Biden to sign executive actions on climate change

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Rebecca Shabad and Geoff Bennett
·2 min read
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will deliver remarks Wednesday on his plan to tackle climate change and sign related executive actions to further the key part of his agenda, which includes “creating jobs and restoring scientific integrity,” the White House said Wednesday.

Some of the executive actions Wednesday will focus on elevating climate change to a national security priority, directing the federal government to conserve about 30 percent of all federal land and water by 2030 and suspending new leases for natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters, two sources familiar with his plans said.

The actions also will create a commission focused on environmental justice and green jobs, direct federal agencies to rely on science in their rulemaking, and convene a climate summit of world leaders on Earth Day, April 22, the sources said.

In a reversal of Trump administration policies, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoined the Paris climate agreement last week.

Ahead of the 1:30 p.m. remarks, John Kerry, who is now Biden’s special climate envoy, and national climate adviser Gina McCarthy are expected will brief White House reporters on the administration’s plans. Kerry served as secretary of state and McCarthy as EPA administrator in the Obama administration.

— Biden's Covid-19 response team will hold its first regular briefing at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the status of the federal government’s strategy to address the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, now Biden's chief medical adviser on the disease, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky are expected to participate.

— Vice President Kamala Harris will ceremonially swear in Antony Blinken as Biden’s secretary of state at 11:45 a.m. ET. The Senate confirmed his nomination Tuesday.

— Biden's nominees for energy secretary, secretary of veterans affairs and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — respectively, Jennifer Granholm, Denis McDonough and Linda Thomas-Greenfield — have Senate confirmation hearings Wednesday.