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The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading American nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Feb 25, 2019

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.


Kelly Sims Gallagher, professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 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 Chinese and American climate policies in the years since.