Joe Biden is almost certain to be the next president of the United States, ushering in a welcome return to engagement with the climate crisis after four years of denial.
In contrast with Donald Trump’s premature declaration of victory and desperate calls to “stop the count”, Biden is modelling patience, with around 10% of ballots still to be tallied.
That’s the easy part. Much harder will be delivering emissions cuts, after disappointing Senate results for the Democrats. They could yet scrape a majority — subject to a January run-off in Georgia — but do not have the 60 seats needed to pass a framework climate law.
A Biden administration will have to get creative to submit a credible 2030 climate target to the UN next year, as required under Paris.
This week’s stories…
- As Joe Biden nears White House victory, his climate plan hinges on the Senate race
- Mangrove revival: How tree-planting is financing women’s businesses in Kenya
- OECD: One-fifth of climate finance goes to adaptation as share of loans grows
- 5 ways climate issues played out in the US election
- ‘Count every vote’ demand US climate activists, after Trump false victory claim
- US has officially left the Paris Agreement, amid election to determine climate future
- Environmentalists urge UN to condemn Brazil’s spying at climate talks
- As editor of Climate Home News, I am committed to hard-hitting journalism
…and climate conversations
- Debt-for-climate swaps can help developing countries make a green recovery – Romina Picolotti and Alan Miller
Mangroves and microfinance
If constantly refreshing US election liveblogs is driving you mad, take a break to read about the women restoring mangroves in Lamu County, Kenya.
As in many parts of the world, this carbon-rich ecosystem has come under pressure from harvesting for firewood and building materials.
In an innovative project, women are replanting degraded areas and using the revenues from selling “blue carbon” credits to start small businesses.
The climate finance gap
Rich countries mobilised $78.9 billion of climate finance in 2018, according to OECD analysis, off the pace to the 2020 target of $100bn a year.
Little of that is reaching the most vulnerable communities, with a persistent bias towards carbon-cutting projects in emerging economies. As Oxfam flagged up last month, a growing proportion of the total is delivered as loans, adding to developing countries’ debt burdens.
It is a key issue for next week’s Finance in Common Summit, which brings together leaders from public development banks.