Joe Biden focuses on clean energy for shipping

Eight days into his presidency and there’s already a host of initiatives signed by Joe Biden that will have enormous ramifications for shipping and offshore.

Yesterday the 46th president of the United States focused on climate change.

An executive order signed by Biden called for “enhanced climate ambition” with a focus on shipping as well as aviation, the Arctic, ocean sustainable development among other topics.

John Kerry, Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate, will now promote “innovative approaches, including international multi-stakeholder initiatives” to resolve climate issues, including in shipping, the order stated.

With both the Congress and the Senate in Democrat hands, the discussions, which started last year on pushing shipping towards a European style emission trading scheme, are expected to accelerate.

Other key announcements yesterday include the decisions to freeze new oil and gas leases on public lands and double offshore wind-produced energy by 2030. On his first day in office, Biden signed the US back onto the Paris Climate Agreement.

“It’s a whole-of-government approach to put climate change at the center of our domestic, national security and foreign policy,” the president said yesterday.

Since coming to power, Biden has also axed plans for the Keystone XL pipeline with Canada, while his new Buy American order is seen as an endorsement of the Jones Act, a law that ensures domestic shipments have to be carried on US-built vessels.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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