Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on the 20th of January 2021. Does this mark the beginning of a new era for sustainability?
Regardless of political opinion, I think we can all agree change needed to come. On the 6th of January, the former president Donald Trump incited a “Save America” rally, with the intent of overthrowing the Capitol. It could be argued that Trump even wielded his executive powers to a point of madness, as he even attempted to pardon himself from his crimes.
Joe Biden may not be as progressive as some on the left think we need, nor Republican enough for the Grand Old Party’s fandom, but he has just under 50 years’ experience in political office, and he has already produced some decisive action in less than one week since setting up camp at the White House.
As we know, the concept of sustainability is made up of three pillars; the social, the economic and the environmental. Equal importance should be placed on each pillar to ensure true sustainability. The question is, have Biden’s achievements since taking office hit the mark?
So, what has Biden achieved in less than a week of his presidency?
- Rejoined the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement
- Re-engaged with the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Revoked the construction of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline
- Launched an ‘100 Day Mask Challenge’ to help tackle Coronavirus
- Pioneered a Government Initiative to advance racial equality
- Reversed Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim Ban
- Repealed the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military
What else should we expect for next ‘100 days’ in office?
The Democrats have demonstrated a resolve that could not be more different to the previous administration. Joe Biden’s executive orders set a tone, one driven by ethics and conscientiousness. His commitments for his first ‘100 days’ include:
- Securing congressional approval for his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to rescue the economy
- Administering 100 million vaccines by his 100th day in office
- Saving Obamacare
Many of Biden’s policies are clearly driven by a vision of sustainability. His re-alignment with global efforts, the Paris Climate Pact and WHO, present a will to tackle environmental issues trans-nationally, and his intent to revive economic sustainability is clear when you look at his plans to invest in the American economy.
There are also more than a few hints to Biden’s affinity for social sustainability, equality and allyship, at least when it comes to racial and LGBTQ+ injustices. However, there remains a gaping whole in Biden’s social justice mission. What about women?
It didn’t take long for the global populous to take to Twitter, all asking this same question, and all reaching the same conclusion. #BidenErasedWomen was a trending hashtag this week, and while some of the commentary on this hashtag is riddled with trans-phobia, there is a something to be said for the abandonment of women in Biden’s executive orders and commitments.
For now, it would be wise to see Joe Biden’s presidential triumph as a small victory.
The fact I can engage in a discourse which critically assesses the intricacies, the pros, and the cons of government policy without simply despairing, is a leap forward.
A leap forward exemplified perfectly by the humour in this tweet…