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Analysis

US withdrawal 'will not derail climate efforts'

OMFIF advisers believe G7 will meet Paris agreement objectives

This month's advisers network poll focuses on the US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement and the effect this has on reaching the goals set in 2015. Members of the network were asked, 'Will American withdrawal from leadership on the international efforts to defeat climate change mean the world can no longer meet the goals set in Paris in December 2015?' and 'Which countries, or groups of countries, are best placed to assume global responsibility in this field?'

Of those polled, 68% remain confident in the G7's ability to meet its climate objectives without US leadership. Some members argue that co-operation plays a greater role to effectively meet climate targets, while others believe there is still a need for a global leader. China should take on the new global responsibility according to 24%, as the latest figures show China contributes to around 30% of global carbon dioxide emissions, more than double that of the US.

Of further responses, 16% opine that US states, without the federal government, should adopt the primary role, reinforced by the pact signed by US mayors from more than 250 cities aiming to transition to renewable energy within the next two decades.

Us Withdrawal Poll 1

Us Withdrawal Poll 2

 

It will not be much more difficult than before President Donald Trump's decision. States, counties, cities and companies in the US will still put in significant effort. But the 2 degrees trajectory is still not in sight without a serious hardening of the measures contained in the National Voluntary Contributions. Leadership is needed to convince states that a more coercive mechanism is needed to measure emissions objectively at country level.

Olivier Rousseau, Fonds de Reserve

The Paris agreement will hold as there is a worldwide shift away from carbon-emitting energy. The world's money markets are turning Paris into reality and ignoring Trump. China seems committed to lead internationally as the carbon-cement era of Chinese capitalism has come to an end. Across Europe public opinion, and in the incorporation of green politics into government thinking, the trend is clear.

Denis MacShane, Avisa Partners 

Yes, the world can still meet the Paris goals. We are seeing US presidential withdrawal, not widespread US withdrawal. Many committed parties, including US states, will be more determined to show their green credentials. Responsibility will be shared globally, with the greatest impact potentially coming from previously recalcitrant emerging market states.

Colin Robertson, SW1 Consulting

US withdrawal from the Paris agreement makes it difficult to meet the climate objectives. Moreover, this disengagement from international affairs will damage Washington's standing. This foreign policy blunder will definitely put more strain on relations with the rest of the world with repercussions on the diplomatic front.

Hemraz Jankee, Bank of Mauritius

The targets in the Paris agreement are insufficient in any case, but the US shortfall should not dramatically affect the overall result. If countries focus on leadership rather than co-operation and results they will have missed the point, along with Trump.

Edwin Truman, Peterson Institute for Internatonal Economics

The Paris goals have been overtaken by the private sector sensing a commercial opportunity to disrupt the traditional energy sector.

Mumtaz Khan, Middle East & Asia Capital Partners 

The EU and US cities and states. In the US, there is a lot of action at the city and state level, and many businesses see a strong business case for moving away from coal towards gas and renewables.

John West, Asia Century Institute

Diffused leadership but the vacuum will be filled by all of the players mentioned. The bandwagon effect of this, together with Sustainable Development Goals 2017 should keep things in track.

Lutfey Siddiqi, National University of Singapore