Just over two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's pre-eminent authority on global warming, warned that the world must transform its -

Its energy systems by midcentury in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, or risk widespread ecological and social disruptions.

Including but not limited to die-offs of coral reefs, sea level rise, drought, famine, wildfires and potential migrations of whole populations searching for food and fresh water.

AS President-elect rolls out his climate and environment team, one can't help but acknowledge that the team is as different as it can be. For starters, it actually cares about climate change.

In the two people the president-elect has chosen to be his top advisers in the White House, there is even an element of poetic justice.

One is John Kerry, the former secretary of state who helped orchestrate the Paris Agreement that Mr. Trump so quickly abandoned., and whose main job now will be to restore America's global credibility and leadership position on the climate issue.

The second is Gina Gina McCarthy, who will help devise and direct Mr. Biden's domestic policy response, making sure that all agencies of the government are pulling together in the same direction.

As with Mr. Kerry, her solid achievements while serving as Barack Obama's E.P.A. administrator were undone by Mr. Trump, including rules aimed at sharply reducing greenhouse gases and from vehicles, power plants and oil and gas operations. It will require great charity on her part to take some satisfaction in seeing these rules restored.

Mr. Biden pledges to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and, along the way, eliminate fossil fuel emissions from the power sector by 2035.

What this in turn is likely to require is set forth in a detailed Princeton study, summarized by The Time's Brad Plumer on Dec 15 : a doubling, annually, in the pace of new wind and solar power; a huge increase in the number of new battery-powered cars sold every year, from 2 percent now to 50 percent of new sales BY 2030 with charging stations to serve them -

A big jump in the number of homes heated by electric heated pumps instead of oil and gas; and, necessarily, a vast increase in the capacity of the electric grid to handle all this clean power.

Mr. Biden's strategy is still in the making. But whatever path he chooses, progress in this still-fractured country will require all the energy and smart ideas his team can muster and all the negotiating skills Mr. Biden has acquired in a half-century of public service.

The World Students Society thanks the editorial board of The New York Times.


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