President Joe Biden has pledged to recommit America to become a signatory to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement that is the ugly stepchild of the disastrous Kyoto Protocol that a U.S. Senate unanimously rejected in July 1997 as a non-starter through a rare 95-0 bi-partisan resolution.
Although President Bill Clinton signed the protocol, he had the good sense not to submit the agreement for required treaty ratification despite then- Vice President Al Gore’s climate crisis cheerleading.
In March 2001, shortly after taking office, the President George W. Bush administration withdrew the U.S. from even considering it. Bush’s reasons for dumping it were the same as those expressed by the Senate, namely that it would hurt the U.S. economy, lead to higher energy prices, and invite other countries to take advantage of a bad deal for America with no real climate benefits.
Based upon the same egregiously flawed U.N.-sponsored political science playbook that preceded and underpinned Kyoto, the Paris Agreement is as bad or worse for America.
President Trump acted correctly and responsibly in walking away from terrible terms negotiated by President Obama which, again, were unlikely to gain Senate ratification.
The Kyoto Protocol which expired in 2012 was based upon an alarmist 1995 report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
As Dr. Frederick Seitz, one of America’s most distinguished scientists and President Emeritus of Rockefeller University described the publication:
In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.
Kyoto was a fraud about politics and money from day one.
If one were to accept the IPPC’s own figures, the additional warming of 1.39 deg. Celsius they had predicted to occur by 2050 would be reduced only to 1.33oC, an imperceptible difference.
In addition, IPCC climate projection models are running two-to-three times hotter than actual observations have shown.
To accomplish this highly hypothetical trivia, the treaty obliged signatories to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions between 2008-2012 by an average 5.2 percent from 1990 levels. In any case, the protocol never succeeded in reducing global CO2; instead, atmospheric concentration has increased about 1-2 parts per million per year since 1997.
The choice of 1990 as the base year favored Europe, Britain, Germany and Russia — at the expense of the U.S. Around that time Britain switched from primarily coal to natural gas, thus reducing CO2 emissions. The Soviet Union had also recently collapsed, prompting Germany to take over and close inefficient coal-fired electricity plants in its eastern part.
China and major developing nations got a pass after they rejected all efforts to impose limits on their use of fossil fuels.
Planning for a follow-on to Kyoto agreement terms ramped up at a 2009 twentieth UN-sponsored “Conference of the Parties” (COP 20) conference in Copenhagen featuring more lurid predictions of world-wide temperature catastrophes.
Just weeks before that climate crisis clambake began, however, copies of thousands of purloined emails released from a computer server at the UK University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had a chilling effect on the discussions.
An infamous “Climategate” scandal revealed that an international network of climate scientists who had provided those dire projections had essentially cooked the temperature record books.
Among many damning revelations, email exchanges exposed attempts by prominent scientists to “hide a temperature decline” in connection with an inept and since debunked cobbled-together “hockey stick” climate history reconstruction graph that was centrally featured by the IPCC and Al Gore to gin up Armageddon alarm.
As COP 20 negotiations with China, India and other developing countries faltered, President Obama negotiated a last-minute face-saving, toothless agreement with leaders of the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) group of countries.
This “Copenhagen Accord” served as a precursor to guide preparations for the 2015 COP 21 meetings that produced the Paris Agreement.
Obama committed the U.S. to a 32% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 with respect to 2005 levels. In addition, he pledged $3 billion from U.S. taxpayers to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund by 2020, and he also endorsed an even more ambitious goal of having developed countries eventually pay $100 billion to developing countries to ambiguously “mitigate climate change.”
Eager to return from Copenhagen to the U.S. to announce passage of his Obamacare health initiative, the president broke ranks with other developed countries in consenting to allow China and India to escape firm CO2 reduction commitments.
Although China’s representatives agreed to peak its emissions by 2030, they refused to agree to stem growth over 15 years prior to that deadline.
And although India pledged to peak its emissions sometime around the middle of the century, a plan announced in 2019 will double the country’s domestic coal production over the next five years and continue fossil fuel use indefinitely for electricity generation.
Likely recalling the resoundingly negative response to Kyoto, President Obama never submitted the accord to the U.S. Senate for approval. President Trump withdraw the U.S. from the agreement entirely.
In the aftermath, none of the EU Paris Climate Treaty signatories are meeting their current goals for 2030 emissions reduction. Only five of them – Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Portugal and Sweden – are even at 50% of their targets. The rest are all trailing behind.
Representing 80% of the emission increases, China and India are dramatically ramping up coal and oil development in line with a rise in overall energy demand. Reuters has reported that China is also building about a dozen coal power plants in Pakistan.
The country that has done most to reduce its emissions is one that never signed the Paris pact. In 2019, thanks to a remarkable oil and natural gas fracking revolution, America led the entire world in CO2 emission reductions.
As part of his $2 trillion “Equitable Clean Energy Future” agenda, President Biden has pledged to recommit America to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement: eliminating carbon emissions from electricity by 2035, and shifting from oil, natural gas and coal to achieve “net-zero carbon” emissions by 2050.
In short, the Biden agenda will terminate an energy resource that has stimulated over $200 billion of investment in new factories, generated millions of jobs, produced vital federal and state revenues, reduced the trade deficit by several hundred billion dollars, and expanded America’s policy flexibility and influence regarding foreign adversaries and allies alike.
Whereas Obama agreed to, and even sought, terms he knew wouldn’t be ratified in a binding treaty, let’s not count on President Biden to share that insight. We can only pray that a majority of the 2021 Senate would demonstrate saner judgement.
January 31, 2021 at 04:00AM