Paris climate agreement
The Paris climate agreement (also known as the Paris accord) is an international agreement intended to fight climate change. It is described as "the first universal, legally binding deal to tackle global warming." Despite this, the actual substance of the agreement was specifically worded to be non-binding, presumably to allow it act in the United States as an executive agreement rather than a treaty, thus allowing President Barack Obama to circumvent Senate approval when adopting it.
The Paris climate agreement was agreed to by 195 nations on December 12, 2015.
At the time of its adoption, many liberals and environmentalists opposed the agreement because they did not believe it effective enough to stop supposed climate change. Conservatives also opposed the agreement due to the negative economic consequences on the United States that would result from following the agreement despite its inadequacy in stopping supposed climate change, among other reasons. Some conservatives noted the hypocrisy of the liberals negotiating the agreement.
Goals and effects
The Paris climate agreement is intended to "limit" global temperatures at 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. The deal requires developed nations to fund poorer nations so they can develop "green" energy and adapt to the supposed effects of climate change, which is achieved through a new fund called the "Green Climate Fund." Numerous developing countries took advantage of this by committing to more anti-pollution/emission efforts if they are paid. When adding up all the pledges made by the signatory nations in the Paris agreement, the agreement, if fully enforced, would not meet its global temperature limit. Yet, the climate science establishment continues to insist that a large portion of the Earth will become a desert if the Paris agreement is not adhered to.
China's emissions are expected to increase until 2030, while the European Union is attempting to decrease emissions by 40 percent by the same year. By November 2017, global emissions had risen by 2%, with China's increase being very large.
Despite their climate pledges for the agreement, G-20 countries continued investing in fossil fuels – four times as much than in renewable energy. Despite European environmental alarmism, U.S. coal exports to Europe (along with Asia) rose 60% in early 2017 compared to the previous year. According to Lawrence Solomon of the environmentalist organization Energy Probe, "most signatories are ignoring, if not altogether abandoning Paris commitments."
Efforts to reduce carbon emissions
France stopped granting licenses for oil and gas exploration in France and its territories, and it set a goal of ending the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 in its effort to comply with the agreement's carbon reduction goals. The United Kingdom also set a goal of banning gasoline or diesel vehicles by 2040.
Legality under U.S. law
The Paris climate agreement was specifically worded to use non-binding language for much of its contents, including the actual emissions level that the nations are meant to cut. The use of non-binding language was likely intended to allow the agreement to 'count' as an executive agreement rather than a treaty, as the Constitution stipulates that ratification of a treaty requires the supermajority consent of the Senate.
However, binding executive agreements are only allowed within the President's authority. The Paris Agreement does not entirely fall into the President's authority, so its binding articles are problematic. As a result, some analysts and commentators have argued that the binding articles of the Paris Agreement (such as its 4-year exit period) make it a treaty that cannot be ratified without the consent of the Senate, which would make the agreement unratified and Obama's executive order unconstitutional.
To the dismay of world leaders, the media, and other liberals, and in a major blow to former President Barack Obama's legacy, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and immediately stop its implementation, including by ending payments to the U.N. Green Climate Fund. In his announcement speech, Trump made clear that "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," and that "our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America’s sovereignty."
Although many environmentalists opposed the Paris agreement for not being strong enough, they opposed the U.S. withdrawal, with some accusing President Trump of committing "environmental racism."
Some globalists, such as EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said that Trump's decision to leave the agreement was illegal because the supposedly non-binding agreement had a clause that does not allow countries to leave until 4 years after its ratification. As stated earlier in the 'legality' section, the argument that the clause is binding would defeat the argument that Obama had the authority to enter the agreement without the consent of the Senate. Some respond that the authority for the legally binding elements of the agreement are derived from the UNFCCC, a prior agreement that was ratified by Congress, but the UNFCCC does not mention many of the binding elements in the Paris Agreement, such as the requirement for emission 'targets'. A very small minority believe that President Trump's decision to leave the agreement was illegal due to the fact that it was performed unilaterally with an executive order. Even ignoring the Liberal hypocrisy in their beliefs, the Supreme Court essentially legalized the unilateral withdrawal from any agreements by refusing to hear a case against President Carter's decision to withdraw from the China-US Mutual Defense Treaty, which was a binding agreement ratified by the Senate.
According to a Washington Post–ABC News poll, 59% of Americans opposed the decision to withdraw from the agreement versus 28% in support. However, a Rasmussen poll found that 41% of Americans believed the Paris agreement would have increased energy costs versus 20% thinking the opposite and 23% saying it would have no effect.
An app was created for people opposed to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
Despite left-wing and establishment criticism of U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, the U.S. was well on its way to reducing admissions, showing that the Paris agreement was unnecessary for the U.S. from an emissions perspective.
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- Delingpole, James (April 21, 2017). Delingpole: Climate Realists Urge President Trump to Pull out of Suicidal, Expensive and Pointless Paris Agreement. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Harbin, Christine (June 5, 2017). The Paris climate agreement was a terrible deal for the US. Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
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- Wolfgang, Ben (July 5, 2017). Despite Paris accord, G-20 countries invest four times as much in fossil fuels as green energy. The Washington Times. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Siciliano, John (July 31, 2017). US coal floods Europe despite continent's fear about climate change. Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- Gardner, Timothy; Chestney, Nina (July 27, 2017). U.S. coal exports soar, in boost to Trump energy agenda, data shows. Reuters. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- Williams, Thomas D. (October 22, 2017). Report: Most Signatories Are ‘Ignoring’ or ‘Abandoning’ Paris Climate Commitments. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
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- Henry, Devin (July 26, 2017). UK to ban diesel, gasoline vehicles by 2040. The Hill. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Multiple references:
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- Multiple references:
- Kurtz, Howard (June 2, 2017). Getting hot in here: Why the media hate Trump's climate deal exit. Fox News. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
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- Kurtz, Howard (June 5, 2017). Climate coverage: Opposing not just Trump's policies but the president's persona. Fox News. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Griswold, Alex (June 1, 2017). ‘Traitorous Act of War’: Liberals Angrily React to Trump Pulling Out of Paris Agreement. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
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- Despite mockery from liberals due to the fact that the mayor of the city of Pittsburgh supported the Paris accord, Trump won the Pittsburgh metro area:
- Lee, Tony (June 4, 2017). CityLab Analysis: Trump Actually Won Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
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