Adam Tooze | Foreign Policy | August 6, 2021
As news pours in almost daily about extreme weather events, the climate crisis is taking on a more and more manifested reality. Meanwhile, the clock of climate diplomacy is ticking too. The long-awaited United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, is now less than 100 days away. If there is to be progress at the conference, positions need to be confirmed and coordinated. Originally scheduled to open only days after the 2020 U.S. election, it is fortunate in a sense that COVID-19 forced its postponement. This allows U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to play a more constructive role. But not only are the G-20 environment ministers unable to agree, but even between the Europeans and the Biden administration, hopes of climate harmony are proving premature.
The United States and the European Union have both separately raised the promises they made in Paris in 2015. But on how to achieve their goals, they are at odds. Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s climate denial and crude economic nationalism have been banished—at least, for now. Instead, what the world is witnessing is a trans-Atlantic tussle over preeminence in climate policy. The resurgent claim to leadership on the part of the Biden administration clashes with the EU’s famed regulatory power. So much so that following the latest EU package’s announcement, there is talk of a carbon trade war. Will the White House or the “Brussels effect” prevail?
Originally published by Foreign Policy. Read the full article here.