Great Britain

Biden will have a hard task getting the US to commit to Paris targets

G

iven how important oil, gas, coal and fracking still are to the American economy, it was brave of Joe Biden to even mention the climate crisis during the election campaign, and his opponent did his best to highlight the potential for job destruction contained in Mr Biden’s climate plan. For Donald Trump, the climate crisis was at best a hoax and at worst a Chinese plot to destroy the US economy. 

Still, Mr Biden won, which suggests that the tide of opinion in America is moving towards science and away from denialism. A succession of freakish extreme weather events may be persuading more voters to take the future of the planet seriously. So too is the ever-closing gap between the present and environmental Armageddon. Mr Trump and President Biden will probably not be around to witness the mid-century cataclysm, but many of their fellow citizens of voting age will be. 

A citizen born at the time of the original Earth Summit and Rio agreement on the climate crisis in 1992 should now be looking ahead to a comfortable retirement around the 2050 date usually assumed to be crucial to stopping the destruction of life on Earth.

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