Rachel Cleetus

Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

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Rachel Cleetus is an expert on the design and economic evaluation of climate and energy policies, as well as the costs of climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in economics. See Rachel's full bio.

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As the US Rejoins the Paris Agreement, What’s Next on the Road to COP26?

On Feb 19th, the United States will officially be back in the Paris Agreement, thirty days after President Biden signed a declaration to rejoin the agreement on his first day in office. The President has clearly signaled to the world that climate change will be a top tier domestic and international priority, putting the climate crisis at the center of US foreign policy and national security. There’s a lot of ground to make up but the hope of Paris is alive and strong. Read more >

Photo: White House
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United States Secretary of State John Kerry, with his granddaughter in his arms, signs the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard/CC BY-ND (Flickr)

Five Years on, Keeping the Hope of the Paris Agreement Alive and Strong

On December 12, the world will mark the fifth anniversary of the landmark Paris Agreement. Back in 2015, there was so much hope that this would be a true turning point for global climate action. Yet, we have fallen well short of sharply bending the global heat-trapping emissions curve, and meanwhile climate change is unfolding around us in terrifying ways. Nevertheless, the Agreement endures and continues to be a precious beacon lighting the way. Now it’s time for nations—including the US, which will shortly rejoin the Agreement under President Biden—to show renewed and strengthened commitment to its goals, for people and the planet.    Read more >

UN Photo/Amanda Voisard/CC BY-NC
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Photo: Oleksii Sidorov/Shutterstock

A Biden Presidency Means a New Day in the Fight for Climate Action

Today marks a new day in the fight for bold, just, and equitable climate policy, and even the most jaded of us are filled with a measure of relief and hope. So let’s make sure President-elect Biden hears us loud and clear: We’re living in a climate emergency and it’s well past time we acted like it. Read more >

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My Testimony on Climate Change Before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Last week, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on the Environment, at a hearing entitled ‘Climate Change, Part IV: Moving Towards a Sustainable Future.’ Below is my oral testimony, as prepared (shortened a bit during delivery to respect time constraints). Also, here is a link to my written testimony, as submitted to the committee.

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The THRIVE Resolution Puts Forth a Bold and Just Economic and Climate agenda

Last week, the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) resolution was introduced in the House by Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM). THRIVE has 85 original Congressional cosponsors and has been endorsed by more than 200 organizations—including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)—and sets an ambitious and just agenda for economic renewal and climate action. With our nation reeling from an unprecedented wildfire and hurricane season, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis—all of which are exacerbating long-standing racial and socioeconomic disparities—this call to action couldn’t come at a more fitting time.

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