In this video, Dan Smith assesses what the election of Donald Trump as the new US President might mean for international cooperation on climate change and emphasizes the influence of the Paris Agreement and its political pressure – even if it is non-binding in important details. Smith is Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The interview was conducted at the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, 5-6 December 2016.
"There is a very difficult international environment now for maintaining cooperation on climate change. In a way, it is really fortunate that the big push was made in 2015 and we got the Paris Agreement because now that is there that itself exercises an enormous pressure on governments to implement, to carry out, what they have agreed to. It is in many ways non-binding in important details, but it functions as a really quite serious political pressure on them. The big question mark now is whether the Trump administration is going to stick with things that he has said during the election campaign and before. And we just do not know. I think what is important at the moment is not to base things on a calculation what the US administration may or may not get up to in 2017 and 2018 but it is just to head out and do the right thing and for that I think that China is getting a real ally on action on climate change while Russia is rather getting in the way of it is a little bit negative towards it. It is going to be a real tussle, the politics of climate change in the coming year. But I am not pessimistic about it.”
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