The Dialog: “Proper now, there is no such thing as a federal company tasked with growing a systemic understanding of local weather change…”

Ed Carr, Ph.D.

Ed Carr, Ph.D.Ed Carr, Ph.D. , Clark University

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Edward Carr, a professor at Clark University, said Biden will struggle to truly transform society, although restoring California's control over automotive environmental standards and reintroducing methane rules will help from the Obama era.

Biden's climate change plans can quickly raise the bar, but can they be transformative?

November 11, 2020 6:20 am AED
Edward R Carr
Professor and Director, International Development, Community, and Environment, Clark University

The day Joe Biden becomes president, he can take action that can help slow climate change. The question is, can he reach the scale of the challenge?

If his administration focuses only on what is politically possible and does not produce a coordinated response that also takes into account the social and economic impact of climate change and the US political response, it is unlikely to succeed.

To get the country back to its Paris Agreement obligations, Biden can recertify the exemption that allows California to implement its fuel economy and zero-emission vehicle standards. The Trump administration had revoked it. California is a large state and its actions are being watched by others, which is putting pressure on the auto industry to meet higher standards nationwide.

The administration can also limit climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions by regulating activities such as the flaring of methane in public spaces. The Trump administration has rolled back a large number of climate and environmental regulations over the past four years.

There are even legislative measures that could come about through a split congress, such as funding clean energy technologies.

One of the big challenges – and where Biden has to start – is the lack of understanding of the systemic risks, opportunities and costs of climate action and inaction.

There is currently no federal agency designed to develop a systemic understanding of the effects of climate change on society.

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Who is Edward Carr? In February of that year, he was appointed a climate adaptation advisor at the Global Environment Facility, a well-funded multinational UN organization established after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. According to his university biography, he is an anthropologist. I get the impression he's more of a visionary than an engineer.

In my opinion, it's easier to talk about transformation than actually creating a detailed budget. We all love the idea of ​​abundant free energy that does not harm the planet. As long as you don't get too close to tech reality, this renewable energy fantasy transformation thing looks so beautiful.

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