On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, signaling that the US is ready to once again lead on sustainability and climate change.
In article for Public Utilities Fortnightly, Jan Vrins, leader of Guidehouse’s global Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment, said the energy sector will need to improve planning, procurement, and market operations, and develop creative financing and business models to achieve the important decarbonization and energy goals Biden laid out in his climate plan.
Biden's goals include reaching net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 and investing $1.7 trillion dollars in clean energy and jobs. The president is also targeting carbon-free electricity generation by 2035, which will accelerate decarbonization plans for many utilities.
“Throughout the past four years, sustainability and clean energy grew rapidly in the US with virtually no federal support, driven primarily by pressure from the financial sector,” Vrins said. “Utilities, state and local governments, and corporations are now preparing for a rapid acceleration of clean energy and sustainability expectations when the federal government adds its influence to existing financial drivers.”
As a result, Vrins said changes are expected to unfold across the following sectors:
“It will not be easy to unwind some of the policies that have weakened climate protections or to reintroduce climate protection policies from the Obama administration,” Vrins said. “Nevertheless, it is likely this agenda will be aggressively pursued.”
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