President Biden on Wednesday signed a series of executive orders that aim to “confront the existential threat of climate change” across the federal government while emphasizing job creation and tackling racial inequity.
“In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer,” said Mr. Biden, speaking at the White House. “We see it with our own eyes. We feel it. We know it in our bones. And it’s time to act.”
The president cast many of the executive orders as opportunities for job creation, among other things pledging to use the purchasing power of the federal government to buy a vast fleet of zero-emissions vehicles. “This will mean one million new jobs in the American automobile industry,” he said.
Wednesday’s executive orders also set broad new foreign policy goals, including specifying that climate change, for the first time, will be a core part of all foreign policy and national security decisions.
Mr. Biden’s international climate envoy, John Kerry, said earlier in the day that the United States would host an international climate change summit on Earth Day, April 22. “The convening of this summit is essential to ensuring that 2021 is going to be the year that really makes up for the lost time of the last four years,” said Mr. Kerry.
He pledged that by that date he would announce a new set of specific targets detailing how the United States would lower its carbon dioxide emissions under the terms of the Paris Agreement, the international climate accord from which former President Donald J. Trump had withdrawn, and which Mr. Biden has rejoined.
Gina McCarthy, the top adviser on domestic climate policy, said she intends to move forward quickly to implement new policies to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. “Here at home we have to do our part,” she said.
Mr. Biden has already ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to begin the…