Trump’s Reported Decision to Withdraw from Paris Agreement Right Choice for America and the World

Trump will make his announcement on Paris at 3:00 pm EST

Guest essay by Marlo Lewis, CEI

It is now widely reported (CNN, Fox, New York Times) that President Trump has decided to keep his campaign promise to “cancel” America’s participation in the Paris Climate Agreement. No public information is available at this time about the specific option Trump will select to withdraw from the Agreement, or what other related diplomatic or policy commitments he may make. But at this point no media reports contradict the basic story line that Trump has made his decision, and that it is to pull out.

The Paris Agreement was the capstone of President Obama’s climate action plan, the political strategy by which he intended to give the Clean Power Plan and other legally dubious climate policies a treaty-like status, but without going through the constitutional treaty process.

By relabeling his domestic climate agenda as commitments America made to the world, he tried to dictate U.S. energy policy for decades to come regardless of the preferences of future presidents, Congresses, and voters. It was a climate coup of breathtaking ambition, and the treaty’s supporters at home and abroad did all they could to misdirect the debate and pressure Trump to break his campaign promise. President Trump kept an open mind, listened to all sides, and made the right decision for America and the world.

Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement overturns Obama’s end run around the Constitution’s treaty process, safeguards American democracy from foreign interference, dispels the Agreement’s long shadow over the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors, foils corporate schemes to enrich special interests at consumers and taxpayers’ expense, and helps ensure developing countries will have the access to affordable energy they need to lift people out of poverty.

That’s my take on the breaking news in a nutshell. I now offer a more detailed commentary explaining the case for withdrawal.

Preserve the Constitution

Before taking office, every U.S. president takes an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Remaining in the Paris Agreement would undermine the Constitution.

The Paris Agreement is a treaty by all reasonable criteria, such as its potential costs and risks, dependence on subsequent legislation by Congress, and past U.S. practice with respect to similar agreements. Yet President Obama enrolled the United States as a party without obtaining the advice and consent of “two thirds of the Senators present,” as required by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

As a candidate, Trump criticized Obama for joining Paris “without the permission of Congress.” Obama’s negotiation of the treaty as an executive agreement made the United States an outlier. Even China’s rubber stamp parliament got to hold a vote, as did the legislatures of just about every other party with democratic features or pretensions.

However, scolding Obama for usurping the Senate’s authority is not enough to safeguard the Constitution. Obama’s evasion of the treaty process will set a dangerous precedent unless President Trump acts to nullify it.

Trump’s best option is to send the Agreement to the Senate, where it has no prospect of winning the requisite two-thirds support. That will stamp the Agreement as an unpopular, failed treaty, creating a formidable political barrier to any successor who might claim authority, as Obama did, to make America a party to major multilateral environmental agreements with the stroke of a pen.

Protect the U.S. Energy Price Advantage

Trump’s pro-growth energy agenda is poles apart from Obama’s “war on coal,” which was actually a war on affordable energy. Among other commendable actions, Trump rescinded Obama’s coal leasing moratorium, approved construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and directed the Environmental Protection Agency to review and, as appropriate, revise or repeal the Clean Power Plan. But the Paris Agreement was the capstone of Obama’s climate action plan. The Agreement was a political strategy to perpetuate Obama’s domestic climate policies by relabeling those initiatives as promises America made to the world.

The climate regulations the Trump team has rescinded or is reviewing are part of the first U.S. “nationally determined contribution” (NDC)—Obama’s pledge to reduce U.S. emissions to 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Two facts are noteworthy. First, all of Obama’s adopted and proposed climate policies would achieve only about 51 percent of the first NDC emission-reduction goal. Second, parties to the Paris Agreement are to submit more “ambitious” NDCs every five years. Clearly, the Agreement is incompatible with Trump’s goal of achieving “U.S. energy dominance” by lifting regulatory impediments to energy innovation, exploration, and development.

European Union environment minister Margot Wallström once said the “Kyoto [Protocol] is about the economy, about leveling the playing field for big business around the world.” That goes in spades for the Paris Agreement. As Stephen Eule of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy observes, U.S. manufacturers today have “a huge comparative energy advantage in natural gas, electricity, and coal prices for U.S. industry compared to its OECD competitors, with prices for these energy sources in the United States often two to four times less.” The only way to impose European energy prices on U.S. firms is to pressure U.S. leaders to adopt European energy policies. Exerting such pressure is a core function of the Paris Agreement.

To persuade Trump that the Agreement poses no threat to his agenda, Paris advocates now claim the President is free to revise the first U.S. NDC any way he likes. More on that below. A key fact to bear in mind is that the Obama administration did not pick the U.S. NDC target out of a hat. Rather, they calculated it with a view to the Agreement’s central goal of holding global temperatures “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.”

Given the dubious, model-based climatology underpinning the Agreement, avoiding more than 2°C of warming will require a 40-70 percent decrease in global emissions by 2050. Accordingly, “developed” countries like the United States are supposed to cut their emissions by 80 percent or more. As the NDC states:

This target is consistent with a straight line emission reduction pathway from 2020 to deep, economy-wide emission reductions of 80 percent or more by 2050. The target is part of a longer range, collective effort to transition to a low-carbon global economy as rapidly as possible.

