“There is nothing historic about this deal,” said American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Obama administration clearly doesn’t have the support of Congress or the American people—making the agreement nothing more than a paper tiger. Unfortunately, this won’t stop the president from pursuing a domestic climate agenda that will raise energy prices on American families, but will have no impact on the climate.”
The Obama administration states that the deal will encourage nearly 200 countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, slowing global warming. Despite the doubt, President Obama is already celebrating the deal, as shown by this Tweet:
This is huge. Almost every country in the world just signed on to the #parisagreement on climate change — thanks to American leadership.
However, members of Obama’s own cabinet disagree. Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and developed world will not help the environment or even slow down global warming at the Paris summit Wednesday.
Kerry previously stated that the talks would not deliver a “treaty” that legally requires countries to cut carbon dioxide emissions. However, European Union previously asserted that the deal will be a legally binding treaty, contradicting Kerry’s direct statements.
The current deal allows countries to set “non-binding” CO2 emissions targets for themselves, but contains no mechanism to enforce the agreement. The Obama administration seems to have gotten a deal that contains no legally-binding measures and is thus not a “treaty.” This weakens legal arguments that the agreement needs the approval of the hostile U.S. Senate, which must ratify all treaties.
Environmental groups were skeptical of the deal during the negotiation process, as it contains only voluntary, not mandatory, CO2 cuts. Many environmental groups blame the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen Accords on the lack of mandatory CO2 cuts.
Send tips to andrew@