How to Achieve America’s Climate Goals

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Last August, when the United States passed the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), commentators celebrated the fact that the world’s biggest economy would slash its carbon emissions and provide massive tax credits to programs investing in clean energy. It took only a short while, however, for complaints to emerge. European and Asian leaders began to call the IRA unfair competition and protectionist.

Jonathan Pershing, formerly the Biden administration’s No. 2 global climate envoy, joined FP editor in chief Ravi Agrawal to discuss Washington’s climate policy, and how it is being seen around the world. The two also discussed climate cooperation with China, the road to COP28, and much else.

Jonathan Pershing explains the costs and benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act for the rest of the world.

Jonathan Pershing offers insight into the possible hurdles that a Republican-controlled House may bring when it comes to climate initiatives.

Jonathan Pershing, a former advisor to four U.S. presidents on climate policy, shares that despite the COVID lockdown, a U.S. delegation was allowed to enter China twice for climate negotiations within the first year of the Biden administration.

Jonathan Pershing on the debate over the loss and damage fund that was agreed upon at COP27 and the United States’ role in that debate.

Jonathan Pershing

Program Director of Environment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Jonathan Pershing is the program director of environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. From 2021 to 2022, he served as deputy special envoy for climate at the U.S. State Department. Previously, Pershing served as special envoy for climate change at the State Department and lead U.S. negotiator to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.  He served under four U.S. presidents and helped negotiate the 2015 Paris climate agreement. 

Host

Ravi Agrawal

Editor in chief, Foreign Policy

Ravi Agrawal is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy and the host of FP’s Global Reboot podcast. Before joining FP, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade in full-time roles spanning three continents, including as the network’s New Delhi bureau chief and correspondent. Agrawal has shared a Peabody Award and three Emmy nominations for his work as a TV producer, and his writing for FP was part of a series nominated for a 2020 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary. Agrawal is the author of India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy. He is a graduate of Harvard University. Agrawal is a frequent commentator on world affairs on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the BBC.

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CARSON, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: An aerial view shows Marathon Petroleum Corp's Los Angeles Refinery, the state's largest producer of gasoline, as oil prices have cratered with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Carson, California. Crude oil prices dropped into negative territory for the first time on April 20 with millions of barrels going unused after travel restrictions and widespread social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all but obliterated global energy demand. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual celebration of the environmental movement. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: An aerial view shows Marathon Petroleum Corp's Los Angeles Refinery, the state's largest producer of gasoline, as oil prices have cratered with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Carson, California. Crude oil prices dropped into negative territory for the first time on April 20 with millions of barrels going unused after travel restrictions and widespread social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all but obliterated global energy demand. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual celebration of the environmental movement. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

How Governments Should Manage the Rise of AI

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Is the White House prepared to deal with the remarkable growth of artificial intelligence? What are the current and potential risks to Americans? If governments should create rules around th...Show more

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: An aerial view shows Marathon Petroleum Corp's Los Angeles Refinery, the state's largest producer of gasoline, as oil prices have cratered with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Carson, California. Crude oil prices dropped into negative territory for the first time on April 20 with millions of barrels going unused after travel restrictions and widespread social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all but obliterated global energy demand. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual celebration of the environmental movement. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: An aerial view shows Marathon Petroleum Corp's Los Angeles Refinery, the state's largest producer of gasoline, as oil prices have cratered with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Carson, California. Crude oil prices dropped into negative territory for the first time on April 20 with millions of barrels going unused after travel restrictions and widespread social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all but obliterated global energy demand. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual celebration of the environmental movement. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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The war in Ukraine has propelled the United States and Europe closer on a variety of foreign-policy issues. But do Washington and Brussels agree on how to deal with Beijing’s growing clout...Show more

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: An aerial view shows Marathon Petroleum Corp's Los Angeles Refinery, the state's largest producer of gasoline, as oil prices have cratered with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Carson, California. Crude oil prices dropped into negative territory for the first time on April 20 with millions of barrels going unused after travel restrictions and widespread social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all but obliterated global energy demand. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual celebration of the environmental movement. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: An aerial view shows Marathon Petroleum Corp's Los Angeles Refinery, the state's largest producer of gasoline, as oil prices have cratered with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Carson, California. Crude oil prices dropped into negative territory for the first time on April 20 with millions of barrels going unused after travel restrictions and widespread social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all but obliterated global energy demand. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the annual celebration of the environmental movement. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Inside the U.S.-China Tech War

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Over the last few years, the United States has moved to limit China’s technological rise. U.S.-led sanctions have imposed unprecedented limits on Beijing’s access to advanced computing c...Show more

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