US President Joe Biden’s inaugural address was widely praised, but now the real task starts. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Joe Biden is the 46th president of the United States of America. Few of his 45 predecessors have had a more eventful route to the White House. Donald Trump has tried desperately to cling on to power, through a series of unsuccessful appeals in the courts to overturn the result of the election and then by whipping up anger among his supporters, which led to the shocking scenes on 6 January when the Capitol was stormed.

Biden has the unenviable task of taking over a tinderbox of a country in which the Covid-19 virus has established a strong foothold. However, the largest economy in the world still has to function. It needs a thriving manufacturing sector. Its creaking, crumbling infrastructure needs upgrading. US foreign policy – which over the past four years has taken in a trade war with China, a redrawing of Nafta and various long-time allies cast aside – will need some serious attention (and yes, that includes paying some attention to a trade deal with the UK, Brexit and all). Its attitude to globalisation, and with it foreign direct investment, will also need a rethink. The more progressive flank of the Democratic Party will not let Biden’s campaign pledges on ESG slip, either. These are all topics that Investment Monitor has covered in the run up to the inauguration on 20 January.

Biden’s accession into the White House is also a theme on Energy Monitor, which profiles Danish clean energy giant Ørsted and US commercial EV technology company Proterra, which it predicts will enjoy breakout growth in the US under Biden. It also looks at climate opportunities for the EU under the new regime in the US, while assessing the dilemma over US LNG exports to Europe, and provides an introduction to Biden’s climate and energy team.

Donald Trump entered the White House full of bombast and was hailed by his supporters and many big businesses (that should have known better) as the man who would ‘make America great again’. He leaves a country fractured, a Capitol stormed, the relatives of more than 400,000 people grieving over Covid-related deaths (almost twice as many deaths as second-placed Brazil), foreign relations in urgent need of mending and a national image that requires some serious rebuilding. Over to you, Joe…