Washington (December 19, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, led Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in outlining a set of recommendations for the incoming Biden administration to ensure that new officials are provided with the staff, budget, and coordinating power necessary to “supercharge the federal fight against the existential threat of climate change.” In the letter, the lawmakers applauded the Biden-Harris transition team’s work to prioritize climate-focused personnel in the transition announcements made this week, while also encouraging the Administration to uphold its campaign promise to build a government-wide response to address the climate crisis.
“We must fight boldly for intersectional climate solutions that move the nation toward clean, renewable energy and incorporate ambitious climate, health, labor, and equity standards at a scale commensurate with the crisis,” write the Senators in the letter to President-elect Biden. “We encourage your transition team to continue its work toward developing an empowered, organized, diverse, and unified team to achieve the President-Elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. campaign’s strong climate goals—building an Administration that recognizes the gravity of the crisis and possesses the passion and energy needed to address it.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
The letter recommends that President-elect Biden empower the recently announced climate officials by establishing and restoring offices and entities focused on climate, environmental justice, and economic transition, including the creation of an overarching entity that reports directly to the president and is endowed with all the powers necessary to coordinate a national climate strategy across all federal departments and agencies. It also asks that the incoming Administration put climate justice at the forefront of the administration’s strategy by appointing personnel who reflect the values and experiences of those active in combating the climate crisis, who are independent of fossil fuel and polluter interests, and who are committed to tackling the crisis at the scale and speed demanded by both science and justice. This includes members of underrepresented and environmental justice communities and climate scientists and experts. The Senators also urge President-elect Biden to ensure climate-focused personnel are given authority within key economic agencies and offices to address the costs of the climate crisis to the U.S. economy and to ensure that climate action supports communities and workers through the creation and family-sustaining jobs.