The Biden administration has rightly made fighting climate change a top priority. But that has raised a strategic question: Does the United States need China’s cooperation to succeed? And, if it does, then will that cooperation come at the expense of leverage that the U.S. government needs to maintain in order to press China on other critical matters, especially its rampant and unfair “innovation mercantilism”?
ITIF hosted a robust debate on this question. Professor Michael Klare has written that “Biden’s Tough Stance on China Will Lead to Global Climate Doom.” He argued that cooperation is essential and can be done in parallel without weakening the U.S. negotiating position on other matters. ITIF President Rob Atkinson (who has written, “If Biden Wants to Be the Climate President, He Won’t Need China’s Help”) tackled the opposing position.