The inability of people, particularly people of color, to access basic health care is a crisis. The climate emergency is a crisis. A million wildlife species going extinct in the coming decades is a crisis. People choosing to delay pregnancy or have fewer children is not.
As the Biden-Harris administration begins its first 100 days, Indian Country looks to the Biden-Harris Plan for Tribal Nations to hold the newly elected officials accountable. The cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline is a promising first action, but there is more to be done.
Following the inauguration of President Biden, many of the executive orders signed on his first days in office will have large impacts on national and global health. Many of the executive orders are aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic and ramping up vaccine distribution updates on the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, reproductive rights remain under attack—but the new administration offers hope to advocates.
President-Elect Joe Biden selected former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm as the next secretary of energy.
“My commitment to clean energy was forged in the fire,” Granholm said, reflecting on the important role that clean energy played in restoring Michigan’s economy after the 2008 recession.
President-Elect Joe Biden selected Brenda Mallory to chair the Council on Environmental Quality. She would be the first Black American to hold the position since the Council’s creation in 1970.
President-Elect Joe Biden selected former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy as the first national climate adviser. In her new role, she will lead the new White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, pulling from her experience under the Obama administration.
In his newest round of Cabinet nominations, President-Elect Joe Biden tapped Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) as the first Indigenous secretary of the interior. Haaland, who currently serves as vice chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, would also be the first Native American to ever hold a secretary position in the Cabinet.
She spoke alongside fellow climate and energy appointees on Saturday, Dec. 19, promising to “be fierce for all of us, for our planet and all of our protective land.”
The Trump administration is rushing to approve dozens of eleventh-hour policy changes. Among them: The Justice Department is fast-tracking a rule that could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions to federal executions.
These final weeks are solidifying conservative policy objectives that will make it harder for the Biden administration to advance its own agenda.
Across Latin America and the Caribbean, women land defenders each carry their own stories of persecution and violence. But a transformative multilateral agreement—the Escazú Agreement—could provide a promising path forward.
In many cases to come—including some in the next few months—federal courts will issue rulings on whether the federal government can take action to combat the climate crisis, and to what extent. A new justice could tip the scales.
The government’s ability and responsibility to protect our clean air is at risk.