WASHINGTON – Today, the White House announced President Joe Biden will issue executive orders pausing new oil, gas, and coal lease sales on federal lands, eliminating some fossil fuel giveaways, directing 40 percent of climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and putting the US on course to protect 30 percent of public lands and oceans by 2030. The move comes one day after Greenpeace launched a collaboration with Shepard Fairey demanding President Biden deliver a green, just, and peaceful future.
In response, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director Janet Redman said:
“It’s clear Joe Biden is listening to climate activists. Days ago, when he re-entered the United States into the Paris Climate Agreement and stopped Keystone XL, we implored President Biden to ‘roll up his sleeves and do the real work to deliver climate justice.’ Today’s news shows Biden is ready to work toward delivering a green, just, and peaceful future. Halting new leases on public lands, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and attending to the needs of fossil fuel communities and workers are necessary steps towards phasing out all fossil fuel extraction and transitioning to an economy that puts people’s well-being before corporate polluters. Launching an initiative to fulfill President Biden’s campaign promise to direct 40% of investments to disadvantaged communities moves us one step closer to truly confronting the crises of climate change and racial injustice.”
“We’re encouraged to see President Biden take steps to engage the federal government’s significant resources to pair policies to wind down the fossil fuel industry with investment in job creation and labor protections that guarantee the opportunity for family-sustaining, union work across the renewable energy and care economy of the future. This is a historic announcement, but we know the devil is in the details of how these directives get implemented. We will doggedly fight to ensure Biden’s promises become real action at the scale that science and justice demand. President Biden must continue down this path to Build Back Fossil Free by investing in communities of color that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution, stopping all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, and ensuring the renewable energy revolution leaves no one behind.”
Nearly 200 leading progressive organizations and grassroots groups have coalesced behind the Build Back Fossil Free platform. The platform identifies 25 crucial executive actions — from protecting public lands to launching a national climate mobilization — Biden must take early in his presidency to prevent climate chaos, end fossil fuel racism, and improve well-being for millions of people.
With today’s announcement, the United States also joins a growing list of countries building towards protecting 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030. More than 3 million people worldwide have signed on with Greenpeace to support the 30×30 movement , pressuring leaders to create a global network of ocean sanctuaries on the high seas.
Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar said:
“Protecting 30 percent of our oceans by 2030 is critical if we hope to restore America’s rich ocean ecosystems and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Rising emissions are causing polar sea ice to melt and threatening ecosystems from pole to pole. As sea levels rise and surface temperatures warm, climate-fueled storms and hurricanes batter coastal communities here in the United States and around the world. But the oceans aren’t just a victim; they’re one of our best allies in the climate crisis. If we protect them with a network of sanctuaries, we will help sea life thrive. And thriving sea life can help slow climate breakdown by keeping huge amounts of carbon stored in the deep sea. If we look after our oceans, they’ll keep looking after us.”