IN FOCUS6-8 min read

The environmental impact of a Biden presidency

As the U.S. election unfolds, much attention has been paid to Joe Biden’s new climate agenda that could result in a step-change in U.S. climate policy and investment, with far-reaching implications across sectors including power, transport, real estate and agriculture.



Catherine Macaulay
Impact Investment Lead

A flurry of climate proposals has been put forward by the House Democrats, the Biden campaign, and the Senate in 2020. These all centre on a combination of ambitious goals, increased regulation and substantial federal investment.

Despite some differences between these proposals, the Democrats have shown a united front on key climate ambitions. All three plans have a 2050 decarbonisation target at their core and envisage significant levels of government spending (between ~1.5 –2.5% of GDP per year) to establish world-leading capabilities in clean industries and technology. All three agendas therefore embrace industrial policy, favouring federal investments over market-based mechanisms.

That said, calls for a carbon price from the financial and private sector continue to grow, as seen in the recent Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) recommendations to instate a nationwide carbon pricing scheme. Biden’s agenda leaves open the possibility of establishing a carbon price towards the end of his first term. It calls for an “enforcement mechanism” to be enacted by 2025 to meet the 2050 decarbonisation target – “based on the principles that polluters must bear the full cost of the carbon pollution they are emitting.”

Key elements of Biden’s updated climate agenda

Biden’s new climate agenda, announced in July as part of his Build Back Better plan, is significantly more ambitious than his original ‘Clean Energy Revolution’ plan. The plan includes an accelerated investment of $2 trillion over four years, vs. his earlier proposal of $1.7 trillion over a decade.

Environmental justice and climate equity have also been highlighted in Biden’s campaign as well as in the proposals put forward by the House and Senate Democrats. The issue has also been a core feature of Biden’s running-mate Kamala Harris’ platform. Just days before she was announced as his vice-presidential pick, Harris introduced a climate equity bill to ensure that any environmental legislation takes careful consideration of its impact on low-income communities.

Biden’s climate agenda


Decarbonise the power sector by 2035


Accelerate the shift toward zero-emission vehicles

Provide high-quality, zero-emissions public transport for every city

Real estate

Make all new buildings net-zero by 2030

Improve energy efficiency: cut emissions in existing building stock by 50% by 2035


Invest $400 billion over 4 years for green tech (energy storage, carbon capture & storage (CCS), nuclear)


Ensure green hydrogen is available at the same cost as conventional hydrogen by 2030


Decarbonise the agriculture sector

Source: Schroders.


As Biden has declared victory in the US presidential election, he is likely to re-commit the country to the Paris Agreement and to a net zero emissions reduction target by 2050. This would mean significant investment ($2 trillion) into green industries and technologies, and it would also require tighter regulation of higher-emitting industries, including oil and gas, utilities and autos.

Important Information

The contents of this document may not be reproduced or distributed in any manner without prior permission.

This document is intended to be for information purposes only and it is not intended as promotional material in any respect nor is it to be construed as any solicitation and offering to buy or sell any investment products. The views and opinions contained herein are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. The material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for investment advice or recommendation. Any security(ies) mentioned above is for illustrative purpose only, not a recommendation to invest or divest. Opinions stated are valid as of the date of this document and are subject to change without notice. Information herein and information from third party are believed to be reliable, but Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited does not warrant its completeness or accuracy.

Investment involves risks. Past performance and any forecasts are not necessarily a guide to future or likely performance. You should remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed. You may not get back the full amount invested. Derivatives carry a high degree of risk. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of the overseas investments to rise or fall. If investment returns are not denominated in HKD/USD, US/HK dollar-based investors are exposed to exchange rate fluctuations. Please refer to the relevant offering document including the risk factors for further details.

This material has not been reviewed by the SFC. Issued by Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited.


Catherine Macaulay
Impact Investment Lead


Follow us

Contact Us

Level 33, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong

(852) 2521 1633

Online enquiry: Please complete the web form below and we will reply as soon as possible.

Contact us

The investments mentioned in this website may not be suitable to all investors. The information contained in this website is provided for reference only and does not constitute any investment advice. Investors are advised to seek independent advice before making any investment decision.

Investment involves risk. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. You should remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed. You may not get back the full amount invested. Please refer to the relevant offering document including the risk factors.

This website is intended for Hong Kong residents only. Non-Hong Kong residents are responsible for observing all applicable laws and regulations of their relevant jurisdictions before proceeding to access the information contained herein. Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited is regulated by the SFC. The website (excluding Schroder Provident Plan related pages) has not been reviewed by the SFC.

The website is issued by Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited.

Important notice: Schroders does not make unsolicited requests through emails, calls, messages, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, Instagram applications. Any contact other than via Schroders’ official channels for personal or financial information is likely to be false and fraudulent. Please stay vigilant and refer to our Fraud Alert Notice for further details. If you have doubts about the person, platforms, websites or institutions that claim to be associated with Schroders, please contact us via (852) 2521 1633 and inform the local police.