Jamal Rod, Evergreen Action, Secretary Deb Holland discussed on Can He Do That?

Can He Do That?


Joe biden has prioritize climate. Change like no president ever has before yet. That's still not enough. That's jamal rod. He's the co founder and executive director of evergreen action which is a climate change policy and advocacy organization. Jamal has been fighting for progressive change on climate policy and i was curious for a climate activists. Take on biden's performance. So i i asked him how he thinks. Biden is doing on climate. His legacy will be tested by numerous issues but none more so than climate change. They're going to judge him on whether he took bold enough action to defeat the climate crisis and create a new economy. Run on one hundred percent clean energy years from now. It'll be a question of whether we did enough or let the last best opportunity to reckon with this slip. By frankly at this point if i had to give him a great it would be incomplete because it's not the first six months of matter. It's the next six months you know. They started off boldly with the pause on fossil fuel. Leasing ending the keystone excel pipeline. Appointing folks like secretary deb holland who cares about climate deeply at the department interior gene mccarthy to run the new white house climate office these are all positive elements. I think it's just hard to say that anyone is doing enough right now. I think that they've done a lot of good. There's a lot to look back on this positive as far as climate. But it's not enough. There's more that needs to be done. Can we pass a reconciliation bill in the next few months here. That actually has bold standards in our most polluting sectors of economy that make major investments to create the clean energy jobs that we need that centers justice while doing it focuses on creating jobs and on the communities that have borne the brunt of the pollution the communities hit i in worse by the climate crisis. And if they don't get this reconciliation bill done. They're going to be coming with empty hands to glasgow at the un conference where we really need to show that america's back on the international stage as far as climate leadership. And why is it so important for the us to have a prominent role in fighting climate change. We are the historical biggest emitter of carbon emissions and we have to show leadership in if we are asking the world to decarbonised by mid century than we need to do that before. Then and what's really important here is that we look at the reconciliation bill as the cold to tackling that goal and there's a lot of provisions in the draft reconciliation bill in the budget top lines. That could get us there and one of the most important pieces of it is the clean electricity payment program that would act like a clean electricity standard. If we can clean up our electricity grid and then run everything on the grid. Are our cars our buildings and then make the grid clean. That would take us a lot of the way there and so i. I really want us to see bold investments in clean electricity grid. I really wanna see us. Invest environmental justice to meet the initiative to make forty percent of our investments in black and brown and indigenous communities. That have been hit first. In worst by this crisis we need investing clean buildings so that our buildings are run on that clean electricity sector and we need a green bank to help propel jobs in clean energy job creations so those are the things that i'm looking for as kind of key pieces. We need the reconciliation bill. We need to fight for them to be invested at at a at a higher level and to keep those provisions in as we go through this process but as a good positive first step. Those are in the bill as currently written now. Now all of these conversations and congress are happening on the backdrop of the release of the new u. n. Report this week. Experts are saying that this is yet another wakeup call to really act on climate change. So what do you think. Do you have hope that this moment will bring significant change you know the takeaway from this report is that we don't need anymore. Reports scientists have been telling us for years we need to act boldly now to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. I think of this summer the summer. Twenty twenty one as a point when americans realized that climate change is no longer a chart or graph or happening in some far off future. It's happening in their communities right now. In communities across america. I'm from seattle. Which was experiencing record breaking heat waves and had the driest spring since nineteen twenty four california's a tinderbox waiting to explode with droughts wildfires. We've seen extreme weather all across this nation. We've seen smoke from western. Wildfires hit new york city in dc a few weeks ago. This is something that people are seeing their own is that are feeling in their own lungs and we may surpass the one point five degree warming threshold but we have a window opportunity to prevent the most dire outcomes and save lives. We need to take this opportunity with the stakes being so high. So i'm curious for your perspective on this. Why do you think that climate change is such difficult political circumstances. Why is climate a political problem. I think the basic problem is that the science around this has gotten polarized much like everything else in our society. The republican party in the united states is one of the only few in the international community that reject climate science and don't think that burning fossil fuels is a systemic problem. This may be due to the fact that the republican party is bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry in case we have forgotten because we keep hearing that two thousand fourteen has been the warmest year on record. Asked the chair. You know what this is. It's a snowball and that just from outside here. So it's very very cold out very unseasonable so mr president catch this but it is a unique problem in the world. We've seen the conservative prime minister. Boris johnson in the uk call for ending the sale of internal combustion engines in cars and promote. Tv's by a date. Certain by twenty thirty five together we can reduce our emissions. We can radically cut out dependence on fossil fuels we can change our agricultural practices and in short we can reverse the process by which for centuries humanity has been quilting our planet in a toxic tea cosy of greenhouse gases. We've seen on merckel in germany bold steps to act on climate about us what we invest into climate change is expensive for the impact of climate. Change costs even more one. Setting disaster on its own is not climate. Change increased frequency of the mess. We must make big changes. Do not have that same mentorship here so anything that can be done at the scale and scope of the crisis needs to be done on a partisan basis which is unfortunate.

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