At the end of 2016, the transatlantic policy community is in a state of flux. New leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have assumed office—or will do so soon—and bring with them what are, in some cases, profoundly different views than those of their predecessors. The issue of climate change is one such case in which the policies implemented and achievements made to-date are at odds with the professed views of the incoming U.S. administration.
The 2015 Paris Agreement was a high point of climate diplomacy. This Policy Report looks at the history of international climate negotiations before turning to the factors that contributed to the Paris Agreement’s adoption and quick entry into force. It identifies the United States and the European Union as crucial players in the diplomatic process, and examines the leadership styles that were employed by both actors to craft an agreement that not only met with their own approval, but that was accepted by other—at times less cooperative—actors. In a fresh take on climate diplomacy, the authors analyze key players’ Twitter feeds to learn more about negotiators’ priorities and opinions, using Twitter to determine the value each actor places on various topics. The Policy Report concludes with an assessment of U.S. and European cooperation on climate and the division of labor that led to the Paris Agreement. Finally, it looks to the future of climate diplomacy in light of the new administration that will take office in Washington in January.
Diplomacy—and climate diplomacy—will be as essential as ever in the years ahead. This Policy Report offers AICGS’ signature insights into how the U.S. and Europe can collaborate on an issue that will continue to appear on the transatlantic agenda.
Made possible by the support of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt - AA)