Trump’s Withdrawal of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Economic and Environmental Future of the Us

What does Trump’s withdrawal mean for the future of the US economy?

Last week Professor Timothy Stephens, University of Sydney Law School, and Dr Jonathan Pickering, the University of Canberra were featured in the report by ABC’s David Taylor for the radio program PM, which discussed Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Find out their key points below.


 We need to take real action on climate change.

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has short and long-term economic effects, that intersect with, and propels global environmental issues. As Jonathan Pickering points out, long-term economic effects to the US economy come from global warming, including extreme weather events and rising sea levels, and in the short term, the continued production of fossil fuels will impact health and the economy.

What about the geopolitical headache of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement? 

According to Jonathon, Donald Trump’s decision is a strong indication that the US is backing out of international co-operation which will make it harder for the United States to secure a range of other foreign policy objectives.

This could shift global economic power 

Donald Trump’s refusal to sign the Paris Climate Agreement has the potential to shift global economic power away from the US. Timothy and Jonathon argue that the economic cost of walking away from the deal far outweigh the benefits, and could shift the economic power of the US towards countries like China.

What is the future of the United States in a clean energy economy?

Trump’s lack of action against climate change will not protect the US economy, but hinder it from competing in the future. Timothy Stephens argues that the developers of ‘the technologies of the future,’ such as Tesla, will concentrate their efforts on markets where there is a clear political and policy focus on building a clean economy.

Listen to the radio Interview below (starts at 13.58 minutes), or click here to access from the ABC.