Paris Agreement Climate Change

Can Trump Unilaterally Withdraw from International Climate Agreements?

Here's what the law says.

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ParisAgreementJeffMaletPhotographyNewscom

According to several anonymously sourced stories, President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Activist groups have reacted with rage (if against) or glee (if for). After a day of this online angst, the president tweeted, "I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Can the president withdraw from international agreements at his whim? A comprehensive legal analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) basically concludes that he can. The analysis, published in February, observes that presidents have historically closed three types of deals with other countries: treaties, executive agreements, and political commitments.

Under the Constitution, a treaty does not enter into force until it is endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the Senate and is subsequently signed by the president. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a treaty, and the Senate approved it in 1992. Executive agreements are legally binding pacts that the president enters without seeking the advice and consent of the Senate, based on his sole authority to negotiate with foreign nations. The Obama administration treated the Paris Agreement as an executive agreement subsidiary to the UNFCCC. Political commitments are not legally binding, but they may include other inducements that encourage parties to honor them.

The CRS concludes that since the Obama administration regarded the Paris Agreement as an executive agreement, a new president has the authority to "unilaterally withdraw from it without seeking approval from the legislative branch."

There is one wrinkle. Under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, termination or withdrawal from treaties can take place only "in conformity with the provisions of the treaty" or by mutual consent of the parties. Although the United States does not consider an executive agreement to be a treaty, under public international law executive agreements do count. As it happens, the Paris Agreement does not allow parties to withdraw until three years after it has come into force. So under the Vienna Convention, the Trump administration would have to wait until November 2019 to complete its withdrawal from the agreement.

On the other hand, although the U.S. signed the Vienna Convention in 1970, the country is not actually a party to that treaty, since the Senate has not given its advice and consent to it. The State Department does note, "The United States considers many of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to constitute customary international law on the law of treaties."

If the Trump administration wanted to speed up the process of getting out of the Paris Agreement, the president could withdraw from the underlying UNFCCC. If the president chose this option, the CRS analysis notes, "Withdrawal from both the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement would become effective one year later."

But surely if it takes the consent of two thirds of the Senate to approve a treaty, it must take a similar vote to withdraw from one, right? "The Constitution sets forth a definite procedure for the President to make treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate, but it does not describe how they should be terminated," observes the CRS analysis. "In most cases, this unilateral presidential action has not generated significant opposition in either chamber of Congress." On those rare occasions that members of Congress have challenged the right of presidents to unilaterally terminate ratified treaties, the federal courts have basically stepped aside, letting the other two political branches to fight it out.

Given the highly polarized public debate over the Paris Agreement, a presidential withdrawal from the UNFCCC would surely provoke some members of Congress to challenge that decision in federal court. One way to avoid this legal wrangling would be for the president to submit (with or without a recommendation for ratification) the Paris Agreement to the Senate as a treaty, seeking its advice and consent. After all, the vast majority of other Paris Agreement signatories have formally ratified it.

Bonus video: Yesterday I discussed Trump and the Paris Agreement on CNBC with Dan Kanninen, who served as Obama's White House liason at the EPA:

NEXT: A.M. Links: Trump Weighs Paris Climate Change Agreement, James Comey to Testify Before Senate, Obamas Buy $8.1 Million House in D.C.

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  1. It was never a treaty and was never going to be enforced by anyone who “signed” it.

    It’s nothing but a giant virtue-signal.

    1. It is even more toothless than the Kyoto protocol. The same people saying this will be the end of the world are the same people cheering on as nuclear plants are being shut down across Japan and Europe. Fucking idiots every single one of them.

      1. I tend to agree. I’ve been watching the “Alternative Energy” pushers sine the mid 1970’s. Back then hydroelectric was considered ‘Green’, right up to the moment that government actually proposed to build a bunch of dams.

        Since then my working definition of ‘alternative energy’ is “A method of generating electrical power that, for whatever reason, is in no danger of bering adopted to a practical degree”.

        Tangent; I have, again since the mid 1970’s, been asking the following question;

        Suppose that tomorrow we magically had a photovoltaic cell that was clean and cheap to produce, lasted long enough to be useful, and was efficient enough to make its use practical. Say, further, that we deploy enough of these photovoltaic cells to generate a significant part of the national energy budget. To do this we are necessarily taking energy OUT of a dynamic system in which it is presumably doing SOMETHING.

