Mr Biden laid out a comprehensive climate agenda during the campaign, but much of what he will be able to achieve hinges on the make-up of the Senate, pending the outcome of two run-off elections in Georgia on 5 January.
Even if Republicans retain Senate control, president-elect Biden’s executive orders do not require approval from Congress.
The 10 executive actions are:
- Require limits on methane pollution for oil and gas operations
- Use the federal government procurement system to work towards 100% clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles
- Ensure US government buildings and facilities are more efficient and climate-ready
- Implement the already-existing Clean Air Act, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by developing new fuel economy standards to ensure all new sales for light- and medium-duty vehicles will be electrified, and annual improvements for heavy duty vehicles
- Double down on liquid fuels like advanced biofuels and make agriculture a key part of the solution to the climate crisis
- Reduce emissions and cut consumer costs through new standards for appliance and building efficiency
- Require federal permit decisions to consider effects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, and ensure every federal infrastructure investment reduces climate pollution
- Require public companies to disclose climate risks and greenhouse gas emissions in their operations and supply chains
- Protect biodiversity, slow extinction rates and conserve 30 per cent of America’s lands and waters by 2030
- Permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, establish national parks and monuments, ban new oil and gas permits on public lands and waters, modify royalties to account for climate costs and creating programs to enhance reforestation and develop renewable energy on federal lands and waters to double offshore wind by 2030
In the summer, the Biden campaign announced plans for a $2 trillion investment in clean energy over the next four years.
“These are the most critical investments we can make for the long-term health and vitality of both the American economy and the physical health and safety of the American people,” Mr Biden said in July.
The president-elect also vowed to immediately rejoin the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the international pact to limit global heating to well below 2C, when he enters the Oval Office after president Trump pulled out of the deal in 2017.