This is a brief review of the recently released “Climate 21 Project” policy memo. It is the work of many former members of the Obama Administration who are deeply concerned about climate change and what steps the new administration can take in the first 100 days to confront a problem. Offering “actionable advice” rather than a policy agenda, the group recognizes that Congress must do its part by providing new statutory authorities within the early days of the new administration, and the President must be prepared to aggressively exercise the powers of his office. As the members of the Group see it, there are four interlocking crises facing the President: (a) the COVID-19 pandemic; (b) the economic devastation visited upon many people by the pandemic; (c) racial injustice; and (d) accelerating threats posed by climate change.
1. The Executive Office of the President must take stronger steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through domestic investment, rulemakings, policy changes, and international diplomacy. A new Special Assistant for Climate Change must be created to take charge of these climate change initiatives. There should also be established in the Executive Office of the President a National Climate Change Council. All agencies must be advised of the urgency of this problem. The paper seems to envision a substantial growth in the White Hose staff.