It’s a strange year for climate policy in the United States. On the one hand, supporters of U.S. President Joe Biden point out that his White House has overseen a dramatic U-turn from the days of the Trump administration in terms of promoting decarbonization and clean energy and should be lauded for passing the (admittedly strangely titled) Inflation Reduction Act. But there’s also an important strand of criticism from economists arguing that however well-meaning the Biden administration’s policies may be, they are destined to backfire because they are essentially protectionist and could lead to a dangerous subsidies race.
Which perspective has more value?
To find out, FP’s Ravi Agrawal spoke to John Kerry, Biden’s special envoy for climate. They discussed the IRA, cooperation with China, and this year’s forthcoming Conference of Parties climate summit in Dubai. Watch the full discussion on video or read a lightly edited and condensed transcript, exclusive to FP Insiders.
The discussion with former secretary of state Kerry serves as a preview to FP’s annual climate summit. The summit will convene prominent leaders from the climate arena, including Gillian Caldwell, chief climate officer and deputy assistant at USAID, Dr. Hoesung Lee the chair of the IPCC, Selwin Hart, special advisor to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Climate action, and many others.
John Kerry, U.S. President Joe Biden’s special climate envoy, on whether the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is working and the changes that have come out of the legislation.
John Kerry on whether the IRA has angered America’s allies: We’re working those differences out.
John Kerry discusses mounting tensions between the United States and China and his hope for progress on the climate issue.
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
John F. Kerry is the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate. In recent years, Kerry was the first-ever visiting distinguished statesman at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, following his four years as the 68th U.S. secretary of state.
Editor in chief, Foreign Policy
Ravi Agrawal is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy, the host of FP Live, and a regular world affairs analyst on TV and radio. Before joining FP in 2018, 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. He 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.