Climate Action in the United States and Implications for Southeast Asia


About the Webinar

With the advent of the Biden administration, U.S. foreign policy on climate change has undergone a radical – and, for anyone concerned about the climate crisis, welcome – transformation. Overnight, the U.S. government went from being a deliberate obstacle to action on climate change, both domestically and internationally, to being a potential leader in the global effort to mitigate the climate crisis. While the success of the Biden administration’s climate-related policies will largely be measured by what happens domestically, if its policies take root they will inevitably affect other countries, including those in Southeast Asia. As climate policies start to bite in the United States, pressure will build from American businesses and Congress to ‘level the playing field’ by expecting similar measures among trading partners. Countries of Southeast Asia can anticipate more U.S. support for bilateral and multilateral programs to assist climate-friendly development in the region, and much more pressure from the United States to end practices, such as deforestation and support for coal, that exacerbate the climate crisis. In short, it will be increasingly difficult for Southeast Asian countries to resist action on climate change (assuming that U.S. policy does not reverse course under future administrations). This webinar will consider the Biden administration’s policy direction on climate change in the lead-up to the UN Climate Conference in November 2021 and provide a forum for discussion about how Southeast Asia might respond.

About the Speaker

Paul G. Harris is the Chair Professor of Global and Environmental Studies at the Education University of Hong Kong and a Senior Research Fellow in the Earth System Governance global research alliance. He conducts research on global and environmental politics, policy and justice. Most of his work focuses on climate change, including the international governance of climate change, climate ethics and justice, the politics and foreign policy of climate change, and American and Chinese climate change policies. He is the author of Pathologies of Climate Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and five other books, and editor of 20 books, including China’s Responsibility for Climate Change (Policy Press/Bristol University Press), Confronting Environmental Change in East and Southeast Asia (Earthscan/United Nations University Press), Global Warming and East Asia (Routledge) and (as co-editor) the Routledge Handbook of Environment and Society in Asia (Routledge). For more information, see


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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Jun 24 2021


10:00 am - 11:00 am