Last Wednesday, in Somerset, Massachusetts, in a speech to several members of Congress that traveled there for his speech, President Biden threatened he would take executive action to further his climate agenda. If Congress doesn’t act on his climate agenda, Biden warned of an international environmental catastrophe. In the meantime, China is ramping up coal production and continues to increase its emissions.
Biden also stated that in the coming weeks he will take substantial measures to safeguard communities from rising temperatures, which would include investing over $2 billion in heat resilient infrastructure, and also push to expand wind-powered energy.
Biden spoke at a former coal-fired power plant that is now a site for manufacturing of offshore wind components, demonstrating his push to implement his ambitious 2035 energy transformation plan that rejects fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy alternatives.
Gina McCarthy, Assistant to the President & National Climate Advisor and a Massachusetts native, talked to the press aboard Air Force One about the trip to Somerset.
“Brayton Point is a great backdrop. It does sort of show off the work that we’re doing on offshore wind, which is really remarkable and way beyond our expectations,” McCarthy said.
Biden’s announcement comes amid disagreements over his economic deal in the Senate after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia withdrew negotiations over proposed climate provisions and higher taxes included in the package. The president’s broader economic plan, which includes bold climate legislation, is anticipated to involve sizable investments in reducing carbon emissions.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Biden administration officials considered their options to push Biden’s plans, including declaring a climate emergency, following the breakdown of negotiations between Manchin and party leaders.
On Wednesday, nine Senate Democrats, including Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), urged Biden to immediately declare a climate emergency, also demanding the president use powers in the National Emergency Act (NEA) to accomplish an “immediate pursuit of an array of regulatory and administrative actions to slash emissions, protect public health, support national and energy security, and improve our air and water quality.”
While the Biden administration is spending billions on climate change, China is approving the construction of new emission-heavy coal plants that will lead to increased global temperatures as unlike Biden, Chinese President XI Jinping moves to ensure his nation’s energy security and independence, according to a Greenpeace report on Wednesday.
This is in stark contrast of Biden’s Climate agenda, as The People’s Republic of China is embracing fossil fuels to reach its growing energy demands, approving plans to add a total of 8.63 gigawatts in the first quarter of 2022 alone, which is nearly 50% of the whole year of 2021. Being the world’s largest carbon emitter, China relies on coal for over half of its total electricity generation. In April, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called for boosting coal supplies to ensure energy security, stating that coal production should be increased by 300 metric tons this year, up 7% from last year’s output of 4.1 billion metric tons, even amid the rise of global energy shortage.