Reversing Trump: How Biden’s priority on climate change can create jobs
Steve Melink provides an opinion.
President Joe Biden’s agenda to combat climate change gained momentum with his signing of several executive actions in just his second week in office. Those came on the heels of other significant environmental moves he made the first week – signing an order for the US to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and stopping the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The economic aspect of the new administration’s climate change plan focuses on generating millions of well paying jobs in renewable energy fields. Though much work remains to be done in that regard, Biden is creating big possibilities through his early environmental actions that reversed moves made by former President Donald Trump, says Steve Melink (www.melinkcorp.com), ForbesBooks author of Fusion Capitalism: A Clean Energy Vision For Conservatives.
‘The conservative brand that I have identified with most of my life is dismissing much of the damage that coal, oil, and natural gas are doing to our health and environment – and missing out on the clean-energy economy of the future,’ Steve said.
‘We cannot continue to allow climate change to be the honourable mention of strategic priorities every year. And to his credit, President Biden and his administration are on a roll in addressing climate change and creating the framework for a clean energy economy.
‘This is about seizing the greatest opportunity of the 21st century – not just following it, but leading it. Like the moon race with the Soviet Union in the last century, the US needs to win the clean energy race with the Chinese this century. Millions of jobs are at stake, as well as our status as the world’s most powerful and benevolent economy.’
He suggests how the Biden administration can help create many well paying clean energy jobs:
Capitalise on innovation and technology. He says the United States’ access to technology should make it the world leader in renewable energy production and, as a byproduct, make that energy sector a leader in jobs. One report notes that the US has the capability of creating 25 million green energy jobs by 2035. ‘Biden needs to influence the private sector to provide the ingenuity to bring game changing technologies to the market, and at a scale that would make them affordable,’ Steve said. ‘It is about making evidence based decisions guided by the best available science and data. Our country became the superpower it is through science and technology. We should be the nation to lead this wave of innovation.’
Sell more American businesses on the benefits of green energy. This is happening to a large extent with megabrands like Amazon, Ford, Apple, Intel, Walmart and many others committing to more green energy use. ‘If American businesses wait to embrace renewable energy as consumers,’ Steve said, ‘then we lose the chance to make our country a leader in clean energy jobs, on the renewables production side, and as an exporter. But more American companies that invest in renewable energy for themselves will also be investing in what could be a major growth industry for their country.’
Use Europe as a blueprint. ‘For proof the new energy economy will work, we won’t have to wait long,’ Steve said. ‘All we have to do is look at Europe, where several countries are far ahead of us in making the transition and creating job opportunities in renewable energy fields. Denmark, a leading exporter of wind turbines, employs nearly 30,000 people in the wind industry. Germany gets nearly half of its electricity from renewable sources. In the US, there are many times more jobs to be had in the burgeoning solar and wind power sectors, as well as in the battery and electric vehicle sectors, than in coal, oil, and natural gas.
‘Building on his executive actions, President Biden is putting the climate crisis front and centre. The US needs to begin leveraging its footprint to greatly help its economy as well as the environment.’
About Steve Melink
Steve Melink is the ForbesBooks author of Fusion Capitalism: A Clean Energy Vision For Conservatives, and founder/CEO of Melink Corporation, a Cincinnati, Ohio based company considered a pioneer in renewable energy solutions for the commercial building industry. He is a national speaker on sustainability, clean energy and zero energy buildings, and he has consulted with federal and state legislators.