Commentary by James Shott
The United Nations has scheduled a meeting in Paris to discuss climate change, with a new international global warming agreement involving more than 190 countries as its goal. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, starting November 30 and running to December 11, will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The objective is to create a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, and the Obama administration has submitted a plan for a new deal consisting of national contributions to curb emissions that would alter the 20-year-old Kyoto Protocol distinctions between the obligations of rich and poor nations.
The U.S. plan depends on individual countries enforcing their own emissions reductions, and the countries that agree to the plan would be required to set new targets to lower their carbon emissions after 2020. And rich nations like the U.S. and Japan will be held to the same legal requirements as China, India and other fast-developing nations.
This all sounds wonderful, if you believe in manmade global warming/climate change; one-world government; the US making more reductions before China and India – the really big polluters – do; and the Easter Bunny.
Why would China or India voluntarily reduce their emissions when doing so would stop their development or severely hamper it? And, can the world trust both countries to honestly report their emissions? Just recently, The Guardian published evidence that China has already been deceiving the world on its coal burning carbon emissions, even before this new agreement is finalized.
At a meeting in Bonn last month to discuss a draft agreement a bitter fight developed over the degree to which countries of the world should cut their greenhouse gas emissions, how much time they will have to complete those cuts, and who will pay for the transition.
Some provisions of the draft require the complete decarbonization of the global economy by 2050, and that rich countries like the U.S. get to pay more than $100 billion per year after 2020 to compensate poor countries for supposed climate change damages and help them adopt non-carbon producing energy sources.
The basis for this stepped up attack on fossil fuel use is the old story that human activities cause climate change, and global warming is responsible for so much harm, like Al Gore’s shrinking Arctic ice cap that was supposed to disappear by 2014 (the Arctic still has a large ice cap and the Antarctic cap has grown), rising global temperatures (that haven’t risen since 1998 in the U.S.), too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (which makes plants grow and produce oxygen for us to breathe) and the rest of the more than 700 things attributed to global warming, as compiled by the British-based science watchdog, Number Watch.
California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee and several other Democrats believe that if substantial reductions in CO2 emissions aren’t made soon then droughts and reduced agricultural output may force women to turn to “transactional sex” (once known as “prostitution”) to survive. Seriously.
A consortium of environmental activist organizations released a report titled “Fair Shares” which concludes: “Nothing less than a systemic transformation of our societies and our economies will suffice to solve the climate crisis."
Since President Barack Obama is totally on board with this concept he has already implemented his own “climate action plan.” Thus, the theory goes, the U.S. would not need congressional approval to implement the U.N. agreement, since it’s already being done through executive orders.
Which, of course, means that Obama intends to ignore the constitutional role of Congress. Again.
“So this is just the latest example of President Obama’s contempt for obeying the Constitution and our laws,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center of Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In the past, rulers who act as if the law does not apply to them were called tyrants,” he noted.
The U.S. Constitution says that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate” to make treaties with other countries. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol had to be ratified by Congress, but it never was, even though the Clinton administration signed onto it. This agreement, too, is a treaty, and it requires Senate approval.
“CEI has warned for several years that the Obama Administration would follow advice from environmental pressure groups and try to sign a new U.N. agreement that ignores the Senate’s constitutional role,” Ebell said.
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee called the plan ambitious and cynical because it “is an attempt to enshrine in an international agreement President Obama’s unilateral environmental regulatory regime, which remains deeply unpopular among the American people.”
Opponents also point out that this agreement will not take effect until after Obama leaves office, so he won’t have to deal with the damage it causes. However, if it does not receive ratification by the Senate making it a treaty, it is only an agreement, and therefore can easily be cancelled by the new president.
Cross-posted from Observations