This week, Joe Biden joined their ranks, releasing a lengthy climate plan on his website. Though Reuters teased his policy last month as a “middle ground” approach more moderate than the Green New Deal, the proposal looks pretty aggressive and sounds almost Bernie Sanders–esque in its ambition. What the United States needs, Biden says, is a “clean energy revolution.”
That revolution’s main objective: achieving a “100% clean energy economy” in the United States by the year 2050. It’s an ambitious goal, both more stringent and longer-sighted than what the previous Democratic White House—which Biden unfailingly calls the “Obama-Biden administration”—pledged under the Paris Agreement on climate change. To meet its old Paris target, the United States had to cut its annual carbon emissions by 1.3 percentage points every year from 2016 to 2025. To meet the 2050 goal, it must cut at more than double that rate—2.9 percentage points—for each of the next 31 years.