Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump is already having a positive impact on international efforts to tackle climate change. Leaders from across the world, including the UK, Canada, Australia and Fiji, have used their first messages to the President-elect to draw attention to the climate crisis.
Biden has promised to re-join the global community in its commitment to the Paris Agreement – but this could be the easy part. More difficult will be whether and how Biden is able to deliver his ambitious climate plan, and how effectively he is able to integrate climate change into foreign policy efforts and national security strategies.
Global climate action has also moved forward in the last four years. The European Union recently pledged to become climate neutral by 2050, and China, Japan and South Korea have committed to achieving carbon neutral economies.
How will the US re-enter this global landscape of distributed leadership and what difficulties does it face? Will the US be willing to work within a competitive partnership with the EU and China? How will Biden’s win change the dynamic of COP26 next year?
Jake Schmidt, Managing Director, International Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
Jacob Werksman, Principal Adviser to Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission
Justin Worland, Senior Correspondent, TIME
Rueanna Haynes, Senior Legal Advisor and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Support Team Lead, Climate Analytics
Chair: Sam Geall, Associate Fellow, Chatham House