The bright future Trump envisions for America’s coal, gas, and oil producers, and energy-intensive manufacturers, simply has no place in a world organized by the Paris Agreement.

Trump’s resolve to fight regulatory excess on his watch is not the issue. What remaining in the Paris Agreement endangers is his policy legacy and America’s economic future after he leaves office. If Trump’s presidency is to actually change the direction of U.S. policy, he must ensure future presidents cannot pick up where Obama left off. Again, the best option is to send the Agreement to the Senate where it dies for lack of broad-based support.

Non-Binding Does Not Mean No Risk

Political Risk. The pro-Paris faction claim there’s no risk in remaining in the Agreement because America’s emission reduction and climate finance commitments are “non-binding.” To believe that, Trump would have to ignore what he has experienced and observed over the past several weeks. Progressive Democrats, establishment Republicans, corporate rent seekers, and European leaders have waged a full court press to keep him in the Agreement. That reveals the Agreement is far from toothless. The Paris coalition has already compelled Trump to expend considerable political capital just for the privilege of keeping his options open. Better not to belong to a club where the object is to “name and shame” you into submission.

The Paris Agreement is a global legal framework for mobilizing domestic protest and diplomatic blowback against any U.S. leader who fails to make and keep “ambitious” emission-reduction and climate finance pledges. It is especially averse to any U.S. leader, like Trump, who dares to champion the American people’s freedom to develop the nation’s energy treasure.

Under the Agreement, nations honor their non-binding promises by turning those into binding obligations—domestic laws and regulations. So the economic risk to America and political risk to Trump’s presidency are both immense and obvious.

Litigation Risk. The Agreement’s save-the-planet promissory language is music to the ears of the climate litigation fraternity and activist judges. If the United States remains a party, progressive attorneys general and trial lawyers will cite “America’s commitments” in court cases challenging Trump’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan and other elements of the U.S. NDC.

Naturally, they now deny that, but actions speak louder than words. Before the Paris Summit even began, when the U.S. NDC was still only an “intended” commitment, Obama climate negotiator Todd Stern pleaded with the D.C. Court of Appeals not to stay the Clean Power Plan because other prospective parties were counting on us to implement it.

Even green legal activists acknowledge the Agreement will fuel climate change litigation. As explained by the progressive Sabin Center for Climate Change Law in a report published last week by the UN Environment Program (UNEP):

The Paris Agreement by its own terms does not provide litigants with a cause of action or impose enforceable limits on member countries’ national emissions. But it makes it possible for litigants to place the actions of their governments or private entities into an international climate change policy context. Ultimately, while the Paris Agreement does not assign each country a carbon budget, it does offer a basis for deducing a budget from national commitments. It also makes clear that policies leading to net increases in emissions are disfavored.

For example, a few months before the delegates met in Paris, the Hague District Court ordered the Dutch government to cut emissions by 25 percent. On what grounds? The government had assumed an obligation to protect its citizens from climate change by virtue of numerous non-binding commitments, notably the 2009 Copenhagen Conference’s goal—now the central goal of the Paris Agreement—to hold global warming below 2°C.

As the saying goes, even judges read the New York Times. The U.S. government cannot remain a party to the Paris Agreement without implicitly affirming that “inaction” is a wrong crying out for a remedy.

This just in. More than 60 percent of ExxonMobil’s shareholders today passed a resolution requiring the company to explain how it plans to stay profitable in a world where governments commit to limit global warming to 2°C. “A similar resolution failed by almost the same percentage last year,” E&E News reports. The article continues:

The passage of the 2015 Paris accord to limit global emissions apparently swayed several big investors to change their opinions, said Pat Daugherty, director of corporate governance for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The comptroller’s office oversees pension funds that own $957 million in Exxon shares. “The Paris Agreement was a sea change,” he said.

Since the early 2000s, so-called socially-responsible investors have introduced such resolutions at shareholder meetings of ExxonMobil and other large fossil fuel companies. The sponsors claim their goal is to “protect shareholder value” by informing stockholders how climate mitigation policies could affect the firm’s financial health. As if investors in ExxonMobil are unaware of the climate movement’s hatred of their company, or don’t see financial risk in policies designed to penalize fossil fuel consumption.

The sponsors of the resolutions are, of course, proponents of cap-and-trade, renewable energy quotas, and assorted “keep it in the ground” policies, helping to create the very risks on which they demand the companies report.

So here’s how they propose to “protect shareholder value.” First, lobby for policies that aim to bankrupt fossil energy companies. Next, demand company reports on the financial risks those policies entail. Third, use that information to scare away investors and depress stock values. Fourth, set the stage for litigation alleging the companies defrauded stockholders by hiding climate policy risks from them.

This litigation strategy is more credible if the world’s governments are actually serious about achieving the Paris Agreement’s 2°C warming limit. It is less credible if the nation that is both chief architect of the Paris Agreement and biggest market for ExxonMobil’s products decides to pull out.

Trade Risk. Finally, although the Agreement does not specify economic penalties for non-compliance, many proponents warn that America will be hit with carbon tariffs if we pull out. That implies, however, that America will also be vulnerable to trade sanctions if we remain a party but replace Obama’s NDC with “drill baby drill.”

