Sunday, June 04, 2017

We can't quit that thing we never joined

Hot Air: "Newsflash: America never joined Paris Agreement."  That thing "signed" by Mr. Pen and Phone is undone by the next guy.


Anonymous said...

Hate to spoil Hot Air's "Newsflash: we never joined!" fun, but unless Trump follows up by pulling the U.S. out of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), which would be a more serious and impactful act than crapping on the Paris Accord, it'll take at least three years for him to actually leave the Paris Accord. So, another Trump executive declaration that's primarily about the announcement.

No country can officially withdraw from the Paris climate accord until on or after November 4, 2019, three years after the agreement's date of adoption. At that point, Trump may give written notice of the United States' intention to withdraw in one year's time, which would be on (or after) November 4, 2020. For extra entertainment value, the next presidential election is on Nov. 3, 2020.

It's right in the text:
1. At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary.
2. Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notice of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.

In real terms, though, the red-blooded debate among self-appointed internet contract experts is moot. Because the U.S., just like any other signee, can fall short of its climate goals without penalty. So legally, enforcement of the accord can simply be ignored by Trump, or by any other nation. But politically or diplomatically, not so much (which is the entire point of the accord). As we should expect to see.

But just saying "not a treaty!" has the same power as declaring "not my President!"

Eric said...

OK, so, we have to stick with this non-binding agreement for three years?
And if we fail to adhere to any part of it, there's no penalty at all?

Well! Since there's no distinction between "in" and "out", let's stay together. Al GREEN would want it that way.

Anonymous said...

Yes, those are the terms of the burdensome bad deal that is killing Pittsburgh, and humiliating all of America as the world laughs in our faces, according to the best minds.

As noted, there will be real political and diplomatic costs to bear. There's also the meaningless matter of watching Europe and China take the lead, and the profits, and the jobs, and the patents, on renewable energy, while Big Boy panders to the MAGA tarmac yahoos by shouting about the 77,000 people who make up the entire U.S. coal industry. That number, which is shrinking, is roughly half of the number of people who make up America's car washing industry, or 3/4ths of the crowd at any Michigan football home game:

Practically speaking, Trump is going to do nothing - do YOU think he's actually sent the notice of withdrawal? And then we're just going to re-acknowledge the agreement in 2021.

Until then, saying is doing. And virtue signalling is even better than legislative accomplishments. Theoretically, anyhow. We'll need to wait until Trump has a legislative accomplishment, to know for sure.

Eric said...

We'll have to contend with the Europeans tut-tutting at us because we refused to play sucker and pay into a Green Fund while everybody else waits until 2030:

As for renewable energy: what is stopping Americans from developing that technology? Certainly not our participation in that phony-baloney agreement. The solar people never stop leaving stuff on my front door asking to install panels. Elon Musk will still get his big subsidies.

Anonymous said...


The American Conservative:

This is a bad decision made for dubious reasons. If the agreement is non-binding (and it is), the only burdens that the U.S. is under are those that we choose to impose on ourselves. A non-binding agreement can’t impose anything on anyone. The reason that the agreement has near-universal support around the world is that it formally requires very little of its adherents. While that means that withdrawal from the agreement is not quite the disaster many claim it is, it also shows that withdrawal is an unnecessary repudiation of a commitment that the U.S. just made.

...An agreement that is “non-binding” cannot also be “draconian,” and the fact that Trump chose to describe it both ways confirms that he doesn’t really understand it, or is simply being fed lines to recite, or both.

...One problem in withdrawing from an agreement such as this is that it needlessly creates rifts with other governments whose cooperation we need on many other issues, and it makes the U.S. seem less trustworthy when it joins international agreements. Indeed, it reeks of unilateralism for its own sake, and doesn’t take into account the potential costs for the U.S. that will come from doing this. If we want U.S. commitments to mean something now and in the future, it does no good to renege on them as soon as the president that made them is out of office. Insofar as the U.S. encourages more constructive behavior from others by leading by example, that is another reason to remain a party to the agreement.

...One of the persistent flaws in Trump’s view of international agreements is that he seems to think that it puts pressure on other parties to walk away from an agreement that has already been made. Far from forcing a better deal from the other parties, this just demonstrates that our government isn’t interested in making a deal, and the other parties to the agreement respond accordingly. Trump can’t possibly improve on a non-binding agreement that calls for voluntary contributions, and the other signatories aren’t interested in talking to him about it in any case. This decision gains the U.S. nothing it didn’t already have, and it harms our relations with many allies in the process.

...It will take years before Trump’s decision finally extricates the U.S. from the agreement. ...Meanwhile, the costs of gratuitously antagonizing dozens of our closest allies and trading partners will be felt much sooner than that.