LSE CEO expects Biden to have 'huge' impact on climate politics

FILE PHOTO: CEO of London Stock Exchange Group David Schwimmer speaks during an event to launch the private finance agenda for the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) at Guildhall in London, Britain, February 27, 2020. Tolga Akmen/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - London Stock Exchange LSE.L Chief Executive David Schwimmer said on Monday that Joe Biden's election win in the United States would have a major impact on global climate politics.

Asked if a new president would change the United States’ contribution to the climate debate, Schwimmer said: “Short answer is ‘yes’ - big change.”

Biden has put climate change at the centre of his election campaign and, as well as rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate, has promised sweeping measures to make the country carbon neutral by 2050.

“Huge impact in terms of having the U.S. joining the effort to deal with climate change as opposed to being out there on its own,” Schwimmer told the Green Horizon Summit.

“The timing is actually pretty remarkable in terms of the U.S. leaving the Paris Agreement a couple of days ago and then President-elect Biden indicating that it will be one of his first actions in office,” he added.

Speaking on the same panel, Barclays CEO Jes Staley said he echoed Schwimmer’s comments.

“The election is a significant move. What COVID-19, in part, is showing is we are on this boat together and getting a major economy like the U.S. aligned once again with the Paris accord... is quite a significant and a positive step.”

Both were speaking at the start of a three-day summit in London, designed to mobilise the financial sector in the run-up to a U.N. climate change conference due to take place in Glasgow in late 2021.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kate Holton and Alexander Smith