Letter from the Director: “Post-election: getting on with our work,” November 2020

As of this writing, Donald Trump has not conceded defeat to Joe Biden, though the result is now clear.

As we look to the next few months and years, the passing of 2020 marks the beginning of the need for rapid annual and decadal global greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Rejoining the Paris Agreement will be a necessary but not sufficient next step. Significant increases in emission reduction commitments are needed right away and the international community has much work to do. Alongside this necessity will be the continued weaving together of action-oriented coalitions inclusive of industry and finance, cities and communities and many elements of civil society – including research universities – which have worked these past four years to maintain momentum toward a low-carbon future. Coalition building to meet the climate crisis will benefit greatly from leadership by the U.S. federal government, supported by a return to science-based decision-making and productively allied with our international partners.

The ESI wishes well all in government, especially at the EPA, DOE, NOAA, NASA, NSF and other government agencies, during the coming White House transition and in their efforts to make possible a just and robust transition to a future of low and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Welcome back to arguably the greatest challenge humanity faces.

John E. Fernández, Director
November 8, 2020
Cambridge, Massachusetts