen Partnership, and other actions with the Quad Climate Working Group to enhance climate adaptation, resilience, and preparedness.
- Co-hosted the 7th Annual Our Ocean Conference in Palau, announcing 100 U.S. commitments totaling more than $2.6 billion for ocean protection and climate solutions.