China’s president, Xi Jinping, spoke at the U.N. Conference of the Parties in 2015, where he and U.S. President Barack Obama backed a historic climate change agreement in Paris. (Photo by UNclimatechange/Flickr User)
Diplomats who gathered earlier this month in Marrakech, Morocco for COP22, the United Nations climate change summit, already faced a difficult proposition: how to fine-tune and implement the international agreement on climate change drafted last year in Paris. The election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States confounded that process even more, throwing into question many aspects of the deal that previously seemed settled, including who will lead the industrialized nations of the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Kelly Sims Gallagher is a professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. From June 2014 to September 2015, she served in the Obama Administration as a senior policy advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as senior China advisor in the Special Envoy for Climate Change office at the U.S. State Department.
She spoke with The GroundTruth Project’s Chris Bentley about Trump’s impact on the international relations of the Paris climate agreement, and what effect the U.S. election might have on climate politics in Europe and China.