A green turning point for the United States? With Joe Biden now at its head, the second most polluting country on the planet could well start a real ecological revolution. What a contrast, after four years in which Trump unraveled many environmental and climate advances.
Throughout the presidential campaign, the Democrat has made ecology one of his main concerns. On the program, in particular, 2000 billion dollars of investments over four years and an objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. A measure both capital for the future and symbolic, the United States will also make a comeback in the world. Paris climate agreement, from which Trump had withdrawn.
“Of course he’s an environmentalist! “
Deep convictions of a Democratic leader or political opportunism of a White House contender? “Of course he’s an environmentalist! », Answers Jean-Eric Branaa, author this fall of a biography of the former senator
. The author mentions in particular the very first campaign of the Democrat, in the early 1970s, in Delaware. “We are then in the turbulent periods of progressivism. Biden is 28 years old, he went through the 1960s when ecology was born, after two major oil spills, and he is imbued with these ideas, ”he says.
Rebelote in the 1980s. “He introduced a bill on climate change while the world was being moved by the destruction of the ozone layer which was really a big debate at the time”, underlines Jean-Eric Branaa. In 1988, for his first appearance in the Democratic primary elections leading up to a presidential election, Biden devoted a chapter of his program to the environment. Having finally given up on the race after a plagiarism scandal, he did not join the White House until 2008, as Barack Obama’s vice-president. In this capacity, he notably followed the climate negotiations throughout the 2010s, until the Paris Agreements signed in 2015.
“American presidents, whether Democrats or Republicans, have never been truly environmentalists. But the differentiation comes from the fact that the Democrats are more inclined to participate in international cooperation ”, also estimates the researcher in political sciences at the University of Liège and at Sciences Po François Gemenne. “I don’t think Biden is anti-green, but I’m not sure he really has this fiber in him,” adds this specialist in climate governance issues.
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During the campaign for the 2020 election, “Biden made the strategic choice to say that it will be necessary to organize the exit of oil and shale gas and replace them with alternative energies”, underlines for his part the French deputy Roland Lescure (LREM), elected in the constituency that encompasses North America.
Criticism of the left wing of the party
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“Biden is opposed to hydraulic fracturing but he defends the idea of not going as fast as some say. He is above all a politician, ”defends Jean-Eric Branaa. And for good reason: Pennsylvania, which Biden won at the finish this Saturday after four days neck and neck in the ballot box with Trump, is a land very rich in drilling. The shale gas industry would provide around 500,000 direct or indirect jobs there, according to an estimate by the research firm PwC. Under these conditions, and while the Covid crisis has exploded unemployment in the United States, it is difficult for a candidate for the presidency to ignore social and economic issues. These are also very important in Georgia since its capital Atlanta is the headquarters of the airline company Delta Air Lines, one of the largest in the world with 75,000 employees.
“Biden is committed to bringing America together. He will have to navigate in balance to be environmentally friendly without sacrificing the economy, ”anticipates Roland Lescure. Otherwise, for the one that the Republicans give the nickname “Sleepy Joe” (“Joe asleep”), to be blamed within his own camp for his powerlessness.
: Joe Biden, New World editions
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr