The U.S. is taking new actions to address climate change, with emphasis on job creation and environmental justice.

On Jan. 27, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that reestablishes the nation’s commitment to fight the growing global climate crisis. Among its measures, the order establishes the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, charged with coordinating and implementing the president’s domestic climate agenda, and brings U.S. agency leaders together in the National Climate Task Force.

The new actions will help undo the “the assault on our environment that has occurred over the last four years” and “restore American leadership on climate throughout the world,” said Gina McCarthy, the White House national climate advisor, during a White House news briefing.

The order acknowledges the importance of advancing environmental justice, directing U.S. agencies to address the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on disadvantaged communities. Forty percent of federal spending on sustainable investments will go toward improving disadvantaged neighborhoods.

APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, praised the Biden administration’s plans.

“Climate change is the most important public health crisis of this century, and we know that some populations are disproportionately harmed by its effects,” he told The Nation’s Health. “I applaud the administration’s work to elevate this issue as well as the focus on health equity.”

Biden has already re-committed the U.S. to the Paris agreement, which the U.S. left under the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Biden said the U.S. will immediately begin developing its strategy to reduce emissions under the agreement. He also announced plans to host an April 22 Leaders’ Climate Summit and develop a climate finance plan.

Wednesday’s executive order underscores America’s return to global prominence on climate work and its commitment to lead by example, John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, said at the briefing.

“The world will measure us by what we can do here at home,” Kerry said.

Also on Wednesday, Biden issued a memorandum in support of science and evidence-based policymaking, noting that scientific findings “should never be distorted or influenced by political considerations."