At the recent G7 energy ministerial in Rome, the Trump administration’s listlessness on climate change prevented attendees from being able to sign off on an endorsement of the Paris climate deal. With the G7 leaders summit in Taormina now only one month away, and the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg only two months after that, it seems Donald Trump is yet to be won over by those in his cabinet who believe it would be a mistake for an American President to attend both summits as the first world leader to cut and run from the Paris Agreement.
On Tuesday 28 March, President Trump unravelled his predecessor’s climate policy by signing an executive order that, amongst other things, undoes restrictions on emissions by coal-fired power plants. Obama’s climate measures would have resulted in an estimated 26-28 percent reduction of US emissions by 2025. Many now ask about the global consequences of US withdrawal from climate protection; will this be the end of the world’s quest for a low-carbon and climate resilient future?
Last week in an interview with Reuters, U.S. President Trump labelled the Chinese as “grand champions at manipulation of currency”, indicating he has not fully backtracked from his campaign promise to designate China as a ‘currency manipulator’ on ‘day one’ of his Presidency. The position of Washington on this topic has not exactly been crystal clear, however, with the new U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, announcing on the same day as Trump’s comment that the Treasury was in fact still going through the formal process of analysing Chinese currency practices, and that no judgements would be made prior to the completion of that process. Read the rest of this entry »
Bringing together more than 400 foreign and security policy elites from the transatlantic community and an irritatingly small number of representatives from the non-Western world, the Munich Security Conference somewhat resembled a couple’s therapy session and an attempt at self-reassurance. Does the West still exist? Do we still need the West? What is the West about? And, finally, a huge question, which world order is it worth fighting for?