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Climate change: Can Biden make a difference?

President-elect Joe Biden says he'll return the United States to the Paris Agreement. But what difference will that make?

President-elect Joe Biden has said that one of the first acts of his presidency will be to return the United States to the Paris climate change agreement. His administration is proposing to make US electricity production carbon-free by 2035 and to have the country achieve 'net zero' emissions by the middle of the century. In 2015 the United States played a leading role in bringing together 195 countries that pledged to work together to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius. But less than six months after taking office Donald Trump said he’d withdraw from the agreement, claiming it was putting American jobs and the economy at risk. By the end of the Trump presidency the US had left - and had also rolled back dozens of environmental protections and implemented plans to expand drilling for oil and gas into public lands. So what has four years of President Trump done to global efforts to tackle climate change? How will America's return to the top table under a Democratic leader change the picture? Will President-elect Biden have the support he needs from Congress and the American people to meet his ambitious targets? And what now for US leadership in persuading other countries to commit fully to fighting climate change? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests.

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Sat 14 Nov 2020 04:06GMT


Dr Michael E. Mann - Director of the Earth System Science Center in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at Penn State University and author of the upcoming book: 'The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet'

Yamide Dagnet - Director of Climate Negotiations at World Resources Institute who worked for the British government in the run up to the signing of the Paris climate agreement

Niklas Höhne - A climatologist and the founding partner of New Climate Institute and the lead author of the UN Environment Programme's Emission Gap Report since 2010.

Dr Philip Duffy - President of the Woodwell Climate Research Center who served as a Senior Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama administration

Also featuring ...

Jonathan Pershing - Program Director of Environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the lead US negotiator to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change during the Obama administration


A firefighter and wildfires in the United States - Credit: Getty Images


  • Fri 13 Nov 2020 10:06GMT
  • Sat 14 Nov 2020 00:06GMT
  • Sat 14 Nov 2020 04:06GMT

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