Although U.S. President Donald Trump wasn’t conceding defeat, people in other parts of the world started celebrating Joe Biden’s election victory Saturday and expressed hope that the Democrat will quickly set to work on a topic that wasn’t vital in the White House for the past four years: combating climate change.
“Welcome back America !” tweeted the mayor of Paris. Referencing the Paris climate accord that Trump pulled out of, Anne Hidalgo called Biden’s victory “a beautiful symbol to act more than ever together against the climate emergency.”
Cascading around the globe on social media and live news broadcasts, word of the victory in Pennsylvania that pushed Barack Obama’s former vice-president past the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to take over the Oval Office himself brought widespread relief in world capitals.
In Rome, people gathered in a coffee bar broke out in cheers when media outlets delivered the news. A city official in Berlin said, “After the birth of my son, the election of Joe Biden is by far the best news of this year.”
“Everything won’t get better overnight, but Trump is finally gone!” tweeted the official, Sawsan Chebli.
Western allies paid scant heed to Trump’s claims that the divisive race wasn’t over, instead quickly looking forward to a fresh start with a new administration in Washington.
“We’re looking forward to working with the next U.S. government,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted. “We want to work in our co-operation for a new trans-Atlantic beginning, a New Deal.”
Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, closed out his tweeted message of congratulations with Italian and U.S. flags.
“Ready to keep on working to make our relations ever stronger in defence of peace and freedom,” he said.
The election of Kamala Harris as the first Black woman vice-president also struck an immediate chord internationally.
“It makes us proud that the first woman to serve as vice-president of the USA traces her roots to India,” said the leader of India’s opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi.
Harris’ late mother was from India. Kamala is Sanskrit for “lotus flower,” and Harris gave nods to her Indian heritage throughout the campaign.
“She will be an incredible example and important role model for young girls throughout the world, showing them girls and boys enjoy the same rights and opportunities,” Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said.