Joe Biden won! Donald Trump lost! We have a declared victor.
So go ahead and exhale. We can celebrate!
The political victory isn’t complete, of course. We still have a chance to win the US Senate (thank you Georgia runoffs!). But HOLY COW we already won the biggest prize. The “climate arsonist” Donald Trump is toast.
Another four years of Donald Trump would have wrecked our global atmosphere — period. Now our next President, Joe Biden, can quickly rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, rebuild the US EPA, and bring science back to policy. Like Obama, Biden can take executive actions to lower carbon emissions nationwide while giving federal support to specific state initiatives everywhere from California to Virginia.
On Tuesday, election night, things were agonizing. Then momentum swung our way as the week went on and we still might win the US Senate after the Georgia runoff elections on January 5th. But in the meantime, how could 67 million people vote for a climate-denying, racist, lying incumbent President? We have more work to do.
Conversely, 72 million people DID vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the most ever for a presidential ticket. And the climate platform they ran on is amazing. It includes 100 percent clean electricity nationwide by 2035 with net zero emissions by 2050. And it puts equity for disadvantaged communities at the center of all climate policies.
Now, with time running out on climate change, we need to help our friends in Georgia elect two Democratic Senate candidates to give Democrats control of Congress. We will now back the national effort to help those candidates and thus help us pass the Biden Climate plan in 2021.
Meanwhile, as a backup, progressive states from the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between must be prepared to pass as much of the Biden climate agenda as possible at the local level, with huge help from a supportive White House. Finally, national and state policies must be meet this moment in history by achieving maximum ambition with deep commitments to environmental justice.
Time is almost up for a swift and transformative clean-energy revolution.
But here’s what gives us hope. In the middle of a pandemic, with a hate-spewing President explicitly trying to push disruptive chaos into the process, our country at every level and in every state has conducted an incredibly smooth and fair election with record turnout.
So yes, despite four years of Trump, Americans can still come together to do great things against long odds for the common good. We did it this week by preserving our democracy.
Now let’s do it for the climate. On Monday night, CCAN Action Fund was joined by Bill McKibben, US Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Andres Jimenez of Green 2.0 to celebrate the win and discuss next steps. We covered strategies for winning the US Senate in Georgia and moving ahead with new federal and state policies under Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Watch it here: