Comment: climate implications of Biden presidency

Published:14 January 2021

Attendees at a media briefing today on the implications of the incoming US Administration for action on climate change heard that the Biden Presidency is set to pursue ambitious climate policies, both domestically and overseas.

John Podesta, Founder and Chair of the Center for American Progress, said: “As we see the catastrophic effects of climate change play out around the world, President-elect Biden’s historically ambitious climate agenda will bring the United States back to a position of global leadership, helping drive collective action to hold warming to 1.5 degrees.

“2021 will be a critical year for climate action. Together with the bold commitments of the UK, EU and other leading nations, the Biden-Harris administration is poised to amplify global climate action and ensure a clean, sustainable, and just future for all.”

Connie Hedegaard, Chair of the Board, KR Foundation and former EU Commissioner for Climate Action, said: “The inauguration of Joe Biden as US President is set to mark the beginning of a new, green transatlantic partnership. This means the world to the fight against climate change, particularly after years during which the US has been effectively absent from global efforts to address the crisis.

“And if we do it right - and early - climate can also be one of the most obvious areas to work constructively with China. The EU will have a critical role to play here, as it has demonstrated that it can play a role as a vital diplomatic bridge between China and the US on climate issues, a part that will be more important than ever this year. After four dark years the climate hope is light green again.”

David Miliband, former UK foreign secretary, and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said: “The climate crisis is now core to foreign policy. It needs to be central to diplomacy as countries make their own commitments but also work with each other to deliver an inclusive and sustainable approach to stabilizing the ecological balance.

“The changed diplomatic picture in recent months, with not only an incoming U.S. administration committed to ambitious climate action, but also new carbon neutrality pledges from China, the EU and others, create new opportunities but also new responsibilities. Climate change is here now, and is one of the drivers of humanitarian crisis around the world. The bargains being struck for emissions reduction need also to ensure that the impact on the world’s poorest countries is addressed.

“As holders of this year’s UN climate summit presidency in Glasgow, the UK needs to make sure that the summit unites the world rather than divides it.”

Tina Eonemto Stege, Climate Envoy, Republic of the Marshall Islands, said: “The world is looking to the Biden/Harris administration to generate solutions to the climate crisis, reinvigorate commitment to the Paris Agreement, and ensure that countries around the world can deliver a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19.

“The Republic of the Marshall Islands, and other small island states on the frontline of the climate crisis, are their natural allies - and we’re ready to work together to deliver a historic transformation.”

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