The democratic management of the Senate is the victory of the Biden local weather safety agenda
Democratic Senate nominees Jon Ossoff (L), Raphael Warnock (C) and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) take to the stage during a rally outside Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 4, 2021.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
The Democrats won the two Georgia Senate runoff elections on Tuesday, NBC News forecast on Wednesday. They took control of the US Senate and shaped what President-elect Joe Biden can achieve on climate change and other issues when he takes office.
The planned victories of Rev Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff give the Democratic Party 50 seats and give the elected Vice President Kamala Harris a groundbreaking vote. Current minority leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., will become the majority leader in place of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, and Schumer will then decide what happens in the Senate.
Without a GOP-controlled Senate, Biden has more leeway to pass climate change laws. The former Vice President’s Climate Change Pledge includes an ambitious $ 2 trillion business plan to accelerate the clean energy transition, reduce electricity sector carbon emissions by 2035, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The goals of Biden’s climate plan are in line with the goals of other major economies such as China and the European Union. However, many of the guidelines would have been blocked by a Republican-controlled Senate.
The $ 2 trillion plan will still be a tough sell even if the Democrats take over the White House and Senate. However, experts are optimistic that more comprehensive, bipartisan climate legislation will be adopted in the coming years.
“Democratic control of the Senate means funding climate action and the energy transition with funds, political progress through the reconciliation process, political support and messages from the Congress leadership, and possibly, if one is very optimistic, climate protection legislation with a high level of bipartisan support,” said Michael Burger, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Law at Columbia University.
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Bipartisan climate legislation could address measures targeting wind and solar energy, carbon capture and tax incentives for clean energy, among other things.
“For years there has been talk in the Senate of Republicans advocating climate action and waiting for the opportunity to jailbreak the party’s anti-climate and anti-environment agenda,” said Burger. “Here is the time for the break.”
Some environmental experts fear that not enough Democrats are taking serious climate action and expecting more modest bipartisan legislation that does not meet the requirements of climate advocates or action from other countries.
Biden said in a statement Wednesday that he was determined to work with Republicans at the federal, state and local levels to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and other crises.
“Georgia’s voters sent a resounding message yesterday: They want action against the crises we are facing, and they want it now. On COVID-19, economic relief, the climate, racial justice, voting rights and much more.” said Biden said. “They want us to move, but pull together.”
Once Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, the US will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, a global pact made five years ago among nearly 200 nations to set climate goals to avoid the worst of climate change. President Donald Trump officially withdrew the US from the agreement in November.
The Biden administration will also reverse many of Trump’s 84 completed environmental rollbacks and repeal much of the president’s energy ordinances.
Additionally, one of Biden’s earliest expected executive orders would require every government agency and department to tackle climate change.
“The climate crisis is not coming. It is here now,” said Michelle Deatrick, founder of the DNC Council on Environment and Climate Crisis, in a statement.
“President-elect Biden and the administration he is building understand this and are ready to act,” Deatrick said. “And now, thanks to the great work of so many people on the ground in Georgia, the path to sensible and necessary solutions to this crisis is now much easier.”