President Donald Trump has announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change. His decision makes the United States, the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, only the third nation to not sign on to 2015’s landmark deal. The move creates uncertainty around not only global climate change cooperation, but also U.S. leadership on the international stage, as countries including China, Russia, and India have signaled their intention to stay the course with their commitments. On June 6, the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate hosted a conversation on what Trump’s withdrawal means going forward. Speakers from across the Institution’s research programs gave their takes on impacts ranging from clean power and the domestic energy industry to U.S. foreign policy. Lisa Friedman, editor of ClimateWire, moderated the panel and audience Q&A.
Former Nonresident Senior Fellow - Metropolitan Policy Program
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Biden’s overarching message [in an address to the U.N. General Assembly] . . . was that strategic competition with China will not in any way diminish America’s commitment to working with other nations to tackle shared existential threats like climate change and pandemics. [The challenge for the U.S. president is to find a way of tackling shared threats in an era of great power rivalry and nationalism...] He will try to work with China but he also needs a back-up plan if that fails to materialise. Today’s speech was a first step in that direction.