This morning, in the middle of NY Climate Week, President Biden announced that he would be creating the “American Climate Corps,” a paid training program that aims to bring 20,000 young people into jobs that will aid the climate transition. A “Civilian Climate Corps” has long been a demand from the climate movement, especially among youth-led groups. The White House has unsuccessfully pushed for Congress to dedicate funding for this. The American Climate Corps enacts part of that vision through the Executive Branch without the support of Congress.
Jeff Ordower, North American Director of 350.org, responds:
“This is a major win for the climate movement. We thank all of the young people and youth-led organizations who have been calling for this and we look forward to seeing tens of thousands more young people trained and employed to fight the climate crisis in the coming year.
This is Biden using his Executive Power for climate action, which is important to see. We hope that this is the beginning of real, sustained, substantive climate leadership. Because the biggest demand that the people—including the youth—have been calling for all week, and for decades, is to end fossil fuels. We can’t stave off climate catastrophe without that part. So the next step is for Biden to use these same executive powers to declare a Climate Emergency, and to commit to phasing out fossil fuels on the timeline the crisis demands. We celebrate today’s win, but we also can’t ignore that as the Climate Ambition Summit proceeds today, Biden won’t be at the table. He needs to do better, and this is only a start.”