“Folks, we’re in a crisis. We literally have no time to waste … Just like we need to be a unified nation to respond to COVID-19, we need a unified national response to climate change,” says President-elect Joe Biden as he announces key members of his climate crisis team. He promises to make tackling climate change a priority.
Biden has also vowed to reverse many of the Trump administration’s rollback regulations and oil and gas supported initiatives. He has also said he would have the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accord.
So who is on his team? Deutsche Welle reports some key members:
- Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico has been picked to lead the Interior Department, which oversees the U.S.’s natural resources that include national parks and wildlife refuges. The department has also wielded influence over the nation’s tribes for generations. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first Native American to hold a cabinet position.
- Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan, has been tapped to be the next energy secretary. Since stepping down as governor, she has often spoken about the need to boldly rethink energy policy in light of climate change.
- Michael Regan, North Carolina’s top environmental regulator, has been nominated to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Regan made a name for himself by pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins and helping low-income and minority communities significantly affected by pollution. If confirmed, he would be the first Black American to run the agency.
- Brenda Mallory, an environmental attorney, will be Biden’s nominee to direct the Council on Environmental Quality. The office oversees environmental reviews for virtually all major infrastructure projects and advises the president on major environmental issues. If confirmed, she too would be the first Black American to hold the position since it was created more than half a century ago.
- Gina McCarthy, the EPA administrator during fromer U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term, will lead a new White House Office of Climate Policy, and serve as national climate adviser. Her position would not need Senate confirmation.
“Like their fellow Cabinet nominees and appointees, members of our environmental and energy team are brilliant, they’re qualified, tested and they are barrier-busting.,” says Biden.
According to CNN, the President-elect announced also came with some promises. He touted his ambitious climate plan, which seeks to end carbon emissions from power plants by 2035 and proposes broader public investment in green infrastructure, including $2 trillion for clean energy projects. He spoke about creating jobs, modernizing the nation’s water, transportation and energy infrastructures, turning the country toward electric vehicles and lowering the nation’s carbon emissions.