This brief is part of the Brookings Blueprints for American Renewal & Prosperity project.
The United States is rejoining international efforts against climate change in a crucial year. All members of the Paris Agreement are obliged to submit updated pledges for emissions reductions prior to a global climate meeting in November. President Joe Biden wants to re-establish U.S. leadership on climate. Doing so will require the United States to make an ambitious but achievable pledge and to assist other nations in doing the same. The political landscape for enacting climate legislation in the United States is still tricky, but U.S. subnational actors have continued emissions reduction efforts during the Trump administration and will be a key part of efforts going forward. These subnational actors can share their skills and ambition with their counterparts abroad. The United States also has an opportunity to lead through its role in the global financial sector. It can encourage greener investing by requiring disclosure of climate risks and support global efforts to finance emissions reduction and climate adaptation in developing countries.