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Climate Finance May Foul the Economy

Walter Russell Mead

When Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination in June 2008, he said he hoped future generations would look back and say, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Not exactly. While the Obama administration helped negotiate the Paris Climate Accords, the effects of those voluntary pledges to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions has been as minimal as their harshest environmentalist critics predicted. According to the Climate Action Tracker site, only two countries—all hail Morocco and Gambia—are living up to their Paris commitments.

As the Biden team confronts what it believes is one of the most urgent policy priorities at home and abroad, it faces an inconvenient truth. Even if Democrats win both runoffs in Georgia and take formal control of the Senate, the administration would have to persuade reluctant lawmakers like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin to support the abolition of the filibuster to pass significant climate legislation. Treaty ratification, which requires a two-thirds Senate majority, is out of reach, meaning that no legally binding international climate agreements will be cemented.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal

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