On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden presented his economic rescue plan for the country. NOK 20,000 billion he will spend. Not just to repair old infrastructure and create new jobs. It must also steer the country away from fossil energy.
This is how the White House summary of the plan begins:
“This is not the time to rebuild as it was before. This is the moment to rethink and rebuild a new economy. “
Around NOK 10,000 billion appears to be earmarked for sectors that fall under the umbrella of climate and the environment. It concludes the global research institute World Resource Institute (WRI).
Biden has the research on its side. A number of studies show that money for green conversion is money well spent. It provides two to three times more jobs than similar investments in fossil energy.
Most in the world on climate and environment
Among the world’s corona crisis packages, no other country has as much to do with climate and environmental measures as the United States.
Only one economy can be compared to the United States. The EU will spend 30 percent of its budget on climate measures. In the United States, the proportion is at least 50 percent, according to WRI.
In comparison, the climate share of Norway’s rescue package is 2 per cent. The world average is 12 percent.
The final design of the package depends on two things: whether Biden receives Republican support, or whether he decides to move forward as aggressively and quickly as Democratic control in Congress allows.
Housing, cars and renewable energy
Inside Climate News has reviewed some of the most important climate and environmental measures in Biden’s proposal:
- NOK 1,817 billion to build, modernize and climate-adapt affordable housing. This will both reduce social inequality and cut emissions. Housing accounts for 40 percent of emissions in the United States today.
- NOK 1 485 billion for electrification of the car fleet, 500,000 new charging stations and electrification of public vehicles.
- NOK 853 billion for modernization and strengthening of the power grid. This will provide capacity for more solar and wind energy.
- NOK 725 billion for the modernization of public transport. Especially societies with poor public communication should be given priority.
- NOK 299 billion for research and development of climate-friendly technology. Among other things, energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, nuclear power and floating offshore wind.
- NOK 136 billion for plugging abandoned oil and gas wells and cleaning up old mines. This will provide employment and at the same time stop methane leaks.
- If Biden fulfills its promise to stop all subsidies of fossil energy, it will amount to NOK 171 billion annually.
- Bidens will establish a federal standard that requires energy companies to supply a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources. The goal is 100 percent emission-free electricity by 2035.
- Biden will spend NOK 85 billion on nature conservation, climate adaptation and environmental rights.
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