Besides, as a general matter, if the Agreement is to achieve a low carbon economy, cajoling and browbeating so-called carbon polluters probably won’t be enough. Despite claims that green-energy mandates make countries wealthier (in fact, such policies lead to net job losses and unaffordable power), domestic manufacturers in carbon-constrained countries insist that their competitors also use high-cost energy. Politically, the Paris Agreement is a springboard for a global system of “border adjustments” based on the carbon content of imports and exports. Just ask former GOP Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker, and they will gleefully tell you!

It is, alas, dangerous nonsense. Calculating and taxing the carbon footprint of goods in trade would require a new IRS to manage it, dramatically expanding the administrative state, cautions AEI economist Ben Zycher. The best way to protect America from newfangled “green” carbon protectionism is to withdraw from, and thereby diminish, the Agreement that logically demands it.

Weakening NDCs Is Not Lawful

To persuade Trump that he risks nothing by staying in the Agreement, the Paris faction, led by Mr. Stern, now claims that each party has complete freedom to revise its NDC anyway it likes. Stern purports to find that flexibility in Article 4.11 of the Agreement, which states: “A Party may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition.” According to Stern, the provision allows a party at any time to adjust its NDC with a view to decreasing the level of ambition—the very opposite of what it actually says.

How does he get that? First, he argues, the provision contains the permissive term “may” rather than the mandatory term “shall.” But if we try substituting “shall” for “may” Art. 4.11 no longer makes any sense.

Stern also notes the text doesn’t expressly prohibit parties from adjusting their NDCs to make them laxer. Well, two can play that game. Nor does the text expressly say parties may do opposite of what it says they may do.

Stern’s word game is an affront to the plain English meaning of words like promise, pledge, and commitment. Once you make a commitment, you can either keep it or fail to do so. If it’s a real commitment, you can’t rescind it just to avoid the dishonor of having broken it. In effect, Stern argues that all parties who join the Paris Agreement do so with their fingers crossed behind their backs. They are not really making commitments, only pretending to, which is absurd.

That’s not how Stern described the Agreement when he was still basking in the glow of the Paris Summit. In a briefing before the Brookings Institution on December 17, 2015, Stern made it quite clear that the Agreement is a one-way “ratchet.” Every five years parties “have to either revise [their NDC] upward or reconfirm it.” They have to “say, yes, I’m going to hold where I am or I’m going to increase where I am.”

Don’t Sacrifice the Poor on a Cross of Green

Some well-meaning people believe America should stay in the Agreement to help mitigate global climate change. But the treaty is at best all pain for no environmental gain. As environmental researcher Bjorn Lomborg points out, even if all Paris parties fulfill every promise contained in their NDCs by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100. That change is less than the current margin of error (0.08°C) in estimates of annual average global temperature. The reduction in the policy-relevant future (the next quarter century) will be even more miniscule—too small to affect weather patterns, polar bear populations, or any climatic factor people actually care about.

“Yet U.S. GDP loss could be about $250 billion in 2025 increasing to about $420 billion per year on average and a cumulative loss of about $4 trillion between 2022 and 2031,” according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting. Such losses would mean hardship for millions of Americans, especially low-income households.

The biggest losers, though, would likely be the world’s poorest people. The Agreement’s mid-century emission reduction goal cannot be reached unless developing countries dramatically reduce their current consumption of affordable energy from fossil fuels.

Yet more than a billion people in those countries have no access to electricity and billions more have too little to support development. Forcing already energy-poor nations to go on an energy diet is a cure worse than the alleged disease and potentially a humanitarian disaster.

Eyes on the Big Picture

Only in Washington, D.C., where misdirection is rampant, would otherwise serious people pretend the meaning of “may” should determine whether America stays in or pulls out of the Paris Agreement. That is how clever lawyers try to dictate policy—divert attention from real issues to the alleged implications of textual minutia.

The disproportion here is breathtaking. Obama called the Paris Agreement “the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.” That is an understatement. Given the vast dimensions of the Earth’s climate system, the magnitude of the financial investments required to transform global energy infrastructure, and the magnitude of the political commitments required to push it through, decade after decade, despite changes in administrations, Congresses, and electoral majorities, the Paris Agreement is the most ambitious environmental treaty ever.

Whether participation in that treaty is good or bad for America cannot possibly turn on a single word in one sentence of a 3,700 word text.

Trump’s decision should instead be based on a thorough examination of these questions:

(1) Did President Obama set a dangerous precedent when he joined the Paris Agreement without obtaining the Senate’s advice and consent?

(2) Is the Agreement’s basic policy goal incompatible with the pro-growth energy agenda on which Trump campaigned?

(3) If America stays in the Paris Agreement, will U.S. leaders experience incessant pressure from foreign governments, multilateral bureaucrats, and their media and environmentalist allies to adopt the kinds of domestic climate policies the Trump team is currently rescinding?

(4) Will remaining a party to an Agreement based on the alleged urgent need for “climate action” increase litigation risk to the U.S. government and U.S. companies, especially if the Trump administration continues to upend elements of Obama’s NDC?

(5) Are current threats of trade retaliation a foretaste of the destructive protectionism Paris will unleash if we strengthen the Agreement by remaining in it?

(6) Is it the case that the Agreement will provide no detectable mitigation of climate risks in the policy relevant future while imposing enormous economic risks on the American people?

