Donald Trumps decision to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement is unlikely to have a major impact on global emissions by 2030 due to positive developments in China and India.
Research from Climate Action Tracker (CAT) shows that declining coal use in India and China is likely to reduce projected global carbon emissions growth by roughly two to three billion tonnes more than forecasts made a year ago.
This is expected to significantly outweigh the negative effects of rollbacks to US climate policies, which are expected to flatten emissions in the country, instead of continuing their current downward trend.
"Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping - or even slowing - coal use was considered an insurmountable hurdle," Climate Analytics physicist, Bill Hare, said. "Recent observations show they are now on the way toward overcoming this challenge."
"The actions of China and India is sufficient action to significantly slow the global growth of carbon dioxide emissions, quite significantly, and the US actions are not going to offset all of those measures being taken."
A CAT briefing reveals that both China and India look set to overachieve their Paris agreement climate pledges, with coal use in the former declining for three consecutive years.
This is in stark contrast to Trump's desire to expand coal use in the US, however, it is thought that the ongoing advance of renewable energy and storage systems globally means that market pressures will make this difficult for the president.
CAT said it seems likely that the US will fall behind renewable energy market leaders such as the EU, China and possibly India as they move ahead in transforming towards a clean economy.
European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said today: "With China, the EU will fight for its global vision, in which we work together to tackle the challenges we share.
"We will defend the level playing field and make sure that the international system is anchored in rules and institutions that we all agree on. We will accompany the green transition together, in the interests of our children and our grandchildren."
November 2020 is the earliest possible date for the US to legally withdraw from the Paris agreement.