The US Presidential Election is Hugely Important to the Future of Climate Policy

The 2024 US presidential election is likely the most critical in America’s history. It has significant implications for the country’s climate policy.

The two leading candidates – Joe Biden (Democrat and incumbent) and Donald Trump (Republican and past President) – have vehemently opposed views on climate change. President Biden strongly supports the Paris Agreement and passed significant, well-funded pro-climate legislation during his first term. Former President Trump does not believe climate is a real issue. Should he be elected, he is likely to reverse Biden’s policies, emasculate the EPA, and withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, a move that could have significant global consequences for climate change mitigation efforts.

2024 Congressional races also have significant implications for American climate policy. Should the Democrats capture both houses of Congress and Biden win re-election, the chances of continued support for climate mitigation and adaptation policies are vital. Should the Democrats prevail, they will have some ability to deter Trump, should he win, from reinstating his ruinous approach to the environment. Should the Republicans win control of one or both houses, all bets are off.

There are also several states facing critical environmental issues, such as California and Colorado (weather and water), Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and other farming states (droughts), Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf states (flooding). Both state and national elections in these states are important for the climate issues they face. Democrats will likely support strong climate adaptation measures; Republicans will do little to address these problems.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Director Ron Israel.


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