WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday published an op-ed in Foreign Policy arguing that America must reclaim a global leadership role in the fight against climate change. In the piece, Murphy lays out five recommendations for how Congress can work with the incoming Biden administration to restore American climate leadership. These include restoring America’s commitment to the Green Climate Fund, greening the U.S. military and making it easier for trade partners to purchase American-made green technologies.
“The most menacing 21st Century enemies won’t be nation-states, but propaganda artists, hackers, pandemic diseases, shadowy and ever-changing non-state extremist groups, and—yes—the droughts, storms, and rising seas caused by a rapidly changing climate. Rebuilding the U.S. foreign-policy toolkit to equip the Biden administration with the resources to meet these threats will be a major endeavor. Our prior obsession with conventional military buildup must be matched by a new obsession for creating a more diverse set of cards—beyond military deployments and arms sales—that a U.S. president can play to protect our interests.,” Murphy wrote.
“This buildup of smart power can—and must—begin by giving the Biden administration the ability to rebuild the global consensus around the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Climate change is one of the few existential global security issues, and thus Congress must act quickly to put the new president in a position to quickly reverse the damage done to worldwide carbon-emission reductions by the Trump administration,” Murphy continued.
Murphy went on to list five places Congress can start to rebuild the U.S. role in the fight against climate change: (1) restoring the U.S. commitment to the Green Climate Fund; (2) ensuring foreign policy is climate policy, including greening the U.S. Department of Defense; (3) integrating climate policy with economic statecraft; (4) making it easier for countries to buy green technology from the United States, in part by doubling the size of the Export-Import Bank Environment Export Financing; and (5) once again, leading by example on the world stage.
Murphy concluded: “We’ve had four years of head-in-the-sand U.S. foreign policy across the board. This has been particularly dangerous when it comes to the Trump administration’s climate policy, as the window for reducing our emissions and averting the most cataclysmic outcome for our planet is shrinking. President-elect Biden can now align our moral leadership, trade dollars, and foreign aid to put us, and the world, back on the right track and restore faith in the United States as a nation whose lead is worth following.”
Click here to read the op-ed in full.