In December 2020, before officially taking office, President Biden announced his climate team. It was a historic display of the then-President-elect’s effort to prioritize his administration’s response to the climate crisis.
“I’m pleased to announce a team that will lead my administration’s ambitious plan to address the existential threat of our time, climate change,” Biden said at the time.
On his first day in office, Biden took executive actions to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and direct agencies to review and reverse more than 100 Trump actions on the environment.
Just a week later, Biden signed several more executive actions related to the climate crisis, including one directing the secretary of the interior to pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters.
Since the early days of his administration, Biden and other administration officials have emphasized that the White House is taking a “whole of government” approach to climate change.
They’ve also underscored that they believe the President’s actions will help spur job growth, and categorize people working in industries vulnerable to job loss, such as coal miners, under their umbrella of environmental justice.
“It’s about coming to the moment to deal with this maximum threat that we exist with as now facing us, climate change, with a greater sense of urgency,” he said at a January signing ceremony. “In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer.”