Global Challenges

China and the U.S. remain far apart regarding climate change.

The picture of Presidents Xi and Obama, beaming as they shake hands after jointly announcing their ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement on the eve of the G20 summit, is even more striking when one considers just how far apart the two countries were on the issue of climate change as recently as 2012.

The Obama Administration deserves credit for its second-term diplomatic engagement with China on climate and energy issues, but by far the biggest contributors to China’s changed international stance on these issues are internal to China itself.