Planet Earth can breathe again! The planet’s most influential country will soon have a leader who has some sensitivity to its climate and ecosystem, as well as to the needs of the majority of its inhabitants. Short term self-interest will no longer be the primary policy motivation in the US.
The Biden presidency follows close on the heels of China, Korea and Japan setting zero emissions targets. It follows the recent awakening of Boris Johnston to his responsibility for guiding the world to higher ambition at next year’s COP 26. It follows a growing awareness of climate risk in business and finance circles.
The race to net-zero emissions can begin at last. Only Russia, Brazil and Australia are yet to arrive at the starting line. Scott Morrison has been told he can only speak at COP 26 if Australia increases its ambition.
Biden’s climate policies are ambitious by most standards and will make a significant difference, even if Republicans retain control of the Senate. There are several climate bills in Congress which now have a chance of being debated. One of them is the Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act, a carbon fee and dividend proposal that has 82 co-sponsors in Congress and is gathering endorsements across the nation. Now there is a prospect that the US will join Canada in driving emissions down through a carbon fee and dividend.
An Australian government will soon be looking for a means to join the race to zero carbon. It is important that carbon fee and dividend is on the table when the government of the day is looking for a carbon price.
CCL will be there!
Rod Mitchell – National Chair