Executive Order in US Gives Protection to Old-Growth Forests from Wildfires

Published on: 25 April 2022
by KnowESG
President of the United States Joe Biden (2021)

Joe Biden, the president of the United States, signed an executive order that will help protect the country's old-growth forests from wildfires and other natural disasters caused by climate change.

The initiative recently revealed on Earth Day would generate the nation's first inventory of old-growth forests on public lands. It also recommends accelerating reforestation efforts and forming partnerships to establish forests on territory not owned by the US government.

Biden said, "Our forests are our planet’s lungs. They literally are recycling and cycling CO2 out of the atmosphere; that is what they do."

He also announced a plan to plant over 1 billion trees across the country, an initiative he said would start the vital work of reforesting in America.

"It makes sense, and it also makes a big difference, including in our cities and on our city streets," Biden added.

Earthquakes, wildfires, storms, and heat waves have become more common in the United States in the last year.

Climate change, according to experts, has led the annual US wildfire season to start earlier and burn hotter, especially in the west. Last summer, wildfires swept through California, destroying entire villages and killing hundreds of Sequoia trees.

In spite of Biden's emphasis on the environment, climate activists have slammed him for not doing more to help.

The White House's now-stalled social spending programme includes billions in funding for efforts to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the effects of climate change. Now it is not working swimmingly due to a deadlock in Congress.

He said, "The bipartisan infrastructure law … I signed provides billions of dollars for a nationwide network of 500,000 charging stations."

Democrats have small majority in the House of Representatives. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, two conservative Democrats, have often blocked Biden's plans.

He also talked about the issue of racial justice, saying that areas with less money and more people are more likely to have to deal with natural disasters.

“We put environmental justice at the centre of what we do, addressing the disproportionate health, environmental and economic impact that had been borne primarily by communities of colour, places too often left behind,” he said.

The White House's statement said, "“Wildfires and extreme weather events are growing in frequency and ferocity, engulfing communities in the West and across the country and costing lives, homes, and money,” it said. “Because President Biden knows the cost of inaction is too great, he is taking bold executive action and reaffirming his calls on Congress to address the climate crisis.”