As Democratic presidential hopefuls gather in Los Angeles this week for the last debate of 2019, candidates should look across the Atlantic for a cautionary tale.
No, I’m not just talking about last week’s UK elections, which saw Labour’s far left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, get crushed by Brexiteer Boris Johnson. Democrats can also draw useful lessons from the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP25) in Madrid, which by all accounts failed to kickstart progress toward implementing the Paris Climate Accords.
The culprit here, of course, is President Trump. His threat to pull the United States out of international efforts to combat climate change has created a major vacuum of leadership. What happened in Madrid underscores the folly of relying mainly on governments to tackle the climate crisis. Democratic presidential hopefuls should promise not only to re-exert U.S. leadership but to engage the private sector in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — regardless of which way the political winds happen to be blowing.