As US President Joe Biden signs a US$1.9trn American Covid-19 rescue plan into law, what environmental benefits can markets expect from the new US government and what is its wider strategy for a cleaner, greener future? Newton portfolio manager Paul Flood considers the likely road ahead and the prospects for renewables in both the US and other markets.
A new year and a new US president have brought renewed hope to sustainability-minded investors that the US can reshape its outlook from the climate change scepticism of Ex-President Trump to a more progressive view on future energy and infrastructure development.
Biden was keen to present his green credentials in the run up to last year’s US elections with what his campaign team described as “a nine point plan for a clean energy revolution and environmental justice.” The plan pledged to hold polluters accountable, while making historic new investment of US$400bn over 10 years in clean energy and innovation¹.
So far, Biden has made good on at least one key environmental pledge. His move to reinstate the US to the Paris Agreement within hours of being sworn in as president², reversed an historic and controversial decision to leave it made by Trump back in 2017.
Yet while climate change continues to present clear and present dangers in the US – with the recent Texas winter storms and devastating wildfires in California last year just two cases in point – the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to dominate headlines. This has presented the US government with some tough choices on its immediate spending priorities.
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