        What happens when we take it out?

        1. Nothing. Next question. I could do the math again but I won’t.

          1. Translation: Trust me, for reasons.

            1. Better translation: Just because you’re too ignorant to do the math yourself doesn’t mean I’m ambitious enough to do it for you.

              1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

                This is what I do… http://www.webcash10.com

      2. I’ve enjoyed all the comments (which I read in a petulant tone) saying things “Now it’s up to the states to do the right thing and take up the mantle of stopping climate change”.

        My response has been “Why aren’t you doing that now? Have your state go as far as it’s willing to go in combating this. We’ll see who gets the best results for the least cost.”

      3. I’m going to save these articles of climate catastrophe and repost them in 5, 10, 15 years and just laugh.

    2. Is it too much to ask the media to cover this aspect? My understanding is that a) countries can set their own targeted cuts and b) if they don’t hit them there is no enforcement mechanism. What is the point?

      Even if the targeted cuts were met, the modeks show it isn’t enough to keep us in the safe zone of temp increases. That’s why activists like James Hansen hate it. How can the science be settled, but then virtually ignored? If we are on the path to climate disaster, why resort to a half assed, unenforceable treaty that in best case scenario, doesn’t prevent the dangerous warming?

      1. If we are on the path to climate disaster, why resort to a half assed, unenforceable treaty that in best case scenario, doesn’t prevent the dangerous warming?

        a) We aren’t.
        b) Any actions we take to have any measurable impact would basically destroy the world economy.

        1. I agree on both points, however how have 195 nations and the media bought into this kabuki theater that is the Paris Treaty? It fails to even come close to solving the very problem they are stating.

          1. Good intentions + FEELZ = Utopia.

          2. “The media” is 25 year old girls writing copy for talking heads.

          3. how have 195 nations and the media bought into this kabuki theater

            Never underestimate the value to some people of being able to feel smug and pat themselves on the back for “doing something” even if they know deep down that they haven’t accomplished a god-damned thing.

            1. Hence the “United Nations.”

              1. of Benetton.

          4. it does not fail in the more money for creating more bureaucracies that are not accountable and clearly never complete their job thus guaranteeing them a job for generations

            1. And the junkets. Don’t forget them. Many of us would love to travel the world and be wined and dined first class – at no expense to ourselves – to sit down and write, say, a statement on what “Real” libertarians stand for.

            2. Which is the actual purpose of these things.

              Empowering unaccountable apparatchiks. No thanks.

              The long term war is against unaccountable apparatchiks, foreign and domestic.

              The God Emperor strikes a blow against our enemy!

            3. (OTTMAR EDENHOFER, UN IPCC OFFICIAL): Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War… But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

              Christiana Figueres, leader of the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.”

              Former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO), then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S undersecretary of state for global issues, addressing the same Rio Climate Summit audience, agreed: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

            4. Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environment Minister: “No matter if the science is all phoney, there are collateral environmental benefits…. climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

              Daphne Muller, green-progressive-liberal writer for Salon: “This moment requires we the people to rethink democracy as a global mechanism for enacting policy for and by the planet.”

              Peter Berle, President of the National Audubon Society: “We reject the idea of private property.”

              David Brower, a founder of the Sierra Club: “The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society, which is nature’s proper steward and society’s only hope.”

              Mikhail Gorbachev, communist and former leader of U.S.S.R.: “The emerging ‘environmentalization’ of our civilization and the need for vigorous action in the interest of the entire global community will inevitably have multiple political consequences. Perhaps the most important of them will be a gradual change in the status of the United Nations. Inevitably, it must assume some aspects of a world government.”

            5. Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth: “A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.”

              Monika Kopacz, atmospheric scientist: “It is no secret that a lot of climate-change research is subject to opinion, that climate models sometimes disagree even on the signs of the future changes (e.g. drier vs. wetter future climate). The problem is, only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ ? and readers’ ? attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.”

              Researcher Robert Phalen’s 2010 testimony to the California Air Resources Board: “It benefits us personally to have the public be afraid, even if these risks are trivial.”

      2. It’s just a method of boiling the frog. Today it is only a target and the rich countries subsidize the other countries, and no one complains, tomorrow however could drift into absolute law.
        Trump exposed it for what it is, a paper tiger masquerading as an enforceable treaty.