(7) Does the Agreement’s mid-century emission reduction goal require energy-poor countries to drastically reduce their peoples’ current consumption of affordable energy from fossil fuels?

If the President stays focused on the big picture questions, he should have no trouble making the right decision.

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96 thoughts on “Trump’s Reported Decision to Withdraw from Paris Agreement Right Choice for America and the World

  1. European Union environment minister Margot Wallström once said the “Kyoto [Protocol] is about the economy, about leveling the playing field for big business around the world.”

    That was when she still was quite sane. Now, she is insane …

    • Well, since Obama signed it, he’d better get busy as he has a large Klimate Kash Kommitment fund to supply them

  2. Generally a good post. One thing is wrong. Since Thomas Jefferson, a treaty is immutable save by mutual consent. Only suchntreaties require 2/3 senate ratification. Both UNFCCC and Paris have opt outs. Under long settled US constitutional law. They are not A2s2 treaties. UNFCCC is a Congressional Pact (like NAFTA). Paris is an executive agreement.

    • What are your thoughts about this consideration then?
      “The ultimate purpose, then, of the Treaty Clause was to ensure that treaties would not be adopted unless most of the country stood to gain. True, treaties would be more difficult to adopt than statutes, but the Framers realized that an unwise statute could simply be repealed, but an unwise treaty remained a binding international commitment, which would not be so easy to unwind.”
      The Heritage Guide to The Constitution

      • ‘Most of the country’ ~ 2/3 of Senate. Why Congressional Pacts have opt outs and only require simple majority enabling legislation. In the NAFTA case, approval was equivalent to legislative repeal of all preexisting legislated tariffs and quotas. Executive agreements (Paris) require no enabling legislation. Obama admin took stance that the CAA and the EPA endangerment finding provided a preexisting legislative basis for the likely unconstitutional CPP that formed the basis of the US INDC.

    • Ristvan, a few comments.

      First, UNFCCC was a treaty, approved without opposition by the U.S. Senate. It was not a congressional-executive pact like NAFTA.

      The main difference between Paris Agreement and UNFCCC is that Paris is more ambitious, more prescriptive, more inclusive, with greater potential costs and risks, and more dependent on subsequent legislation by Congress. Therefore, from any common sense point of view, more in need of Senate scrutiny–more of a treaty–than the UNFCCC.

      You write: “Since Thomas Jefferson, a treaty is immutable save by mutual consent.”

      In fact, most treaties have withdrawal provisions, and international law establishes withdrawal procedures for those lacking specific withdrawal rules.

      From “Terminating Treaties,” an article by Duke University Law School professor Laurence R. Helfer:

      An old adage says that no one likes to talk about divorce before a wedding. Yet that is, in effect, precisely what States do when they negotiate new treaties. Buried in the back of most international agreements are provisions that describe procedures for the treaty parties to end their relationship. In addition, no fewer than thirteen articles of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) contain termination, denunciation, or withdrawal rules that apply when States do not negotiate treaty-specific rules on these topics. These ‘exit’ provisions share a distinctive attribute: they authorize one treaty member acting unilaterally or all treaty parties acting collectively to end their obligations under an international agreement. The act of exiting pursuant to these provisions is thus distinguishable from a termination or withdrawal in response to breach by another treaty party.

      The full article is available at http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5338&context=faculty_scholarship

    • There is a huge flaw in this line of argument – this claim about treaties just comes from a private letter Jefferson wrote

      Thomas Jefferson once said “I don’t like Asparagus”. That doesn’t make Asparagus unconstitutional. Find something in a clause of the constitution, or an existing SCOTUS opinion recognized as precedent, and then its a different situation. Thomas Jefferson’s private letters have no bearing on matters of International Law.

      • Letters or publications that make up the “Federalist Papers” were to explain to the public why the new Constitution of the United States of America was written with the wording in it. The simplicity of the wording in it made it clear what it said, so that it could not be misunderstood. Words and their sentence structure defines intent and in a legal document it is binding. This is why it is important to know the era in which it was written and followed by that eras meaning, because language does change over time and newer language can misconstrue original meaning.

    • Some folks are excellent negative indicators. Listen to what they say then do the opposite.

    • If Trump cancels the Paris Accord, I suspect half the U.S. states and cities will succumb to green pressure to adopt the Accord’s pledges as their own.

      • Good! It seems to me that Trump wants to revert more control to the states and out of Federal hands (in the cookie jar).

      • Knowing California, Governor Brown will sign on, and then purchase additional fossil fuel power from other states and not include that in his carbon reckoning. After all, if the dirty fossil fuels were burned in another state, why blame California?

      • “That is great. Then we can see exactly how the application affects these cities/states, and compare them to all the others.”

        Blue states have been outperforming red states for years, the gap will widen further.

    • I think this means that DeBlahsio is going to shut down all of the coal mines operating under the streets of New York.

    • I’m perfectly fine with Bill de Blasio taking his New York climate into his own hands as long as he doesn’t ask me for money to pay for it.

      Have at it, Bill. Pay for it yourself.

