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Republican advances in US will not derail global climate agenda

The landmark Paris agreement is a flexible, resilient one that could withstand potentially another period of a climate-sceptic Republican in power in America, including even US withdrawal again from the pact.

Andrew Hammond
Published Wed, Nov 9, 2022 · 05:07 PM

AS THE COP27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh moves into overdrive this week, the eyes of many at the event are focused some 6,000 miles away in Washington DC with Republicans on track to take control of the US House of Representatives in Tuesday (Nov 8)’s mid-term elections.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, now the US climate envoy, vowed in Egypt that President Joe Biden’s administration will press ahead on climate action regardless of any Republican advances in Congress. This is true in the sense that there is still much that Biden will be able to do via executive action, although there is little to no prospect of major legislation like that passed this year in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act, which may be the most important climate bill in US history.

Beyond the fact that there has not been the “red wave” that exit polls forecast in Tuesday’s mid-term elections, however, many at COP27 remain concerned that a Republican climate sceptic, possibly even Donald Trump, could get elected to the presidency in 2024. However, even if that ensues too, despite the significant prospect that Democrats may retain the White House, this will not necessarily be the mortal blow to climate action that some fear.

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