In an official letter to the United Nations, the US government has rescinded its part in the Paris climate agreement. Professor Martin Kesternich, deputy head of the ZEW Research Department “Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management” at ZEW Mannheim and professor of economics with a special focus on environmental and resource economics at the University of Kassel, comments on this matter.

ZEW economist Martin Kesternich comments on the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement
Professor Martin Kesternich is deputy head of the ZEW Research Department “Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management”.

“Even though the now official US request to withdraw from the Paris Agreement comes as no surprise, this formal step is nevertheless a bad sign for international climate diplomacy. Especially against the background of the two guiding principles of the Paris Agreement – the principle of voluntary commitment to achieve the broadest possible involvement of all states in an international agreement, and the principle of reciprocity – the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw is a setback for global climate efforts.

Decisive for further developments will be the extent to which the European Union can credibly strengthen its role in international climate diplomacy in the medium-term, particularly in cooperation with key players such as China and India. What is clear is that, in addition to joint abatement efforts, options such as technology transfers or trade agreements should also be put on the negotiating table in order to reach a stable agreement with the most important emerging and developing countries.”



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