    3. Obama gave his word to the other countries, damn it! HIS. WORD.

      If the word of the President of the United States can no longer be trusted, our nation is severely diminished.

      1. Well gosh darn it!

      2. Someone made this argument to me at The Atlantic (shudder). I pointed out that the EU has its own credibility problem i/r/t defense spending for NATO and the EU’s own budget deficit rules.

        He replied back that he was only concerned about his own country’s credibility. I then asked if he enters into deals with other people without any due dilligence on the other party.

      3. Obama gave his word about health care too. Something that ended with “Period”.
        So we all know what his word is worth.

        1. You know what else ends with a period?

          1. Kathy Griffins career?

          2. My fear that my girlfriend is pregnant?

            (I don’t normally post but couldn’t resist.)

      4. A politician once told his losing rivals “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

        Karma’s a bitch.

    4. Trump obviously has just as much authority to unilaterally pull the US out of this Charlie Foxtrot as Obama had to pull us into it. The answer in both cases is “zero”. And since 0+0=0, the Paris accords have just as much force in the US as they ever did: zero.

  2. On those rare occasions that members of Congress have challenged the right of presidents to unilaterally terminate ratified treaties, the federal courts have basically stepped aside, letting the other two political branches to fight it out.

    I would love to see members of Congress being forced to stand up and justify the need to destroy the standard of living for the majority of Americans in order to hand a pot of gold to Chinese and African kleptocrats.

    1. Their speeches are already written, in that they are saving mother Gaia. Seriously. It’s that easy for their side, because they don’t need to talk about how they’re going to save Earth. Empty rhetoric is enough for their followers. Those who realize the only ways for them to achieve that goal are disastrous are apparently in a minority, and it’s equally apparent that some of these far-left greenies are just fine with us going back to some version of the early 1800’s technologically.

      Eventually, we plebeians might even view our 21st century betters as magicians with their iron horses.

      1. “are just fine with us going back to some version of the early 1800’s technologically.”

        Again with the moran act, BYODB. What are you trying to prove? Early 1800s technology is burning fossil fuels, precisely the kind of fuel whose team you support. Tell us more on your theory of the how solar flare is responsible for heating the planet, or how human society could have thrived in really high CO2 levels, had they been around. It’s first class idiocy and we all enjoy it.

        1. That’s rich coming from you. Eaely 1800s technology was wind and water power with the initial inklings of steam power. It’s not until the 1820s or later that steam becomes a significant prime mover, and prior to the inroduction of steam coal was just used for primary heating and gas/kerosene used for a little lighting.

          But do tell us your magical theory of how even 1000ppm CO2 is toxic. I’m sure it will be amusing.

          1. It’s ok, mtrueman is an actual science denier in that he doesn’t believe the hundreds of papers regarding atmospheric concentrations of trace gases 500 million years ago by the very same climate scientists he believes are infallible. Nothing more can be done for s/he/it.

            1. You still don’t understand, it seems. The level of CO2 500 million years ago has no relevance in a discussion of the viability of human society. Because, to spell it out as plainly as possible, human society didn’t exist back then. I haven’t read these hundreds of papers and I pass no judgement on them. I have no problem with your assertion that CO2 levels were much higher some 500 million years ago when the most advanced form of life on the planet was a tiny crustacean. It’s simply irrelevant and you keep parroting it as though it had some bearing on the discussion. Think more, type less, is my sincere advice.

              1. CO2 concentrations have been in the thousands of ppm range much more recently than 500MM years ago. Unless you want to claim that the laws of physics have changed within the last 500MM years, you’re going to have to do better than “If it was so great humans would have evolved earlier.”

                1. “CO2 concentrations have been in the thousands of ppm range much more recently than 500MM years ago.”

                  That 500MM figure offends you somehow, blame the Moran. And the hundreds of papers he ‘cites.’

                  1. You’re the dumbass who thinks 500MM is somehow relevant to the question of whether or not humanity and human civilization could survive higher CO2 concentration, so I am blaming the moron, i.e. you.

                    You have offered precisely zero evidence that says that humanity could not survive on an Earth with 1000 or even 3000ppm CO2 concentrations. There’s a reason for that: because it isn’t true.

