President Joe Biden’s corporate partners have been assisting the White House in its efforts to persuade the private sector to support the administration’s climate change agenda.
Several business leaders partnering with the White House told CNBC that the effort is a significant departure from what they saw during Trump’s presidency.
For example, executives claim that if they try to advocate for new climate policies, they are less concerned about a tweet from the president. Former President Donald Trump was known to go after businesses that seemed to disagree with him on important issues.
“There’s no longer the fear of the tweet, which I think was a legitimate fear from a lot of the business leaders in trying to speak out on these issues,” Hugh Welsh, president of DSM North America whose company is a member of the group CEO Climate Dialogue, told CNBC on Monday.Biden has put forward a more aggressive policy on climate change than his predecessor. In 2017 Trump removed the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement and lifted the Obama era methane gas regulations, including initiatives that could damage the environment. On his Inauguration Day, Biden brought the United States back to the Paris climate agreement.
Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan was also a key element in addressing climate change. The proposal by Biden is pushing for an investment of 174 billion dollars in the electric vehicle market. The goal of the president is for the country to achieve a net emission of zero carbon by 2050.
Several business leaders have been actively engaging the White House and administration leaders on their climate plans, including Tom Steyer, a billionaire who ran for president during the Democratic primary.
According to an individual with direct knowledge of the situation, Steyer has been consulting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and White House environment advisor Gina McCarthy about the importance of working with the private sector on what will undoubtedly be one of the president’s most costly initiatives.
Steyer has participated in climate change campaigns and spent millions to fight Trump. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $1.4 billion.This person also stated that Steyer spoke at Morgan Stanley’s annual climate conference. At the conference, Steyer advised executives and investors not to invest in fossil fuel firms as a means of combating climate change.
This person did not want to be identified in order to address personal matters. Morgan Stanley representatives did not respond to requests for comment. Before release, the White House did not respond to a request for comment.The White House has also been contacted about climate policies by the Chamber of Commerce and the CEO Climate Dialogue. Biden’s proposal to increase corporate taxes is opposed by the Chamber, but it supports an infrastructure reform.
The CEO Climate Dialogue has nearly two dozen members, including Wall Street and energy firms. The organization’s mission is to encourage the private sector’s involvement and a more market-based approach to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
CEO Climate Dialogue has been in contact with the Biden White House to help strengthen ties with business leaders, Welsh told CNBC.
“The group has been involved with Gina McCarthy and some of the others in I guess rebuilding relationships with the White House after the last four years,” Welsh said.
Marty Durbin, Chairman of the U.S. Global Energy Institute Chamber of Commerce, informed CNBC that McCarthey and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm were in contact with the group.
Durbin says Granholm and congressmen are trying to encourage climate-based research and development projects to be fully financed. The group also aims to encourage the new government to work on green policy proposals with the private sector.
“We’ve got to figure out how do we allow the private sector to be in a position to finance, deploy and commercialize these technologies. That’s how we are going to see emission reductions at the end of the day,” Durbin said.
The Clean Energy for Biden fundraising group also serves as a private sector bridge. Dan Reicher, the organization’s co-chairman, told CNBC that he helped to outline a proposal for expenditure to increase the country’s power supply.
The document, sent by almost 12 organizations and business associations to the White House, argues that only 2.500 of the 90.000 barracks in America generate electricity. Over the course of 10 years the proposal is estimated to cost more than $60 billion.
“If fully enacted, this $63.07 billion proposal for spending, over 10 years, will create approximately 500,000 good-paying jobs, restore over 20,000 miles of rivers enhancing their climate resilience, and secure more than 80 gigawatts of existing renewable hydropower and 23 gigawatts of electricity storage,” the proposal says.It also calls on Biden to order the establishment of a committee on improved dams and regulatory issues to be coordinated.
Reicher says that the outline has been sent to the two climate policy advisers from Biden and members of Congress, Phil Giudice and David Hayes.
Biden’s Clean Energy Group has evolved into Clean Energy for the Americas, Reicher added, in 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4).
The Clean Energy website for the United States says it “supports federal, state and local candidates through fundraising, mobilizes the clean energy staff and acts as an early resource” while supporting Biden’s climate program.