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The US exits Paris – Can the EU drive international climate action?

12 July 2017
Romain Pardo (Policy Analyst)



The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement will make its implementation more challenging. The United States (US) had been instrumental in brokering a successful deal in Paris and speeding up the ratification process for an early entry into force of the agreement. But far from bringing international climate action to a standstill, the US government’s position has, on the contrary, prompted decision-makers around the world to reaffirm their commitment to the implementation of the Paris agreement. This provides fertile ground for the European Union (EU) to play a leading role in the long process to turn the commitments made in Paris into concrete actions. To do so, the EU must:

  • deepen existing partnerships and seek new ones;
  • ensure that big emitters actively pursue policies aimed at lowering emissions;
  • increase its support to developing countries including those that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change;
  • reach out to subnational actors in the US (who do not all agree with federal climate policies) to stimulate climate mitigation actions in the US.
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