Biden signs sweeping executive actions to combat climate crisis

The president ordered a freeze on new oil and natural gas leases on federal land and waters, as well as an investment in low income and minority communities disproportionately affected by pollution.
3:03 | 01/28/21

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Transcript for Biden signs sweeping executive actions to combat climate crisis
President Biden making news today with several executive actions on climate, saying it is time to act. As saying it's an opportunity to create American jobs. 1 million jobs, he says, in the auto industry alone. Here's our chief white house correspondent Cecilia Vega tonight. Reporter: Calling the climate crisis an existential threat, president Biden today signed sweeping executive actions reaching across the federal government. We've already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can't wait any longer. We see it with our own eyes. We feel it. We know it in our bones, and it's time to act. Reporter: The actions mandate for the first time that climate change be a central part of all national security and foreign policy decisions. They also freeze new oil and natural gas leases on federal land and waters. Invest in low income and minority communities disproportionately impacted by pollution. And order the government to purchase zero emission vehicles for its massive fleet. This will mean 1 million new jobs in the American automobile industry, 1 million. Reporter: The move a stark departure from former president trump's policies. He brushed aside the science on climate change, though the past seven years have been the hottest on record. It will start getting cooler. You just watch. I wish science agreed with you. Oh, well. I don't think science knows actually. Reporter: Former president trump regularly told supporters Biden's climate policies would cost them their jobs. And today, I put that question to the administration's new climate czar, John Kerry. There certainly oil and gas industry workers who are watching you both right now who will hear the message, that the takeaway to them is that they are seeing an end to their livelihoods. What do you say to them? I think that, unfortunately, workers have been fed a false narrative. No surprise, right? They've been fed the notion that, somehow, dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No, it's not. Reporter: The administration promising, that workers will not be left behind. Instead, they'll get new green jobs right at home. Arguing many jobs to come. Let's get right to Cecilia Vega live at the white house tonight. We know president Biden trying to get a lot of this going before the impeachment trial of the former president. But even president Biden suggesting and we reported this last night, Cecilia, he said it was unlikely president trump would be convicted in this senate trial. And tonight, there's news coming in that at least two senators, a Democrat and Republican are now proposing an alternate route here to a trial? Reporter: We're talking about Tim kaine and Susan Collins coming together to craft a joint resolution that would central former president trump. This of course, is coming as Democrats appear to be falling far short of those 17 Republican votes that they need to convict president trump. But while senator kaine given the shortage of votes, that the trial wouldn't be the best use of the senate's time, today, majority leader chuck Schumer made it clear there will be a trial and president Biden, David, has said that trial has to happen. That idea seems like it's dead on arrival. We'll watch it. Cecilia, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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