The Significance of the US Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

This comment discusses the significance of the US Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Although it is too early to predict the long-term implications for climate change of the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it is argued that the decision is unlikely to have a major negative impact on the world’s prospects for addressing climate change, at least in the short term. Government support for the Paris Agreement outside the US appears strong and there is also support within the US at state and city levels of government, within the financial and corporate sector and from civil society. Furthermore, technological innovation and scale economies are rapidly driving down the cost of renewable energies, batteries, smart energy solutions and electric vehicles, thereby reducing the cost of decarbonisation. The recent decision however reflects a rejection of multilateral agreements and is an invitation for rethinking global governance and amounts to an invitation to China to play a more important role.

By: David Robinson

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