EU Freaks Out After Climate Chief Suggests US Can Water Down Paris Pledge

Trump announced the country will leave the toothless Paris climate accord as it harms US taxpayers.

Members of the European Union believe the “spirit” of the Paris agreement could be compromised if President Donald Trump dramatically reduces the U.S.’s obligations under the deal.

Some of the poorest nations involved in the Paris agreement are howling about EU climate chief Miguel Arias Cañete’s suggestion that the U.S. might stay in the accord if the country ratchets down its obligations. Allowing Trump to strip away former President Barack Obama’s promises could weaken so-called climate solidarity, they argue.

“If the US is now once again given special circumstances, this would create a bad precedent, where everyone would feel they can be allowed to decrease their ambition,” Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, a climate negotiator from the DR Congo government, told reporters Monday.

“I don’t think it’s defensible,” he added. “People have been saying the US will not be allowed to rewrite the agreement. You can’t say that and do the contrary. If we did, we would open a Pandora’s box, because who would decide to follow suit?”

His comments come shortly after Cañete told reporters the U.S. “will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement.” The accord, which compels the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions nearly 30 percent by 2030, is a non-binding deal that does not technically prohibit Trump from greatly reducing his predecessor’s promises.

The White House disputed Cañete’s claim.

“There has been no change in the United States’ position on the Paris agreement…” a White House spokeswoman said in a Sept. 16 statement on Twitter. “As the President has made abundantly clear, the US is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms more favorable to our country.”

The voluntary nature of the accord allows signatories to set their own pace, so long as their pledges are broadly consistent with limiting global warming to 2C. U.S. negotiators won sufficiently ambiguous language to prevent a legal challenge over the issue.

Gebru Jember Endalew, who chairs the EU’s Least Developed Countries negotiating bloc, warned that allowing Trump to dictate the terms would be extremely unpopular and could lead to rifts among other nations.

“Any backward adjustment of NDCs (nationally determined contributions) would hugely damage and undermine global solidarity,” he said, adding that the NDC revisions were permitted “with a view to enhancing a country’s level of ambition.”

Some believe that Obama’s decision to forgo Senate approval of the deal and bank on a Democratic win in 2016 made the agreement politically vulnerable. He joined the accord in 2016, after years of working behind the scenes to craft the non-binding global warming deal.

His signature achievement on global warming, therefore, depended on Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election and the courts. If Clinton had won the election, then the deal’s pledges could have become concrete. But the deal is now vulnerable because of Trump’s victory.

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Comments (7)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Go tell the Euroweenie Union that that was under Push-over Obama by Trump is’nt going to play their games by their rules

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    The USA can even totally negate its participation in the idiotic
    Climate Accord.
    O’Bama’s surrender of American autonomy was in NO WAY
    binding upon the USA or any future president as per
    Constitutional Law
    And the participants in the Paris Accord were well aware of that
    from the beginning.
    They’re going to express shock and indignation about what
    they were fully aware of ?
    Just because IMPOSER O’Bama promised what he couldn’t deliver
    imposes NO obligation on Trump nor the American people.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    It’s not complicated . If President Trump caves to the Liberals trying to take over not only is he a lame duck after less than a year there is zero chance he and the Republicans will be anything meaningful next election .
    The troubling thing is the RINO’s would like nothing better .
    Time to punt some of the pathetically ineffective
    Department heads . Tillerson and Sessions absolutely
    incompetent .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    R. Johnson

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    The Paris agreement is simply an assessment demanded by the UN. The EU is aghast that President Donald Trump refuses to go along with their stupid, unethical canard. There is a distinct absence of truth with the entire climate change pogrom; 99% of the alleged facts come from flawed, inaccurate climate models. President Donald Trump will not put money into anything that doesn’t have a demonstrable return potential. Paris treaty is all about money and control, a truly fascist entity–pay, pay, pay there’s no return possible.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    The entire enviromental movement based upon lies and junk science like that anti pesticide campaign polution deforestdation(Remember all this Save The Rainforests poppycock?)and now we have this Global Warming bull twandle

    Reply

  • Avatar

    amirlach

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    The US never signed onto the Kyoto accord, yet they exceeded targets. Not by a massive transfer of wealth into failed programs, but by Free Market driven gains in profitability and efficiencies.

    The things the Leftarded are in denial about… Free Markets and Profit.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    I don’t like to talk about what we can do under the Paris Treaty, because without Senate ratification, we are not in the treaty. However, for a moment I play along with some options under the treaty.

    The Paris Treaty was designed with provisions for countries to change the level of their pledges. According to the junk science, the treaty is very inadequate and that was to be resolved by nations taking on more and more ambitious targets as time went on. These new targets were to be unilateral decisions not requiring anyone’s approval. However, if I’m right, there is nothing in the treaty’s language that requires the changes to be increase limits on emissions. If I’m right, then the provision in the treaty for changing pledges could be used to unilateral decrease limits, and no country or group of countries can to anything about it.

    Reply

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