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The Editors

The U.S. Should Lead the World on Climate Change

Biden has promised to be a radical on global warming, and he needs to do exactly that.

Getting to clean power.

Getting to clean power.

Photographer: Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images

During his campaign for the White House, and for years before that, President-elect Joe Biden has emphasized the threat from climate change and the need for the U.S. to act. He’s right. The turmoil in the country’s politics can’t be allowed to sideline prompt, bold action to confront the existential threat of global warming.

What Biden has said about his priorities is encouraging, and so are many of his proposed appointments — including Michael Regan, a longtime champion of environmental responsibility, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, and Gina McCarthy, a former head of the EPA and president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, as White House coordinator of climate policy. The president-elect has correctly called for a whole-of-government approach, meaning that every policy should be weighed for its climate-change implications. If Biden follows through, this kind of commitment can reverse the backsliding of the past four years and make a real difference not just to the U.S. but to the whole planet.