America is waking up to climate change

But Biden needs to persuade the world he means business, writes Daniel Strieff

The World Today Published 1 October 2021 3 minute READ

Daniel Strieff

Author of ‘Jimmy Carter and the Middle East: The Politics of Presidential Diplomacy’

Murderous heat waves in the Pacific north-west, record-shattering wildfires in the west, destructive hurricanes on America’s Gulf Coast, flash floods in the south, devastating rain in the northeast – few parts of the United States have been spared the pernicious effects of climate change in 2021. 

Nearly one in three Americans experienced a weather disaster between June and September – an increase from around one in 10 during the same period five years ago, according to an analysis by The Washington Post

In this context President Joe Biden is heading to Glasgow, where he will try to position the United States at the forefront of global efforts to prevent environmental catastrophe. But unless Biden can organize America’s domestic response to the crisis, the US will lack credibility in its bid for climate leadership. Combustible domestic politics have too often shown Washington to be an unreliable international partner.

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