Members of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team said rebuilding the government’s ability to combat climate change will be more difficult than initially thought.
According to E&E News, Biden officials said agency review teams found deeper budget cuts, wider staff losses and more systematic elimination of climate programs and research than they realized.
The officials cited U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff cuts, deficiencies in the agency’s research laboratories and science advisory boards and Trump administration legislation designed to hamper future regulatory efforts as obstacles that need to be overcome in order to make progress fighting climate change.
"In looking at those [regulatory] rollbacks, we sort of understood the task ahead was going to be daunting. But really, the rebuilding efforts across the government are going to be more extensive than we have understood before," a senior transition official told E&E.
The transition team said the Biden administration will still pursue its goals of decarbonizing the electric sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
"While implementing [Biden's climate] plan will not happen overnight," incoming national climate advisor and former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy told E&E, "the Biden Administration will work tirelessly by marshaling every part of our government, working directly with communities, and harnessing the forces of science — and the values of environmental justice — to build a better future."