Video Brief: Climate Change
Videos

Video Brief: Climate Change

February 22, 2012 12:35 pm (EST)

Video Brief: Climate Change
Explainer Video

The winner of the U.S. presidential election will face at least three sets of climate challenges including reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, facing international pressure, and developing climate-friendly technology, says CFR’s Michael Levi.

More From Our Experts

The U.S. president will have to reduce emissions "in a way that is economically acceptable and socially acceptable within the United States," Levi says. "The longer the United States waits, the more expensive it will ultimately be to reduce emissions," he cautions.

"Regardless though of what the United States does at home, it is likely to be inadequate internationally," Levi argues. The president will likely face multilateral and bilateral pressure, including potential trade barriers to U.S. goods that are viewed as having been produced with "dirtier and therefore cheaper energy," he predicts.

The United States must also be prepared for a potential "clean energy race" to invent new clean technologies and capture the markets for these technologies, Levi says. The concern is that countries will implement government policies to support domestic industries, which will in turn result in trade disputes, he explains.

This video is part of Campaign 2012, a series of video briefings on the top foreign policy issues debated in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

More From Our Experts

Top Stories on CFR

Sub-Saharan Africa

PEPFAR’s twentieth anniversary should prompt reflection on some inconvenient truths for U.S.-Africa relations.

Democracy

Americans need to understand their obligations to one another and to their country if U.S. democracy is to survive.

United States

In addition to minority communities and those on the political left, far-right extremism threatens violence against Republicans as well.