After passing record levels of investment in infrastructure, research and science, and climate the United States is on a clear pathway to a clean energy transition. Such historic legislation coincides with United States Studies Centre polling indicating that significant majorities of Americans and Australians want to see their nations collaborate with each other on fighting climate change.

Yet the midterm elections could see President Biden’s Democratic party lose one, if not both Houses of Congress, and experts expect minimal progress at this month’s international climate negotiations (COP27) in Egypt. What sort of collaboration on climate change can we expect from the United States and Australia for the next two years and beyond? Can the alliance pivot to work on climate policy that touches on industrial policy and economic development? Should Australia be as concerned about the recent US climate legislation as the Europeans are?

To discuss these issues, USSC hosted an event featuring Meg McDonald, a former senior diplomat now a board member of the NSW Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board, the Foreign Investment Review Board and Environment Commissioner, Greater Cities Commission and Lachlan Carey, a former Australian Treasury official and senior associate at the Colorado-based RMI, where he leads work on US regional economic development through clean energy investment for a conversation with USSC CEO Dr Michael Green.