COP26: US Thin Green Gruel

Why activists will be disappointed

Andrew Busch
6 min readOct 21, 2021


Keep your expectations low

As the world gets ready for COP26, it is a great time to review the Biden administration’s policies on climate change and know what to expect in Glasgow.

Before now, we’ve been producing research to get everyone up to speed on climate change and how countries have been adopting policies in response to it. Here are the articles: Marley and ESG: a brief History, ESG Supercharged by government spending, Why ESG Now?, EU Carbon Plan, and Fastest Growing Investment Theme.

As we’ve been telling clients and audiences ever since we did our original work on the 2020 Democratic candidates policy proposals, the Biden victory represents the largest shift in public policy on the environment in our lifetime. Right from the series of laws, regulations, executive orders, and bills it has introduced, the Biden administration has adopted a climate change policy that is very different from the Trump administration. It’s been more or less a return to the Obama administration’s climate change policy of reducing carbon emission with the goal of reducing CO2 and creating alternative energy sources.

Current US Plans

“The whole world is watching. If these bills don’t come to pass, then the U.S. will be coming to Glasgow with some fine words” but “not much else. It won’t be enough.”Rachel Kyte, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a climate adviser for the United Nations Secretary-General (NYT)

The Senate recently passed a $1.2T infrastructure bill and sent it to the House. This bill focuses on physical infrastructure. And although a significant portion of the figure is on funding usually allocated to infrastructure every year, it contains $544B in new spending. Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) breaks down the spending this way:

  • $110 billion for roads and bridges
  • $66 billion for railroads
  • $65 billion for the power grid
  • $65 billion for broadband
  • $55 billion for water infrastructure
  • $47 billion for cybersecurity and climate change
  • $39 billion for public transit
  • $25 billion for airports



Andrew Busch

Andrew B. Busch is the former 1st Chief Market Intelligence Officer for the US government.