Ali Zaidi, a Pakistani born 33-year-old will be serving as a climate policy advisor to Biden’s administration. He will be named as deputy to the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Gina Mc Carthy, who will be spearheading the Biden administration’s domestic climate policy. NDRC is an international nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in New York.
Zaidi came to the US from Pakistan when he was five years old. He was serving as a deputy secretary for New York’s energy and environment before this key decision. He has also served in the Obama administration for eight years, as an associate director for natural resources, energy, and science at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Ali Zaidi co-founded Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy, which gives startups focused on climate free legal advice and services. He also taught at the prestigious Stanford University.
33 year old, Pakistan-born, Ali Zaidi to be named key climate policy advisor on Biden team, deputy to @GinaNRDC on domestic US climate policy. pic.twitter.com/TbQKby0aRR
— Adil Najam (@AdilNajam) December 16, 2020
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Zaidi had strongly highlighted the adverse effects of climate change on the US economy when he was serving in the Obama administration. He argued that the failure on the government’s part to do something about it would result in lost revenue worth trillions by 2100. The reason behind this would be the high costs of curbing natural disasters and wildfires, rising sea levels high insurance premiums.
Zaidi in a white paper wrote, “Climate change is already costing taxpayers. But the costs we are incurring today will be dwarfed by the costs that lie ahead. Without action, taxpayers will face hundreds of billions of dollars in additional costs every year by late in this century as the effects of climate change accelerate.”
“I think that what President Obama articulated felt really attractive to me, and it was that we sort of are shared in our fortunes and we fall together, stand together, and we have got to bring everybody up. But part of it is [it] also instilled [in] me a sense of there’s no otherness in politics,” Zaidi said in a podcast with Columbia University.
Zaidi could be an asset to Biden’s climate plan worth $2 trillion. It aims to provide jobs and energy resources to poorer communities and communities of color.
“You’re talking about all these really cool jobs and wind and solar, where the hell you’re going to hire those people from. You’re going to hire them from the same old, same old, or you’re going to create new roads of opportunity into the communities that have been taxed in six different ways from this pollution over the years,” he said further.
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