“The fact that we are finally treating it as an emergency, and we finally have leadership, it’s truly an exciting moment, Ali,” Betsy Rosenberg told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Saturday. “It’s epic, it’s like a week of climate climaxing. It was just, the hits kept on coming, almost too much to process, but not complaining.”
Velshi chuckled and said, “That was a different expression than I was going to use,” before pivoting the conversation to General Motors’ promise this week to offer only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
One of President Biden’s first actions after being inaugurated was to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, an international treaty that aims to roll back greenhouse gas emmissions.
President Biden also revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office.
On Wednesday, the President reestablished the council on science, technology, and innovation that will advise him on environmental issues, and signed a sweeping executive order to tackle the “climate crisis at home and abroad.”
“We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents,” the executive order reads. “Domestic action must go hand in hand with United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action.”
Biden’s early reliance on executive orders has been heavily criticized by some, though his team has mostly brushed off the scrutiny.
“Of course we are also pursuing our agenda through legislation,” White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield tweeted Thursday. “It’s why we are working so hard to get the American Rescue Plan passed, for starters!”
Despite the criticisms, Biden’s executive orders have been praised by many as necessary at a time when Congress is deadlocked.
“We have to change our whole economy and greenify it,” Rosenberg told MSNBC Saturday. “It’s really a matter of expanding our thinking. When I speak to high school and college students, I say, ‘Whatever you’re interested in, be it law, medicine, being an engineer, being a journalist, a writer, just put a green twist on it, or a twist of lime as I say, and you will be in demand.'”