                    1. “You’re the dumbass who thinks 500MM is somehow relevant to the question”

                      Instead of telling me what I think, you could ask me. No need to be shy, just ask me.

                      Especially because you ‘re misunderstanding again. I’d mistakenly assumed you’d gone and had a look at the discussion of the previous article. Obviously you haven’t. You might find the moran’s line of reasoning about 400 ppm of CO2 being ‘no big deal,’ particularly amusing, or persuasive.

                      “You have offered precisely zero evidence that says that humanity could not survive on an Earth with 1000 or even 3000ppm CO2 concentrations. There’s a reason for that:”

                      Because I never claimed that. If you are expecting me to offer evidence to bolster claims I’m not making, you’re gonna be disappointed.

            2. BYODB|6.1.17 @ 3:38PM|#
              “It’s ok, mtrueman is an actual science denier…”

              Trueman is a fucking imbecile spewing inanities and hoping someone clicks on his name by mistake. It’ll double the clicks on his blog for the week.
              BTW, want some real amusement? Ask him for a cite. Watch the ducking, weaving and piles of bullshit,

              1. “Trueman is a fucking imbecile spewing inanities”

                Sorry not to respond earlier. Carry on.

          2. Check your calendar. The early inklings of steam power date back to the 1700s. By the early 1800 the age of coal was well under way. Perhaps in your neck of the woods the locals were running around naked when not scrounging for bugs to eat, but in Manchester, where it counts, they were burning coal as fast as they could dig it up.

            “But do tell us your magical theory of how even 1000ppm CO2 is toxic. I’m sure it will be amusing.”

            Check Ron’s previous column if you wish. Your amusement is much more important to me than your agreement.

            1. You should check your calendar. The first steam toys were demonstrated by the Greeks thousands of years ago. That doesn’t mean that they were widespread or significant sources of work.

              Really, Ron was claiming that 1000ppm of CO2 is toxic? Umm, no. Nuclear subs run CO2 concentrations of 3-4,000 ppm. Somehow all of those humans and technology keeps going…

              And as to actual energy usage, well, you’re a moron. Coal did not become a significant source of energy until steam became widespread AFTER 1820. As you can see from the link, coal didn’t even rival biomass (wood and likely dung in your location) until the turn of the 20th century.

              1. “Coal did not become a significant source of energy until steam became widespread AFTER 1820.”

                Not in Manchester. England, that is. It’s widely known as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, and I promise you, it was powered by coal, both before and after the early 1800s.

                “The first steam toys were demonstrated by the Greeks thousands of years ago.”

                Point is, they were not coal powered. The era of fossil fuels coincides with the industrial revolution, which started in Manchester in the early 1800s. Believe me, the far-left greenies are not hankering for the days of coal.

                “Really, Ron was claiming that 1000ppm of CO2 is toxic? ”

                Can’t help you there. Don’t understand what you’re trying to get at.

                1. You are amazingly dense. First you want to claim that humanity was powered by fossil fuels in the early 1800’s, then when shown that to be false you want to claim that it was Manchester which was powered by coal and that counts for all of humanity. Hint: started=inkling != significant. I assure you the econazis would be perfectly happy with the world subsisting with the state of energy in the early 1800’s.

                  1. You’ve misunderstood. I was responding to comment by the Moran who claimed:

                    ” and it’s equally apparent that some of these far-left greenies are just fine with us going back to some version of the early 1800’s technologically.”

                    This was well into the industrial era. And econazis are against fossil fuel burning technology, especially coal-powered technology. Your windmills and waterfalls are not typically thought of or referred to as early 1800s technology, as they go back centuries before.

                    1. No, you’ve misunderstood. The state of energy in the early 1800’s was exactly as I described and thought of, your cherry picking notwithstanding.

                    2. “The state of energy in the early 1800’s”

                      But the moran and I are discussing the state of technology in the early 1800s. A time noted for it’s huge advances in coal powered techniques.

          3. Early 1800’s technology mostly relied on coal. The problem of draining mines with pumps was solved by 1750, and from that point on coal was the dominant source of energy. Mine output of coal in the 1700’s still reached levels equal to 50% of what was used in 1860. Wind and water? Not so much. The Romans started using coal in the 400’s. Not sure how you think wind and water can refine metal ores to make iron, copper, and bronze. Wood could accomplish that but coal was much more efficient. Wind and water did little of the real technology beyond pushing ships and grinding grains. Steam engines were invented in 1712 and were used to pump water out of coal mines along with horses.

