Last month, President Joe Biden took several climate- and environmental justice-focused actions to tackle the climate crisis while providing good-paying, clean-energy jobs in Virginia.
The executive order on climate change demonstrates the administration’s commitment to the climate crisis by prioritizing the issue as a government-wide effort. The same order directs agencies to lead on environmental justice, making it central to their plans related to climate.
This much needed progress centers environmental justice communities in the federal government’s response to climate change — ensuring that these communities will always have a seat at the table.
These actions represent significant progress on President Biden’s pledges to protect our air and water, cut climate pollution, advance environmental justice, and power up the clean-energy economy. I’m thrilled at the prospect of what these solutions mean for everyday people in Virginia.
Yes, the pandemic-induced recession has gutted jobs overall across Virginia — and the country — including in the clean-energy sector. But there are signs that things are turning around.
Virginia is No. 10 in clean-energy jobs, according to the Virginia Conservation Network. Demand is expected to surge through 2026 (96% increase in demand for wind turbine technicians and 105% for solar installers). The Biden plan would accelerate investment in jobs, training and infrastructure to make this clean-energy transition happen.
I am hopeful that these actions are the start of a national and global effort to provide a sustainable, equitable future for all.
As a young person, I want to grow up in a world that prioritizes the health and well-being of its citizens and the planet. This is an important first step.
Now, Congress must meet this moment by swiftly confirming President Biden’s nominees to key climate and energy posts and ensuring that COVID-19 recovery packages prioritize clean-energy jobs and communities that have long borne the burden of our nation’s air and water pollution.