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Dr. Manali Kumar on Biden’s Climate Summit

Dr. Manali Kumar from the Institute of Political Science at the University of St.Gallen assess the US’ track record on climate mitigation and Joe Biden’s climate summit on BBC News with Clive Myrie.

The summit has clearly brought a lot of fresh energy ahead of COP26 this November and it certainly fits into the Biden administration’s “America is back” narrative. But the US has very little credibility when it comes to climate change mitigation efforts. The US never ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Republicans and corporations have consistently opposed climate action for years and actively undermined scientific research on this topic.

The US tends to argue that they will act when other countries do so – but that is not good enough. If we treated the US military as a country, then its emissions would rank higher than 140 other countries. The US has one of the highest levels of per capita emissions in the world. The Biden administration will need to go beyond making ambitious pledges and start formulating and implementing policies if they want to be taken seriously as leaders on climate change mitigation.

Author: Tabea Bereuther

Date: 6. May 2021