Can Australia’s Labor party match Joe Biden’s winning message on climate action? | Van Badham

Biden dissolved the decades-old wedge between jobs and the environment. It’s an electoral field that is Labor’s to claim

Democrat Joe Biden had only been the US president for a week when, on one single day, he rained down enough executive orders to completely reframe the global politics of climate action. After eight years of our local Liberal/National government stalling on meaningful climate policy, Australia is embarrassingly unprepared for the new reality.

Biden already rejoined America to the Paris climate accord on his first day in office. His subsequent action includes protecting a third of America’s land and ocean resources. He’s ditched the contentious Keystone XL pipeline and introduced climate-friendly policies for urban communities and farmers alike. He’s moving the entire US federal road transport fleet to zero-emissions vehicles, there are plans for oil and gas drilling to be prohibited on public land, and for a citizen-led “green corps” to restore damaged lands and waterways. There are mooted tax breaks for wind and solar investment, vast infrastructure spending, carbon pricing and a US$2tr clean energy plan to shift America’s climate grid to run carbon-free within 15 years, building “energy-efficient homes and electric cars and mopping up pollution”.

Related: Joe Biden’s climate bet: putting jobs first will bring historic change

Related: Chris Bowen will use jobs deal and ‘roadmap to net zero’ to sell climate action to voters

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