President-elect Joe Biden made climate change one of the biggest issues that he ran his campaign on. However, climate experts recently said that his proposed policies would result in higher costs and no actual reduction in global temperatures.
President of the Heartland Institute, James Taylor, told reporters in a press conference that “it is very important to understand just how expensive Biden’s climate plan is and just how much harm it would do to the American economy as well as American household budgets. This puts the average American household on the hook for $17,000 per household as a result of this climate plan.”
In a speech earlier this year, Joe Biden said that climate change is an “existential threat” and proposed a $2 trillion plan to create jobs while increasing clean energy use in the transportation, electricity, and building industries. Biden has said that he does not support the Green New Deal, but his plan calls for a “clean energy revolution” to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
According to polling data, climate change was not an important issue for voters in 2020. Issues such as the economy and coronavirus pandemic took precedent over climate change this year. According to the Pew Research Center, 42% of voters said climate change was “very important” to their vote. This was lower than almost all other issues.
Experts claim that proposals made by Biden and his transition team would lead to higher energy prices for consumers and households.
For example, Treasury Secretary nominee-designate Janet Yellen, said that she supports a carbon tax and that she could implement such a policy if confirmed to head the Treasury.
However, a 2015 study by Brookings Institution researchers concluded that a plan like this would raise the price of gasoline by 36 cents per gallon and add an additional 20% cost to consumer utility bills.
Biden’s climate proposal also aims for an unprecedented reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to offset rising temperatures. But some climate scientists say that may not work. A 2018 study concluded that global temperatures would continue to rise for centuries even if greenhouse gas emissions reduced to zero.
Incoming CO2 Coalition executive director Greg Wrightstone said he agreed with the assessment. “If the United States reduced 100% of all of its emissions today, it would only avert four-hundredths of a degree centigrade by the year 2050 and only one-tenth of a degree by the year 2100,” he said to reporters.
Biden promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, which President Trump backed out of. According to Biden’s transition website, he “will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change — he will go much further than that.”