    2. Exactly, that’s why Obama did it when he could no longer be reelected.

  3. My understanding is that the president’s ability to enter into executive agreements stems from his powers as commander in chief, which makes his executive agreement powers only relevant to questions within the context of national security and the armed forces.

    Despite what the alarmists say, fighting climate change is not a matter of national security–in that fighting it has virtually nothing to do with the armed forces or the president’s powers as commander in chief. This executive agreement was bogus.

    The president does not have the right to negotiate the power for himself to curb greenhouse gas emissions through taxes and penalties to be named later. That power must be granted to the president through law, an amendment to the Constitution, or a treaty that has been ratified by the Senate.

    And for those who say we were represented in the Paris accord by way of having elected Obama to represent us, why doesn’t the same logic apply to Trump, who actually campaigned on withdrawing from the Paris accord and won? If you want to subject the American people to emission controls regardless of who’s president in the future, there’s a way to do that in the Constitution–get two-thirds of the Senate to ratify the treaty.

    Otherwise, you can cry me a river.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwheXIa8Cl0

    1. See, that’s where you’re wrong. I’ve been informed that ISIS is a direct result of climate change, because I have zero understanding about the world and foreign policy is too complicated for me to understand, so I blame the weather. Also, I was raped by a rain cloud once.

      1. I have it on good authority that while that rain cloud raped you while you, a bunch of CO2 emissions held you down on a pinball machine and cheered the rain cloud on.

        1. But you’re going to have to have four rainclouds that were witnesses to testify otherwise it doesn’t matter.

    2. “…fighting climate change is not a matter of national security–in that fighting it has virtually nothing to do with the armed forces…”

      FFS Ken, who do you think will be filling all those sandbags when the rising sea waters start flooding the coasts. It’s bound to be any day now.

    3. What have we learned through all of this? Spurious ways of working around the Constitution by one party, can just as easily be reversed by the other party. And thus, this is the ultimate check on extra-constitutional overreach by the President (since the courts refuse to check this power generally).

      Also, elections have consequences.

    4. One of those perfect songs

  4. This is how we know that Trump is not a master tactician. If he were smart he would simply have the agreement voted on in the Senate and dare Democratic senators from West Virginia, Missouri, and Montana to vote for it.

    Instead, now all the focus will be on him, rather than the madness that was this agreement.

    1. In one way he is a master tactician- he does not really care what his opponents say about him. Those opponents still think Trump cares what they think.

      I am still not convinced that Trump cares to be reelected in 2020. He might just try and do the best he can draining the swamp and then pass the torch. This would mean that he would not even care what the people who voted for him think.

      1. Whoever he “passes the torch” to will just fill up the swamp again. Trump isn’t going to drain shit besides the Treasury anyway.

        1. You are probably correct about wanting to fill the swamp. Luckily, that takes time. If the swamp is drained enough and competition between the branches of government heats up, the next president will find filling the swamp again more challenging.

      2. Wait. People still think that he is actually trying to drain the swamp?

        1. More than any President in 100 years.

          You don’t see that? Trump literally has his opponents calling for impeachment and that is because of ……… reason. The are talking out of turn because he is actually slowing government growth and making it harder for government to gain more power in most agencies.

          1. Slowing government growth? No I am certainly not seeing that. But that is not what “drain the swamp” means. Trump is surrounding himself with career politicians, military officers, and corporate executives: the three main sources of swampyness in Washington.

    2. I read this differently.

      Trump won the White House because of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Three out of four of those are coal mining states.

      Why should Trump give all the glory to the Senate when he can keep it for himself?

      It doesn’t really matter how this plays with the news media. In fact, if the media “blames” Trump for turning American away from an international climate change agreement, that just plays right into his hands.

      When reelection time rolls around, he’ll need to win those states again.

      Promise kept.

      1. Trump won the White House because of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Three out of four of those are coal mining states.

