Volume LII – Number 2

Ryan Kirby

Abstract: Environmental policy is a relatively new phenomenon in human history that is becoming increasingly debated on an international scale. The U.S. is a major player in foreign policy decisions that can drive the global narrative. For the past few decades, there have been several attempts to address climate change, however, most have resulted in minimal success. This paper addresses the role that American presidents and their politics have had in the success and failure of global environmental agreements, with a focus on the Paris Climate Accord. The paper analyzes the underlying processes that explain why President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. Ultimately, Republican orthodoxy clashes with international climate change policy, and the current political dynamics of the U.S. encourage President Trump to act on the interests of his party’s supporters.

Keywords: Paris Climate Accord, President Trump, climate change, multilateral agreements, partisanship, US foreign policy 

About the Author: Ryan Kirby is a proud Towson University alum. He graduated with honors in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, focusing on public policy. He is currently working as the Chief of Staff for Senator Cheryl C. Kagan, and looks forward to continuing his education at the graduate level.

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