Kaveh Guilanpour on the results of the U.S. midterm elections

Statement of Kaveh Guilanpour
Vice President of International Strategies, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
November 9, 2022

On the results of the U.S. midterm elections:

“The global community has often viewed U.S. election results as indicators of the nation’s commitment to climate action and multilateralism. Not unsurprisingly, as Parties and non-Parties convene in Sharm El-Sheikh for COP27, that concern may again arise. However, the potential for changes in control of one or both chambers of the U.S. Congress should not be seen to foreshadow a U.S. retreat from the 2030 NDC target of 50 to 52 percent emission reductions.

“The reality is that without a supermajority to overcome the Senate filibuster or a veto from President Biden, a Republican majority will be hard-pressed to roll back the lion’s share of U.S. climate legislation. The recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—projected to cut emissions as much as 42 percent below 2005 levels—is likely to stand regardless, and there are not presently significant signals Republicans aim to curtail the incentives and tax credits for clean energy investments that constitute the majority of its funding. I expect the clean energy investments will continue to leverage private capital and accelerate climate action in the United States and through the global economy.

“That’s not to say that the results are of no consequence. Importantly, the United States is not yet on track to fully meet its 2030 NDC—the recently enacted investments from the IRA and last year’s bipartisan infrastructure package will get the United States most—but not all—of the way there. That means there’s much to do domestically to reach the 2030 NDC target, much of which the Biden Administration will pursue through regulation.

“The United States is not alone among the world’s major economies in facing challenges to achieving the transition to net zero. The important thing is that the commitment is there, and IRA is a vital step towards delivering on that commitment.

“C2ES is focused on building bipartisan interest in climate, including support for innovation, nature-based solutions, and permitting reform—helping to realize those opportunities. That was as true yesterday as it is today. C2ES is now producing a list of practical policy priorities for Congress and the Administration to help ensure the United States is on track to meet its 2030 target and commitment to the Paris Agreement.”