        Only two out of those four, PA and OH, are coal mining states:

        As of 2014, twenty-five states produced coal. The coal-producing states were, in descending order, with annual production in millions of short tons:[17]

        1. Wyoming 395.7. (see Coal mining in Wyoming)
        2. West Virginia 112.2
        3. Kentucky 77.3 (see Coal mining in Kentucky)
        4. Pennsylvania 60.9
        5. Illinois 58.0
        6. Montana 44.6
        7. Texas 43.7
        8. Indiana 39.3
        9. North Dakota 29.2
        10 Colorado 24.0 (see Coal mining in Colorado)
        11. Ohio 22.3
        12. New Mexico 22.0
        13. Utah 17.9
        14. Alabama 16.4
        15. Virginia 15.1
        16. Arizona 8.1
        17. Mississippi 3.7
        18. Louisiana 2.6
        19. Maryland 2.0
        20. Alaska 1.5
        21. Oklahoma 0.9
        22. Tennessee 0.8
        23. Missouri 0.4
        24. Arkansas 0.1
        25. Kansas 0.1

        1. I had done a quick google search for a coal map, and this was the first one that came up:

          http://tinyurl.com/yb45wsrk

          It shows a lot of coal in Michigan. I don’t know why they don’t mine it more. Cost prohibitive for some reason?

          I don’t suppose international agreements on climate change are very popular in Michigan anyway, maybe due to the auto industry; regardless, if even only two out of those four swing states are coal states, Trump would still want to take the credit himself for getting out of the Paris climate accord.

          Unionized coal miners are traditionally Democrats, and stealing them over an issue like global warming is a big advantage for him over a Democrat opponent who has to play up global warming during the primaries. That’s a big advantage for him in two of the four states that are critical for him to win.

          Trump probably wants the credit for killing the accord just because of that.

          1. Coal miners are largely stand ins for rural blue collar workers with shrinking job prospects

    3. “Instead, now all the focus will be on him, rather than the madness that was this agreement”

      In this case, having all the focus on Trump is a big net win for him. The Paris Agreement is a big stinking turd, and whoever has the balls to flush it away is going to get a popularity boost.

      1. You are beyond insufferable

  5. BTW, we should all emulate those wonderful civilized, moral, honest Euro spitballs:

    “As Europe talks tough on climate, data show emissions rose”
    […]
    “The European Environment Agency says emissions grew by 0.5 percent compared with 2014, mainly due to increases from transportation and a colder winter.
    The report released Thursday comes as the EU is trying to emphasize its commitment to combating climate change.”
    http://www.salina.com/sections…..ac1cf.html

    See? They’re TRYING and that’s all that matters in T-ball.

    1. Meanwhile, the US embraced fracking and its emissions fell 3%

      1. But Trump is a poppyhead, so there!

        1. He’s a big meanie too!

          1. “Big Meanie” was my nickname in the military.

            1. You wrote W upside down

    2. Isn’t Germany burning wood pellets and calling it ‘green and need to import power from other countries? The ‘greenest’ country is…….France with all those nuclear reactors. hmmmmmm

      1. And Germany manufacturers are bailing to countries where the population isn’t in love with the romance of candle-light:
        “1 Million BMW Cars Assembled at Chinese Plant”
        http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/01…..ese-plant/

        That was two years ago with a lot of argle-bargle about ‘local markets’ and (as you’d expect) nothing about moving manufacturing to countries where, when you flip the switch, the light will turn on.

        1. The more the Western World regulates, the more companies will resort to oversea’s manufacturing to avoid those regulations and preserve their business. The Obama EPA over-regulated to the point where it was basically impossible to meet the standards, just as one example of the government believing that they can innovate with regulations.

          I’m not sure if it’s willful ignorance, or just your plain-Jane NIMBYism on a national scale. After all, while we’re pursuing some artificial and pointless CO2 emissions measure the 2nd & 3rd world is exploding in commerce. I’m not sure if that’s an ultimate goal, or an accidental 2nd order consequence, but I suspect it’s planned so that those places can one day buy our products. I think the people who planned that are going to be shocked once they figure out that patents don’t mean shit when you gave away the plans RE: China.

      2. No, that’s the UK. Germany is burning very dirty brown coal which is reqyired to back up irs greed energy. So even though they’ve “succeeded” at their energiewende their emissions have actually gone up as have their electricity costs.

        1. “greed energy”

          I like that, and may start using it.