  3. NPR is in full panic mode.

    They’ve resorted to blubbering. They’re so desperate that they’ve abandoned any pretense of journalistic impartiality and are now in full propaganda broadcast mode arguing (yes, ARGUING) that it has nothing to do with “science” and everything to do with “nationalism” versus “internationalism.”

    They’re pulling out all the stops. It’s a disgusting display of how completely bent NPR has become.

    • I think you really mean a waste of your time listening to NPR. Pay the money for a WSJ subscription and clear up your mind.

      • On far too many occasions, it’s all I can do to refrain from hurling the radio out the window.

        Nevertheless, it is (slightly) better than having my intelligence insulted by automobile salespeople, miracle cure purveyors and carnival barkers.

        In all events, I am enraged by the idea that a single dime of my taxes goes to support of the professional gossips and propagandists of NPR.

      • Or do what I do. Save the money you feel obligated to give to NPR and donate to National Review. They still have the climate fight with Mann and the lawsuit. The best part is that you feel great afterwards, rather than feeling like you need to delouse after donating to NPR (National Pinko Radio).

      • I listen to NPR on my daily commutes as do my wife and adult children . Yes, NPR’s bias is very easy to spot. I use it as an example to educate whomever is riding with me. Often our dinner discussions are on the obvious bias and misplaced emphasis from NPR. Occasionally I too feel the desire to throw the radio out of the car when the urge is overwhelming, yet I find it far more rational to simply hit the preset buttons to a different station .
        Know your enemy.
        “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu

    • I caught some of it in the car yesterday, the blathering Paris “negotiators” were on. 100 lies and distortions in a three minute clip and of course no rebuttal commentator at all. Typical NPR who should be on the defund list come budget time. The tax payer foots the bill for this propaganda.

    • Seems that was the major difference between Stalin and the rest of the world 80 years ago. Nice that they have dropped all veneer of pretending to be what they are not.

      • It’s no accident the Soviet fell in 91′ and the UN Climate Framework formed in 92′ with a core purpose of undermining America. They picked up all the collectivist globalist strays in the world, greenshirts, media and academia.

        The great mistake from the Soviet fall was not having international crime trials for the worst offenders but that was hard since they’re still in power with our Chinese trading partners. The social back sliding in the US more complicated.

    • JWG,

      Paying for NPR is pretty much like paying for climate research. Same people same agenda. It’s an outrage and it flies right under the radar all the time.

    • But it is true – the Paris Agreement “has nothing to do with “science” and everything to do with … “internationalism.” “

  4. Do it on Friday when the Labor Dept. jobs report comes out. It’s going to be a big number.

  5. It is not often when a single national leader has an opportunity to save the world and elevate a billion people from poverty. By pulling out of this treaty Trump has the opportunity to become the greatest humanitarian who ever lived.

  6. The intensity of warmist hysteria that is being generated around the world, and the religious nature of eco extremism under the fake warming pretext, is becoming the true cause of alarm. Of course this is no popular movement – far from it – just the usual leftist rent-a-cause extremists, but it is being painted as such by media entities who are all-in on the climate scam. This is a huge power-grab under a veil of green idealism.

    Such religious intensity typically leads to wars. Are the warmunists willing to go to war for their beliefs? It would appear that that they are – or rather, the global elites with vested interest in the warming scam will send in millions of minions die die in their climate war. The USA and UK need to quickly form a military alliance with Russia to oppose a new rise of German militarism under the guise of green virtue. Once again the central powers are conniving to secure world domination through political intrigue and economic strategies. Here we go again – next on the script is Germany cosying up to Mexico with some secret suggestions of how to get rewarded by Germany for harming the USA. Where did we see that before? The Central Powers will be turning their full charm offensive toward Brixa countries like India and Brazil (half of them are descended from Na3i fugitives so that won’t be hard) although they won’t have much success with Russia. Will Russia yet again be called on to rescue the world from fasc1sm? As for China, their position may not be what it seems.

    • Rent-a-riots are expected.

      One thing I can note is the Climate Bolsheviks will know if the whole UN Framework is being exited vs. the phony reversible Paris only exit. They’re evil but they get the politics that bulk skeptics even ones here who think they are informed ignore. There wasn’t a serious effort to lobby for the hard and true UN Framework exit. Less Dr. Lindzen and a handful of others.

      Evil wins because they’re good at it.

      • I would be surprised if Trump pulls out of the UNFCCC over the Palestinian issue.

        Trump wants to try to see if he can get a peace treaty betweeen Israel and the Palestinians, so I don’t think he will call attention to them by citing what the UNFCCC did.

        Trump signed a waiver and declined to moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem today, and he did it this way so it would not affect his future negotiations with the Palestinians.

    • Trump is half German and half Scottish. His dad’s parents were German immigrants and his mom was a Scottish immigrant.

      Yet here is, supporting Brexit, opposed by his mom’s compatriots, and opposing the Paris accord, supported by Merkel, Fueherin of the Fourth Reich and leader of his grandparents’ people.

      • The Foruth Reich has Green Shirts instead of Brown, with no disrespect meant to the US Border Patrol.

      • Yet here is, supporting Brexit, opposed by his mom’s compatriots

        The latest polls are showing that support for so called Scottish Independence, which really means Scotland becoming part of the North Sea region of the European Union, has dropped even lower to around 30%. The Scottish National Party never wanted independence for Scotland, they wanted access to the overpaid, sinecure failed politician jobs in Brussels.

