November 25, 2020
When Joe Biden won the US presidency earlier this month, it seemed like a huge opportunity to restore the country’s position as a leader in the fight against climate change. But whether he’ll be able to deliver on his climate agenda — the most aggressive ever put forth by a leading US presidential candidate — remains to be seen, especially because he will face a powerful Republican opposition in Congress.
Still, climate-policy experts say that there is a lot the former senator and vice-president to Barack Obama can do, including exerting his authority over federal agencies to drive forward his agenda, and leveraging his experience working with both parties in the Senate to push legislation in Congress.
“This is really the first time that a US president is leading with climate,” says Vicki Arroyo, executive director of Georgetown University’s Climate Center in Washington DC. That’s exciting, she says, but suggests cautious optimism: global warming is still a partisan issue on Capitol Hill, dividing Republicans and Democrats, and “that is going to limit what Biden can accomplish”.