When I first saw this headline in the AP feed last night, the first question that came to my mind was… wait a minute. Weren’t we already out of the Paris Climate Agreement? I seem to recall liberals being really upset over that a couple of years ago. But as it turns out, we’ve mostly just been ignoring it since Donald Trump came to town, but it was still lurking out there on paper.
As of today, the paper can officially begin to be shredded. And it’s a fairly safe bet that the President already has the paper shredder fired up.
For more than two years President Donald Trump has talked about pulling the United States out of the landmark Paris climate agreement . Starting Monday he finally can do something about it.
Even then, though, the withdrawal process takes a year and wouldn’t become official until at least the day after the 2020 presidential election.
In the Paris agreement, nearly 200 countries set their own national targets for reducing or controlling pollution of heat-trapping gases. It was negotiated in 2015 with lots of prodding by the United States and China and went into effect Nov. 4, 2016.
The original agreement that was finalized on this date in 2016 contained a provision saying that none of the signatories could begin to withdraw from it for three years. So today is the day that President Trump can begin that process by sending a letter to the United Nations stating that we will be pulling out. Unfortunately, that doesn’t become official for one year. And one year from yesterday is when the 2020 election will take place.
If Trump wins a second term, that’s no big deal. But if he manages to lose and a Democrat takes the Oval Office, they can then send another letter after the inauguration in 2021 that would put us back into the agreement in only thirty days. So under that scenario, the United States could wind up being “officially” out of the accord only from November 4th of next year until the end of February 2021, or a total of fewer than four months.
This situation simply highlights what a terrible idea it is to allow the executive branch to enter into international “agreements” in this fashion with no support from Congress. And we should be sure to call this an “agreement” because it is absolutely not a binding treaty. The Constitution is very clear about how our country enters into or exits treaties and the President doesn’t get to make those decisions in a vacuum.
None of this has much to do with global carbon levels anyway. In 2017, the United States reduced it’s total carbon emissions by more than any other country in the world and we did so without any mandate from the global climate cabal. (That was the ninth time since 2001 that we led the planet in carbon emission reductions.) But in that same year of 2017, total global emissions actually rose, primarily because of China, where they registered a 1.6% increase in emissions.
And China is one of the countries that signed on to the Paris agreement. Is any of this starting to sink in yet? This agreement is a losing proposition for the United States, imposing external restrictions on us while the worst polluters will continue to do what they’ve always done. It’s time to send the letter and be done with this. If American voters want to be in some sort of global climate treaty, convince Congress to put it into action as the Constitution requires.