High stakes for Earth’s climate future in US vote

(EurActiv, 19 Oct 2020) The United States presidential election will be “make or break” for the planet after four years during which Donald Trump frustrated global efforts to slash emissions, climate experts warn, fearing his re-election may imperil the world’s chances of avoiding catastrophic warming.

In a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, increasing signs of the brutal impacts of climate change have come into view, with record temperatures, sea ice loss and enormous wildfires scorching parts of the Arctic Circle, Amazon basin and the US itself.

Scientists say the window of opportunity to contain Earth’s warming is narrowing fast.

This deadline magnifies the global significance of American voters’ choice between Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden to lead the world’s second-largest emitter for the next four years.

Trump, who has described climate change as a hoax, has doubled down on support for polluting fossil fuels and revoked or rolled back a host of environmental standards.

And just a day after the US vote on November 3, the country will formally withdraw from the Paris agreement, the international accord aimed at restraining emissions and averting runaway warming.

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EurActiv, 19 Oct 2020: High stakes for Earth’s climate future in US vote