    • “The USA and UK need to quickly form a military alliance with Russia to oppose a new rise of German militarism under the guise of green virtue.”

      Come on, today’s Germans can’t even work up the nerve to stand up to the muzzie invaders while their wives and daughters are being raped. They are no better than France now, or Luxembourg for that matter – they will whine, and talk, and moan, and howl, and then they will initiate a frenzied leaflet campaign to their neighbors and that will be it.

  7. Good article but we need the hard UN Climate Framework Exit not the prissy reversible Paris only exit. No clown show in the Senate either.

    Getting the exit is right would be a huge plus.

  8. If I were Trump, I’d say the following:

    “Talk is cheap, and non-binding promises are not worth the paper they are written on. the U.S. will likely meet the goals of the Paris agreement, but we do not have to be party to that agreement to meet those goals.

    Our friends on the other side of this question see only one possible solution, top down heavy handed regulation and control by government. And yet over the last several years the United States has continued to grow, but is emitting no additional carbon dioxide. In 2016 we emitted the same amount of carbon dioxide as in 1995, with a 60% larger economy. Did we achieve this goal through regulation, taxes, government control, treaties, and foreign entanglements? No. We achieved this goal by voluntarily switching to LED lighting, and by displacing coal with natural gas from fracking. We have more energy, for less money, with fewer carbon dioxide emissions. All with zero benefit of the “guiding hand” of benevolent bureaucrats, or heavy handed regulations and taxes.

    The Obama administration spent billions on studies, conferences, treaties, agreements, talk, talk, talk. they achieved nothing of note. I propose to spend that money more wisely, by building more efficient power plants, and by refurbishing our infrastructure to promote greater efficiency.”

    He can go from there to denote specific, concrete plans to build things that make America more efficient, and reduce emissions. His plans should focus on 1) building concrete things you can see and touch and 2) removing regulations that stifle further improvements.

    • The “non-binding” Paris claim is a total lie. It’s a blueprint for later global weaponization. This is how legalism and 21st century totalitarianism is modeled.

  9. Once again, America remains the world’s indispensible nation. Thank God for Donald Trump and God bless America!

  10. The thin edge of the wedge tactic is classic marxbrothers. Agenda 21, another product of the UN, is a sweet good neighborly motherhood-seeming ‘community’ activity document that uses gradualism to the point that citizens eventually see its ‘ideas’ as rights. To landowners, “could you volunteer a strip of your land along the roadway to be left uncut as a beautifying gesture? We will even clear broken branches for you and plant wildflowers”. Over time, it becomes an obligation and eventually a protected community park. Stay away from these Parisites.

    I think just getting these ugly Ngo greens out of the protection racket and the constantly in your face and in your lives haranging would be a benefit of getting out. You would have to fight them for a few years until the rest of the world follows your lead. The Chinese and Indians will be in happy because it was a riskless sham for them to develop their economies without competition.

    Left alone, global warming wouldn’t exceed 1C.The unexpected rapid greening on land and multiplying of plankton is a huge exponential sink which is also an endothermic process. Someone please quantify this.

  11. Everything you ever need to know about modern politics (the world over) distilled into one snippet of a sentence:

    “President Trump has decided to keep his campaign promise”

    The novelty!!

  12. It’s been said that Bill Clinton could find five sides on a four-sided object. Reminds me of this piece. We don’t need to complicate this issue beyond its basics i.e. man’s production of CO2 is NOT driving climate change

  13. As repeated from above, the announcement will coincide with the robust jobs report on Friday and it will be a jobs and growth theme.

  14. “the specific option Trump will select to withdraw from the Agreement”

    Take off, and nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

    I.e., submit it to the Senate, and let them vote it down. Then withdraw under the non-treaty’s non-terms. Finally, issue a démarche to all parties, explaining, that in the opinion of the President, the instrument is a treaty under the Constitution of the United States, that it is not binding on the United States unless and until the Senate ratifies it, that the instrument was submitted to the Senate and not ratified, that the President therefore has withdrawn the assent of the United States to the instrument, which will not therefore bind the United States, unless and until the President once again assents to the instrument, submits it to the Senate for its ratification, and that body duly ratifies the instrument.

    Then, Trump should get on television, and tell the stripy pants set, the warmunists, the left, and their little dogs to eat human excrement and die.

  15. The article states:

    “Trump’s best option is to send the Agreement to the Senate, where it has no prospect of winning the requisite two-thirds support. That will stamp the Agreement as an unpopular, failed treaty, creating a formidable political barrier to any successor who might claim authority, as Obama did, to make America a party to major multilateral environmental agreements with the stroke of a pen.”

    Here’s what I’ve posted here earlier on this idea:

    A problem with submission to the Senate is that it would provoke the “resistance” to stage unprecedented demonstrations in DC and other unheard-of levels of petitioning and lobbying of congress that might overawe it. Bear in mind that only 22 of 52 Republican senators signed last week’s open letter to Trump urging him to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The greens would only need to get 19 of the remaining 30 to vote in favor of it to pass the treaty.

    Probably most Republican senators have a weak grasp of the subject and would be impressed by the sort of seemingly impressive talking points that were prominently spouted by Dems in the House during their sit-in on the topic last year. There would not be time or the atmosphere for a thoughtful debate.

