Obama Makes Empty Commitments in Paris

WASHINGTON – In a speech today at the Paris climate summit, President Obama made two claims that do not stand up to scrutiny: 1) That a deal reached in Paris would be “legally binding,” at least in part, and 2) That the U.S. would meet the president’s commitment to contribute $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund.

American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement:

“President Obama can ‘commit’ to anything he wants, but because he also committed to following the laws and Constitution of the United States, the president cannot waste taxpayer resources on the UN’s climate slush fund without the consent of the American people. Since it is highly unlikely that the Senate will ratify a treaty or Congress will appropriate funds, any agreement reached in Paris won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. The president is clearly out of touch as he gives undivided attention to climate change when the world faces immense challenges, such as terrorism and global poverty. At a time when we need real leadership, all President Obama has to offer is empty rhetoric.”

Below is more background information on the Paris climate summit

Any Paris agreement will be non-binding. As Secretary of State John Kerry told the Financial Times, any Paris deal is “definitively not going to be a treaty.” This is almost certain because a legally binding treaty would have to be submitted to the U.S. Senate under the Advice and Consent clause of the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2). If the deal isn’t a treaty, then it is non-binding and unenforceable, plain and simple. Since the Obama administration can’t commit to a treaty, either a deal won’t be reached at all or it will be non-binding. Without a legally binding agreement, there is no way to enforce reduction targets or any other part of a deal.

Obama can’t deliver on Green Climate Fund promises. The Green Climate Fund is the piggy bank for the Paris agreement, with a goal of raising $100 billion per year by 2020. The GCF hinges on the U.S. paying the lion’s share. However, Congress, which must appropriate the money, has shown no intention of providing the funds. And despite Obama’s claims, he cannot simply repurpose the funds from other programs. Other countries should be wary of contributing to the GCF since Obama cannot fulfill his promise. Without funding, any climate deal is a house of cards.

Any climate deal will be non-binding and unenforceable, yet Obama uses hope for a deal to justify destructive domestic carbon regulations. We already know that EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” will have virtually no impact on global temperatures, averting just 0.02 degrees Celsius by 2100. To distract from this point, the administration claims the value of this regulation is symbolic, as it will pave the way for a global agreement. But as we’ve noted, a deal in Paris will likely be non-binding, underfunded, and unenforceable. Essentially, Americans will be left with higher electricity rates, fewer jobs, and a wrecked economy for a meaningless and “symbolic” gesture. Once again, this shows that the president cares more about his climate legacy than the well-being of the American people.


Speak Your Mind


Anonymous says:
Your email has been received. Thank you for signing up.