WASHINGTON (January 19, 2021) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will take office tomorrow. They will take on their roles, as the country continues to reel from the global health pandemic, with over 400,000 lives lost in the United States alone. They will also face the ongoing challenges of overcoming racial injustice and the global climate crisis.

Following is a statement by Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:

“The Biden-Harris administration comes to power at a moment of great peril and great promise. President Biden has made it clear that he fully recognizes the urgency of climate action, and he’s set to back up these words with decisive action. In doing so, the Biden-Harris administration will simultaneously make Americans safer, address equity issues, and recharge the economy.

“By reentering the Paris Agreement, President Biden will signal that the U.S. is ready to re-engage with the global community to confront the climate crisis. Backed by an all-star group of leaders across government, the new administration will put climate at the center of policymaking. President Biden can act quickly to reverse Trump’s reckless rollbacks of environmental protection and rollout a new ambitious national climate strategy. Congress can join these efforts by enacting legislation to unleash funding for clean, resilient infrastructure and the electrification of vehicles, and more. Investing in clean energy is shown to create twice as many jobs as investing in high-carbon infrastructure.

“The country’s challenges will not go away overnight. President Trump leaves office with a sad legacy ranging from embracing conspiracy theories to stoking racism to backsliding on climate action. He tragically failed to mount an adequate response to the worst health pandemic in a century. And his push to undermine democratic principles and unleash his supporters on the U.S. Capitol is completely abhorrent.

“Hopefully a dark era is coming to a close, and the country can look ahead to brighter days. The Biden-Harris administration will move to heal the country, as they respond to the health, economic, equity, and climate crises. In prioritizing climate action, President Biden can put the United States on stronger footing at home and restore its standing around the world.”

Additional resources: 

STATEMENT: After a significant stress test, the Paris Agreement stands strong 
BLOG: How Biden Can Make the US a Global Leader on Climate Action
BLOG: 7 Ways the Biden Administration Can Reverse Climate Rollbacks
COMMENTARY: Top Ten Priorities for President Biden to Tackle the Climate Crisis