Global Development Institute Blog

David Hulme continues our series on the big development trends to look out for in 2017

Donald Trump has promised to make the USA “great” again. A central element of this strategy seems to be protectionism but, I think even more important will be his stance on climate change. If he persists with climate change denial – which seems likely with the environmental team he has pulled together – then I believe this will accelerate the rise of China and the decline of the USA. If Trump turns his back on the US/China (Obama/Jinping) joint leadership for tackling climate change then I believe China will take on global leadership solo. With its greenhouse emissions beginning to plateau out sooner than expected (China has moved into renewables at an unbelievable speed) then China could work with the Vulnerable Countries Forum, more than half of the UN’s member states to “save the world”. I am certainly revising my opinions on the multi-polar world we live in…I am warming to China and cooling towards the US…are you?

Note: This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.