2021 will be a consequential year for climate action.

Several key moments in international climate diplomacy culminates in November in a major United Nations Climate Change conference in Glasgow, Scotland. That conference was supposed to happen in 2020 to mark the five year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, but was postponed due to COVID.

The reason this particular climate change conference is so consequential is because it is to be the venue in which governments around the world present new national climate action plans.  These new climate action plans, called Nationally Determined Contributions, are stipulated under the Paris Agreement as each country’s contribution to the collective effort to curb climate change. In 2021, these plans are supposed to be more ambitious than the initial climate action plans released as part of the initial Paris Agreement in 2015.  If the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming levels well below 2 degrees celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, governments are going to have to ramp up policies to take on climate change.

My guest today, Rachel Kyte is the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a longtime climate diplomacy insider. We kick off discussing how the Paris Agreement fared during the Trump years before having a longer conversation about opportunities for multi-lateral engagement to which the the new US administration may avail itself in the coming months.

This is a great conversation that does a good job explaining some of the complex geo-politics around climate change that the new US administration must skillfully navigate in order to make good on its promise to treat climate change like the priority it is.

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Today’s episode is produced in partnership with the Better World Campaign as part of a series  examining the opportunities for strengthening multilateral engagement by the new Biden-Harris administration and the incoming 117th Congress. To learn more and access additional episodes in this series, please visit http://getusback.org/

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