President Trump says he hasn’t made up his mind on withdrawing from the UN’s Paris climate agreement. Let’s hope he isn’t vacillating, as this should be one of his easiest decisions. Reports that Trump is planning on withdrawing have the Europeans in a tizzy:
The European Commission president on Wednesday said that it was the “duty of Europe” to stand up to the U.S. if President Donald Trump decides to pull his country out of the Paris climate change accord.
Jean-Claude Juncker said that “the Americans can’t just get out of the agreement,” adding that “it takes three to four years” to pull out.
Really? Just watch us, Jean-Claude.
He is referring to this provision of the Paris agreement:
1. At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary.
2. Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.
But the agreement has no legal force. If we withdraw from the agreement, we will withdraw from those paragraphs.
Juncker went on to say that the Group of Seven leaders “tried to explain this in clear simple sentences to Mr. Trump” at a recent summit in Italy. He said that even though “it looks like that attempt failed” … the “law is the law”.
But the Paris agreement is not a law; not in the United States, anyway. Note that Juncker and many of his fellow Europeans believe that Barack Obama signed away a portion of the sovereignty of the United States by entering into an executive agreement. That may be their desire, but it is not the law here in the U.S.
What, after all, is the Paris agreement? It is the usual gaseous European double-talk. These are the most important provisions of the document, found in Article 4. Despite their vagueness, they are among the clearest provisions in the document:
1. In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
2. Each Party shall prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
3. Each Party’s successive nationally determined contribution will represent a progression beyond the Party’s then current nationally determined contribution and reflect its highest possible ambition, reflecting its common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
4. Developed country Parties should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets. Developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts, and are encouraged to move over time towards economy-wide emission reduction or limitation targets in the light of different national circumstances.
Sorry, Jean-Claude, that isn’t a law. That is a statement by some countries that they are hoping to nip off some cash from the others. The U.S. is, of course, among the others.
The Paris agreement is almost unbelievably stupid. This is one of my favorite provisions; it conveys a sense of how pathetic the entire effort is:
5. Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate.
According to Jean-Claude Juncker, this is a “law.” Good luck with that.
Since the Paris agreement doesn’t pretend to obligate anyone to do anything in particular, it can best be viewed as an effort by the global climate lobby to guarantee that lavishly-funded sinecures, punctuated by vacations in desirable locations like Paris, will be available for many years to come. It would be wonderfully symbolic for President Trump to put this nonsense out of its misery.
Juncker continues to talk tough, but it is all bluster:
Juncker said: “If the U.S. president pulls out of the Paris agreement, and he will in the next days or hours, then it is Europe’s duty to say that that is not how it works.”
Actually, Jean-Claude, the U.S. is still a sovereign nation, and that is exactly how it works when you only have an executive agreement.
The Europeans are still trying to peddle the “green economy” myth:
[European Parliament President Antonio Tajani] suggested that Washington’s withdrawal should be a signal for Europe to step up its efforts — and reap the benefits.
“Our climate action strategy represents an opportunity to attract investment, innovation and develop new green technologies,” he said. “We have got the talent and the will to make this possible in all sectors.”
Right. Just ask the Germans how “green” energy has worked out for them. No one has ever explained how producing energy inefficiently can possibly benefit anyone, other than the “green” rent-seekers with political influence who make millions at the expense of taxpayers and electricity ratepayers.
The worldwide “green” movement is almost unbelievably corrupt. If President Trump calls it out for what it is, it will be a signal achievement of his administration.