We are seeing shallow decarbonization in the power sector with the big shift to gas and away from coal. But in a few years that well runs dry and EIA projects that electricity emissions will stop falling. That will be a watershed for the U.S.A. because the one sector that accounts for nearly all of the progress the country has made on emissions — however scant — has been from the power sector.
The movement against climate cooperation is just raising the level of difficulty. The animating force for a lot of the populism today comes from political groups that are seeing globalization producing outcomes they don't like.
[On the U.S. intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and climate change] Actions on Paris undermine U.S. credibility, and the damage from that will be lasting – as they will from our actions in Syria and many other places.
[On climate and international relations] The ongoing (often petty) expansion of the trade war with China will amplify the damage to the U.S.-China relationship. That relationship is fraught with challenges that go far beyond the Trump administration, but it is impossible to get serious about climate without a serious engagement with China.
David G. Victor speaks on December 9, 2019 at COP 25 in Madrid, Spain, on the launch of a new report, “Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition: The case for strong, more targeted and coordinated international action.”