    Since only 22 of 52 GOP senators signed this, it would be risky to submit the Paris Treaty to the Senate. Of the 30 RINOs there, only 19 would be needed to pass it (assuming support from all 48 Democracies).

    Even if the greens failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote, they could come so close that rejection of the treaty would not settle the issue in the court of public opinion, as the article here envisages, but rather keep the issue alive for another try in the 2018 election campaign.

    • Roger the 22 that signed only went for the reversible Paris only exit not the framework exit. It’s sad at so many levels. Senate is filled with RINOs and sheep.

    • Prediction is hard, especially about the future. So you may be right about how a Senate ratification debate would play out. But before you dismiss the option out of hand, consider the following.

      First, there was a reason Obama said nary a word about climate change during 2012 election cycle. Why he concealed his plans to put EPA in charge of redesigning the power sector and negotiate–indeed unilaterally join–a new climate pact. Such policies are popular with West and East Coast elites, but not with most of the country. For the same reason, even after winning re-election, Obama did not go through treaty process. He knew that even though Democrats were still the majority party in the chamber, there was no chance the Senate would approve new international climate commitments. By design, ratifying controversial treaties is hard, indeed almost impossible, without broad public support, which did not exist then and still does not now.

      Second, yes, only 22 of 52 GOP Senators signed the letter to withdraw, but Trump had not yet declared his position on the issue. Moreover, Trump would not submit the Agreement to the Senate without a strong recommendation that it not be approved. The pressure GOP Senators would face, both from the President and the party’s base, to oppose the Agreement in a ratification debate would be far greater than any pressure they received from colleagues to sign on the Barrasso letter. For example, groups like Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Prosperity rate lawmakers by how they vote. No one rates them based on the letters they sign.

  16. The markets don’t seem to mind; the Dow is currently up 46 pts. Apparently MAGA sells. Who knew?

  17. If this Administration does absolutely nothing else for the next four years except get out of the joke that is the Paris accord, I’ll be perfectly happy.

  18. … at 3:00 pm EDT NOON, PDT

    High Noon — Trailer

    (youtube)

    All it took was
    one
    good
    man.

    • Ironic Janice you pick a great movie promo designed for a film to vilify Joe McCarthy who turned out far more right then his faults. Great art but the message of hate was directed at ordinary America and by design. Not exactly the best symbol to glorify Trump or his base. Here’s a better one;

      Who do you think is the “consensus” is in the scene?

    • Sorry to offend you Janice, thought you would appreciate the nuance but I’ll put you on ignore. I wasn’t sneering but having fun. I like the movie you posted but everything I said was true and I got the simpler message you were conveying. Lighten up.

      John Wayne never spoke to several people associated to the film ever again over the messaging. I thought you would appreciate it my post that was in fun.

  19. If Trump listens to Bannon and goes “large” for the full UN Climate Framework exit Trump locks in the 2020 baseline talking points for a clear win and becomes a top 5 potential for Presidential history. If he triangulates and panders with the soft legal poison pill of a Paris only exit he’ll get all the backlash hate anyway and will leave his enemies a hundred sharp objects to throw at him.

    Tillerson and the Exxon Greenshirt pander model are the has-been components of the ultra limited economic only message on the exit and climate in general. It failed long term in the 80’s for a far better President and it isn’t going to fly now. Trump won because America hates the globalist pinhead Greenshirt left culturally even more then potential economic gains of rolling back climate carbon rationing through the high price policy. The President should learn from policy history. America is sick of RINO hairsplitting, that’s why he won.

    Spike the ball in the Greenshirt faces is the best position politically. They can never be compromised with, they hate America and every person who voted for you. Fire Tillerson is necessary as he strikes me as another inside the box person who never even supported Trump on the campaign. There isn’t going to be America coming together moment and playing for that loses.

    Reagan’s assessment on cold war outcomes should be remembered; “We win, they lose”. The Greenshirt left doesn’t get terms, they die in defeat mumbling about Alger Hiss the victim who of course really was a Soviet spy. They’re all the same people at the core of the debate and media cabal. Send them packing and pounding sand. That’s what is needed today at 3pm but frankly I don’t think the full exit is at hand. The mush skeptic community, Tillerson and Tesla’s stock chart are the indicators for me. More suffering in the cards for the world and a great victory turned into a minor tactical event. I’ll be back if I’m wrong and I hope I am.

    • If Trump does that, he can barbecue a whole litter of cute little puppies and eat them on live TV, and I’ll still be voting for him from now on!

      • What about grabbing cute little pussies?

        Can I say that here? The MSM reported his taped remark with glee, so why not the Internet? We’ve already seen pink hats here.

  20. No matter what Trump does about withdrawing from Paris, the green blob will try to use the courts to enforce it anyway. I think Trump has a stronger legal position treating it as an executive agreement, that relies totally on the inherent powers of the office of President to be effective. As the Supreme Court has, as far as I know, never ruled on foreign executive agreements, that position would give Trump the most freedom of action.
    I think involving the Senate would be bad tactics, as it would give the proponents a forum to blather about our imminent doom, and give the Paris Accord a status Obama did not dare to give it.

