Biden introduces his environmental team to face “existential threat”

US President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday introduced key members of his environmental team and said his administration will make the fight against climate change a pillar in rebuilding the country’s economy, hard hit by the pandemic.

The selected individuals “will lead my administration’s ambitious plan to deal with an existential threat of our times, climate change,” Biden said.

“We are in a crisis,” Biden said at an event in Wilmington, Delaware. “And just as we have to be a united nation to respond to COVID-19, we have to have a unified national response to respond to climate change,” he added.

Among those appointed this Saturday are Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico for the position of Secretary of the Interior.

If confirmed by the Senate in this position – which looks after America’s natural resources – Haaland will be the first American Indian to hold a cabinet position.

Biden said his administration will work to modernize water, transportation and energy infrastructure so that it is better prepared for extreme environmental conditions, creating many jobs in the process.

It also wants to install half a million electric vehicle charging stations and make 1.5 million energy efficient buildings.

He also repeated that he will return to the Paris Agreement on climate, which President Donald Trump abandoned, among other measures.

Biden also selected Gina McCarthy, who worked in the Barack Obama administration, to lead a new climate policy office in the White House.

For his part, Michael Regan, North Carolina’s environmental regulator, was nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency and Brenda Mallory, an environmental attorney, was appointed to head the Council on Environmental Quality.

Regan and Mallory are black and Biden said that with these announcements it would be six African Americans to join his cabinet.

dw / acb / lda / af

Melissa Galbraith
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