Climate change has emerged as an increasingly important issue for Americans, especially among younger generations. As wildfires in the West and tropical storms in the Atlantic break records, many voters feel heightened urgency towards addressing climate change. Yet presidential candidates Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden offer starkly different positions on the topic, as evidenced in the recent presidential debate. From his first days in office, President Trump has pursued a deregulatory agenda that has undercut core environmental laws, including those relating to climate. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has unveiled progressively ambitious climate proposals culminating in a $2 trillion climate plan.
On October 15, Brookings hosted a discussion about what the election outcome will likely mean for U.S. engagement on climate. Will a Biden presidency reestablish U.S. leadership in addressing climate change? Will the U.S. be able to make progress in a second Trump term if the president does not change his posture? What role will Congress, state and local governments, the private sector, and advocates have in either scenario?
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This event was part of the Brookings Policy 2020 initiative, which aims to unpack the issues shaping the 2020 election through fact-based analysis.