Former Vice President Joe Biden is pledging to create a New Deal-style “Civilian Climate Corps” to mobilize “a new, diverse generation of patriotic Americans” for the battle against climate change.
The presumptive Democrat nominee, who has frequently invoked former President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the campaign trail, made the pledge when unveiling his broader climate change proposal on Tuesday. The plan, which is anchored by a two trillion dollar investment in clean energy, comes from a series of recommendations made by a unity task force set up by Biden and his vanquished primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), earlier this year.
One such recommendation initially floated by the task force, which Biden embraced on Tuesday, was the establishment of a civilian climate corps to work on conserving “public lands, bolstering community resilience, and addressing the changing climate.”
The corps, according to the former vice president’s plan, will provide “good-paying union jobs” to individuals, specifically people of color impacted by the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the jobs will be centered on new energy-efficient infrastructure projects, like restoring wetlands, planting “millions of trees,” and building “hiking and bike trails,” among others.
Biden’s proposal comes as the former vice president is increasingly promising to fundamentally “transform” the country if elected president this November. The presumptive Democrat nominee, long seen as a moderate, has earned plaudits from progressives in recent weeks for his aggressive economic proposals, especially those recommended by the Biden-Sanders unity task force.
“The compromise they came up with, if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR,” Sanders told MSNBC last week.