          1. In spite of the other typos, that was intentional.

      3. Plus diesel.

    3. How bizarre that global average temperatures are going up, Up, UP and yet the winters in Europe are ‘colder’. Gotta love climate change; it doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold you can blame it for anything!

      And yes, this is a snide short comment so don’t read a ton into it.

      1. Oh but don’t you know local trends “don’t matter”, it’s all about the overall chang…wait, stagnating averages you say? Well then we’ll tell them everytime it’s not 23 degrees Celsius with a slight breeze, they can blame climate change.

  6. As for the ‘international community’ ,they can go pound sand. Not a damn thing they can do to to enforce compliance.’International law’ only applies to countries to weak to resist the will of others.

  7. Did Obama unilaterally sign it? Then Trump can unilaterally withdraw. It’s that simple. Not sure what all the other words were about. Didn’t read it.

    1. Ok, after reading it.

      On the other hand, although the U.S. signed the Vienna Convention in 1970, the country is not actually a party to that treaty, since the Senate has not given its advice and consent to it.

      I rest my case.

    2. “Did Obama unilaterally sign it? Then Trump can unilaterally withdraw. It’s that simple.”

      Not sure it’s even required to ‘withdraw’ as a country from something to which we, as a country, never agreed.
      Obo signed it? Goody. I think he’s in Hawaii; go tell him you expect him to up hold his end of the bargain, whatever that is.

      1. They’ve got a deal with Emperor Obama, of the Pen and the Phone
        The God Emperor has something to say about that deal:

    3. “Did Obama unilaterally sign it? ”

      Has anyone claimed he’s ambidextrous?

      1. You can’t enact that many regulations one-handed.

  8. Speaking of Paris…
    Do you know why the Champs Elysee is lined with trees?
    So the German Army can march in the shade.

    1. Can I tell the one about their new battle flag?
      It’s a white cross on a white background.
      Can I tell that one?

      1. Did you hear about the impregnable Maginot Line?
        Its impregnable, so you just go around it.

    2. For sale: French Army rifles. Never fired, only dropped once.

  9. Can Trump Unilaterally Withdraw from International Climate Agreements?

    Given that the “agreement” is not a ratified, legally binding treaty, it is technically unenforceable and null/void anyway.

    1. I see it as a badly conceived list of ‘tips’ and ‘suggestions’.

      1. Number 8 will shock you!

      2. See how this one weird trick will solve global warming.

  10. can this agreement that Obama halfassed be undone? yes, and the reason why is because Obama halfassed it and didn’t do the hard work of building a consensus.

  11. About a hundred years ago, former president (and future chief justice) William Howard Taft (speaking at Mr. Bailey’s alma mater, the University of Virginia), stated that the president could terminate treaties on his own say-so. I think this has been pretty much the view of every resident of the White House. Perhaps the current resident should start enforcing the “unitary executive” we heard so much about under Reagan and G.W. Bush, and pull the striped-pants lawyers over at Foggy Bottom back onto the reservation.

    1. ….So it’s a treaty?

  12. As it happens, the Paris Agreement does not allow parties to withdraw until three years after it has come into force. So under the Vienna Convention, the Trump administration would have to wait until November 2019 to complete its withdrawal from the agreement.

    What difference does that make? The Paris accord is a long term agreement and statement of intent. “Withdrawing” simply means saying “we’re not going to make any active attempt to reach these goals”. Trump can choose not to act on the Paris accords without consequences any time, whether they are “in force” or not.

    If lawyers believe that the accord remains nominally “in force” for another three years is irrelevant because the accord has no “force” to begin with.

    1. If lawyers believe that the accord remains nominally “in force” for another three years is irrelevant because the accord has no “force” to begin with.

      ^ This.

      From an honest environmentalist’s perspective, Trump pulling us out of the Paris accords is the best thing he could do, since the agreement was only ever a big nothing-burger to appease the “do something” crowd and distract attention from the fact that none of the governments involved were going to do anything to help the environment at all.

      Trump declaring that the government isn’t going to address the “problem” punts the ball back to individuals to do for themselves what they think is the responsible way of interacting with the planet, which actually is the right way to go about it, anyway.

      1. I’m pretty sure the 9th Circuit will rule that Trump has to abide by the agreement because he is Trump.

  13. Awesome CNBC spot. Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is about the only talking head on CNBC, a channel devoted to all things economic, that has a clue about how the economy works.

