Former Vice President Joe Biden, in a speech on Thursday, said he wants to set a $11 billion cap on all new fossil fuel projects, including opening up new U.S. lands for oil drilling and fracking.
The announcement puts the Democratic presidential contender in the unusual position of immediately challenging current Republican President Donald Trump. The U.S. is in the midst of withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement, intended to reduce greenhouse gases.
“This should be an incentive to address climate change in a way that we’ve never addressed it before,” Mr. Biden said.
He also pledged to work with Congress, but he then complained that only the GOP was refusing to do anything.
“There’s no reason we’re having this conversation anymore,” Mr. Biden said. “It is so stupid to pass up this issue.”
The pledge is likely to cost $11 billion over 10 years, he said. But that is far below the massive cost of projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline, which the Trump administration approved this summer, and now is under federal review. The privately funded pipeline has spurred protests, and Obama administration officials and members of Congress had raised concerns about its safety.
Other businesses and foreign governments have also stepped up their efforts to address climate change.
Some experts say the pledge could help in the fight against climate change.