President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday committing the United States to carbon neutrality by 2050, a sign of executive commitment toward the climate crisis even as his climate agenda has been neutered by Congress. The order says the U.S. will move to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030, and will only be producing electric cars and trucks by 2035. It also orders all government buildings to run on carbon-free electricity by 2045, with their initial emissions cut by 50 percent in 2032. “As the single largest land owner, energy consumer and employer in the nation, the federal government can catalyze private-sector investment and expand the economy and American industry by transforming how we build, buy and manage electricity, vehicles, buildings and other operations to be clean and sustainable,” the order said.
Bill Snape, a lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Associated Press that the commitment was not good enough. “This is like a teenager promising to clean their room in 30 years,” Snape said. “We need action now.”