    • While the blob is predictable and everything you say is true the skeptical mush community who are well represented at WUWT cling to the notions of “it’s not about left or right”…..”it isn’t politics” and wish they were back in Kansas clicking their heals are even more predictable and addicted to defeat.

      The hard UN Framework exit is the clear best option and not widely lobbied for. The lay skeptics got little to no guidance from the imagined skeptical special interest community.

      You want to talk bad tactics?

      • I am arguing US political tactics. Involving the UN in any decision is granting status to the left, politically. The WaBenzi dominating the UN can be counted on to oppose anything that favors the US’ interests economically or politically.
        Taking the position that only US constitutional rules matter is a defensible position to take in court, where this will be anyway.

  21. This will not end in any of our lifetimes unless we kill it at the source which is the UN. It’s their raison d’etre to gain world control. They will continue bleeding the rest of the world using CAGW waiting for a compliant US administration to accept their ideology. The attacks against the US will be nasty with their own MSM leading the charge if Trump cancels. I’m giddy with excitement.

    • Agreed, the optics of the hard full U.N Framework backlash favor Trump. It will be massive but why is Neville Chamberlain… I mean Rex Tillerson the guy you choose to go into a climate war with at SOS?? The difference between winning and losing a 200 shot NBA title game can be one play or foul shot. Why is this guy at the table at all? The wrong play here and Trump is finished in 2020 if not sooner. Spineless compromise is the sure road to defeat.

      Effectively President Trump has encouraged his enemies (and they are enemies) with policy weakness, poor execution and ambivalence. Maybe we get a pleasant surprise this afternoon but I’m doubtful. Expect the mush skeptics splitting off at once for a meager bone of a soft reversible Paris exit. It’s what they do.

  22. If good news of a full UN Framework exit arrives I’ll burn a tire on my front lawn in celebration, if bad news consider it a protest;

  23. “the Paris Agreement is the most ambitious environmental treaty ever.”

    That should be “evah!”. :)

    • How is restricting an essential trace gas “environmental”?

      More plant food in the air greatly improves the environment.

  24. Tesla has a 280k new model car back order, X $7500 per car from US Taxpayer to fight “emissions” that comes to 2.1 billion dollars of “revenue” (Fed taxpayers) for Tesla. They’re losing about $10 a share at the moment and the stock is priced for a $10 share profit by 2020. What can go wrong? Trading near the record high. Let’s not even mentioned Kalifornia grants and subside dollars that are also huge.

    I know where Elon Musk will be at 2:59 PM today. The whole climate fraud subside bubble in one little package. He’s threatened to resign from the Trump advisory team on the exit news.

    Everything wrong in a America and crony climate in one simple anecdote. The car doesn’t even net less co2 and has been known to explode in simple accidents;

    The safest car in the world is the claim.

    All cars can explode of course but not many are raking the federal subsidies on the projection front above. My bigger issue with the climate rationalized process. Wealthy people get most of the subside benefits of course, so much for the fairness whine about the “1%”. Just one reason I expect a kiss-in-the-ring soft Paris exit. 20k Tesla jobs and 50 billion market cap aren’t going to become a tar baby victim object for Trump’s climate fraud crack down.

  25. Withdrawal is the correct decision, of course. But what an enormous waste of time and money to get to this point.
    /smh

  26. Watching the speech right now. Trump is not the most polished speech maker, but dammit, he’s saying the right things. Hip hip hooray!

    Main points:
    – I will fulfill my solemn duty (eg. campaign promise) and withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
    – Big costs, little gains to stay in the agreement.
    – Manufacturing jobs will simply shift to China and India if we stay in the agreement.
    – Trump willing to negotiate a new deal with Europe and others if it’s fair to US economic interests (I don’t like that).
    – Trump fails to defend CO2 as a life giving, beneficial gas, and caves in to propaganda, calling it pollution (I don’t like that).
    – Eurosocialists hostile to America, but still want our money
    – Trade deals will also be negotiated, with no redistribution of America’s wealth via climate action or to Green Fund
    – UN wants to raise $100 billion funding to $450 billion per year for climate action, distributing it to god-knows-where via “green” NGOs
    – staying in the agreement creates legal liability for Americans and America
    – withdrawal from Paris is a reassertion of American sovereignty
    – nothing about withdrawing from UNFCCC (I had been hoping we would pull this trigger, too)

  27. And yet as soon as he announced that he was leaving the Agreement, he instantly backtracked and said he wanted to renegotiate the accord with better terms for the U.S. Seriously? After a full year of telling people that global warming was a hoax perpetrated by China, NOW he wants to renegotiate? Why? Cuz Ivanka is giving you side eye shade over dinner? God, Trump is so pathetic.

    • ” NOW he wants to renegotiate? Why?” He knows they won’t because it would lay bare their whole scam to the world.

  28. You all know that it will take four years for the United States to fully withdraw from the Paris Treaty, right? By which point, we might have a new President elected who could reverse Trump’s decision.

    • Therefore, the Trump administration policy should be to replace pseudoscientific global warming climatology with scientific global warming climatology before the time runs out in which this can be accomplished.

    • It took 5 minutes. Obama never submitted it to the Senate for ratification, so it is null and void. Compliance was only based upon Obama complying. There was no legal binding to it.

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