Policy Corner | January 21, 2021

And that was just Day One of Biden’s climate agenda

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Jan. 21 – It was the executive order heard ‘round the world.

“Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!” tweeted French president Emmanuel Macron, although it will take 30 days for President Biden’s move to take effect.

On the day of his inauguration, Biden kicked off his ambitious climate and racial justice agenda with a broad executive order directing federal agencies to address the impact of climate change on disadvantaged communities and to roll back harmful policies enacted under former President Trump.

Biden also revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a last-ditch attempt by Canada’s TC Energy to salvage the project by vowing to invest in renewable energy and hire union workers.

“Effective climate laws, as President Biden understands, will drive a host of benefits,” including technology innovation, lower-cost energy, economic competitiveness, and human and environmental health, said As You Sow’s Danielle Fugere

Arctic reprieve. Biden put a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge while the Interior Department reviews this month’s hastily arranged auction, which drew no bids from major oil companies and raised a paltry $14 million. The six largest U.S. banks have said they will not finance Arctic drilling. Last week, Axis Capital Holdings became the first North American insurer to end coverage for oil and gas projects in the refuge. 

Carbon pricing. On the eve of Biden’s inauguration, the Chamber of Commerce signaled its support for a “market-based approach” to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Markets for carbon credits, which companies can buy to offset their emissions, are heating up as companies anticipate stricter regulations. BP last year hiked its internal carbon price assumptions to $100 per ton by the end of the decade, up from $40 per ton.