    Along those lines, Steve Liesman needs to be homeless.

  14. According to the 4th circuit statements made outside of any executive order have direct bearing on said order. Barry said this is not a treaty therefore this is not a treaty. QED

    1. If only Barack said “if you like your treaty you can keep your treaty.”

  15. There is one wrinkle. Under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, termination or withdrawal from treaties can take place only “in conformity with the provisions of the treaty” or by mutual consent of the parties. Although the United States does not consider an executive agreement to be a treaty, under public international law executive agreements do count. As it happens, the Paris Agreement does not allow parties to withdraw until three years after it has come into force. So under the Vienna Convention, the Trump administration would have to wait until November 2019 to complete its withdrawal from the agreement.

    Sorry, but we aren’t bound by any obligations of a TREATY unless we agree to the TREATY. “International law” doesn’t trump our Constitution here. Unless we agree to the treaty (theoretically, he could just say “It’s a treaty, submit it to the Senate, and let it be obliterated there), then we aren’t bound. At all.

  16. When he was President, Barack Obama could sign anything he wanted on the international front but unless he sent it to the Senate and two-thirds of them voted to approve it, it had all the force and effect of writing “have a great summer!” in Angela Merkel’s yearbook.

  17. Can the president withdraw from international agreements at his whim?

    Any agreement entered on a whim may be disjoined on a whim. The end.

  18. Hogwash. There’s absolutely no need to waste the Senate’s time with this silly bullcrap. The Senate needs to focus their attention on the budget, repealing Obamacare, and tax reform.

    1. Make America great again, one cancelled Block Yomomma job-killing regulation at a time.

  19. “under public international law” – mildly humorous empty bs

  20. I find it surprising that there are people who supposedly have lofty, higher degrees from places like Harvard or the Kennedy School of Government or whatever institution our douchiest public servants hail from– who actually believe that John Kerry and his merry band of twinky fucklings can get on a plane, fly first class to a foreign country and bind 330,000,000 people into an agreement without any input from their representatives.

    1. he’s done it before. ran for Congress and was told fuck no by the voters and then hopped on a plane to Paris to negotiate with the North Vietnamese during a war.

  21. It’s a treaty! It’s a treaty! Sure Ron, it’s a treaty. One that was never entered into by the US.

    Let’s put it this way… Law states it’s a treaty, and POTUS committed to it, so we can’t leave it. One of the basic requirements to enter into a contract is that the person/people who is/are legally able to bind the entity must agree to it. When dealing with corporations, this is determined by the charter. In this case, the US Senate is who must agree, per the US Constitution. The Senate has not ratified it. It is not enforceable.

    Alt text should have read:

    Ron Bailey makes a last ditch effort to save his pet project.

  22. Renegade president withdraws unenforceable climate change treaty that essentially ran on the honor system.

    Oh, no!

  23. Thanks Ron for the interesting analysis. I personally don’t see any reason why Trump can’t simply withdraw by executive fiat. But the last strategy:
    ” One way to avoid this legal wrangling would be for the president to submit (with or without a recommendation for ratification)”
    Would be much more entertaining.

  24. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Trump sent a bunch of sceptical scientists to the next big Climate Fest?

    1. Skeptical scientist? Isn’t that something like military intelligence?

      1. Real scientists are skeptical. It’s kinda in the job description. If you’re looking for irony, though, I’d suggest the “true” part of your name…

        1. Climate scientists are gullible. Surely you have no problem with that.

  25. Where’s Tony? Only he can provide us with the intellectual acuity needed for this delicate Agreement termination explanation. LOL

  26. Nice article to give us the facts of the law on the matter.

    One way to avoid this legal wrangling would be for the president to submit (with or without a recommendation for ratification) the Paris Agreement to the Senate as a treaty, seeking its advice and consent.

    Under the assumption that Obama’s executive agreement has legal force internationally, I don’t see how the Senate failing to ratify the treaty would effect that. Failing to ratify is not the same thing as legislation to overturn an executive agreement, which you’re claiming would be illegal by “international law” anyway.

    The Senate could ratify it as a treaty, but since they has no interest in that, the Senate failure to ratify would be entirely symbolic.

    What’s the point of such a vote?

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