The Paris Climate Agreement marked a breakthrough in international cooperation on climate change, with 196 states and the European Union negotiating a pact in December 2015 to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The United States and China, the top two emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet, announced their intentions to join the agreement in April 2016. Since then, President Donald Trump has vowed to withdraw from the agreement, while China has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting the targets outlined within.
Dr. Kelly Sims Gallagher of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a senior policy advisor on science and technology to the Obama administration during the talks, provides insight into the negotiation process. She describes the steps taken to reach the agreement, and the alternating progress and stagnation in U.S.-China climate policy in the years since.