No matter which way you voted, it’s been a long election season for us all. The last several days, in particular. Long and exhausting.
Now we have a president-elect – and it’s time to get to work.
President-elect Joe Biden ran promising to bring the US back into the Paris Agreement and on a climate plan that would, “Ensure the US achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”
We can get behind that. In fact, we’re going to have to – all of us – to make this plan a reality. Because the truth is, the fossil fuel industry and its allies will fight us every step of the way.
The good news is that the American people are ready for the clean energy revolution – and the numbers prove it:
- Seventy-seven percent say the United States should develop alternative energy sources like solar and wind power instead of looking to produce more coal, oil, and natural gas.
- Huge majorities support expanding solar power (92 percent) or wind power (85 percent) – including “strong majorities of both Republicans and Democrats.”
- Sixty-one percent of Americans know government action on climate will create high-paying jobs and strengthen the economy.
It’s worth emphasizing that last number. At a time when millions are unemployed and struggling after COVID-19 swung a wrecking ball through the economy, Americans are ready for a new way forward, starting with a just energy transition that both creates jobs and halts global warming. After all, prior to the beginning of the pandemic, experts were predicting that by 2030 there could be as many as 24 million new clean energy and low-carbon jobs globally.
Looking ahead to what it will take for us to get there, Americans are also ready for their government to make major policy changes:
- A staggering 86 percent support the government funding research into renewable energy.
- 75 percent believe we should regulate CO2 as a pollutant.
- 68 percent are for setting strict emissions limits on existing coal-fired power plants.
- Americans are united (78 percent support) that schools should teach about global warming.
- Perhaps most tellingly of all, 60 percent believe the president should do more about it.
Let’s be clear: getting the country on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050 is, in the words of a certain former vice president, a “a big (expletive) deal.”
But the bottom line is that the raw materials are there. Massive public support. Affordable clean energy technology cheaper than fossil fuels in almost all areas of the country. And a cultural environment where 72 percent of Americans know global warming is happening and over half recognize it’s mostly caused by human activity.
We have a president-elect and vice president-elect who are promising action – and have a mandate to create change. But even as we take a moment to breathe, we can’t become complacent.
There is a window for change open. But if our movement has learned anything over the years, it’s that even in times of progress on the climate crisis, we must continue to advocate loudly for the change we need or it won’t happen.
It’s Time to Act
The election is over. The arguments are over. Our climate is changing, threatening the country we love and the future we give our children.
The good news is that we know what to do and the tools are in our hands today.
It’s time to act on climate. To rebuild America even better with the green jobs, efficient buildings, and climate smart roads and infrastructure that can put Americans to work, create healthy communities, and help avoid the worst of the climate crisis.
It starts now. The first 100 days of this new administration and Congress are our chance to make climate action that creates jobs and rebuilds communities the top priority. To get the US on the path to net-zero and together create the healthy and sustainable future we want.
Before You Go
At Climate Reality, we work hard to create high-quality educational content like blogs, e-books, videos, and more to empower people all over the world to fight for climate solutions and stand together to drive the change we need. We are a nonprofit organization that believes there is hope in unity, and that together, we can build a safe, sustainable future.
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