John Knight's November 2020 Talking Politics column for Macclesfield Express

17 November 2020

This month, voters chose Democrat Joe Biden to take over as 46th President of the USA.

At the time of writing, Donald Trump is still refusing to concede defeat, but this was a major blow to the truth-denying, divisive populism that he represented.  This represents a victory not just for the USA but for the whole world - a chance to bring decency and generosity to politics and rise together to the climate emergency.

Boris Johnson is cut from the same cloth and has now lost his soul-mate on the other side of the Atlantic.  In the face of a major pandemic, an economic crisis and climate emergency, people want leadership that brings us together to tackle those challenges in a way that respects and follows science and takes action with the urgency required.

Johnson has a lot of catching up to do, not only to build bridges with the Biden administration, but to start to show some of the global leadership on climate that he frequently boasts of, but has yet to deliver.  Instead, we have witnessed the spectacle last week of his senior Downing Street advisor being shown the door - but only eight months after blatantly flouting Covid lockdown restrictions - following on the heels of his Director of Communications.

The election of Joe Biden is being heralded as a positive move in the fight against climate change.  He has vowed to rejoin the Paris climate agreement - repudiated by Donald Trump - in which countries pledged to commit to combatting climate change and to "accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future".

The Paris Agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.

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