The Paris Agreement Was Symbolism over Substance, Leaving Was the Right Call

By John A. Charles, Jr.

President Trump made the right call June 1 when he terminated participation by the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The central problem with the Paris agreement was that the alleged benefits were speculative, long-term, and global; yet the costs to Americans would be real, immediate, and local. It was a terrible deal for American taxpayers who would have been required to send billions of dollars to an international green slush fund, with no accountability.

Pulling out of the Paris agreement does not mean that the climate change apocalypse is upon us. The carbon intensity of the U.S. economy has dropped by 50% since 1980 simply through technological innovation and the dynamic market process. If reducing carbon dioxide is a worthy policy goal—which is just an assumption—the United States already has an impressive track record of reducing emissions.

The Paris agreement was always a triumph of symbolism over substance. Now that American participation has ended, we can appropriately move on to issues of real significance.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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  • Bob Clark

    Scott Adams, Dilbert cartoon series, had a great cartoon summing up the national dialogue on “Climate Change.” It was published a month or two months or so ago. I am thinking of submitting it as my only testimony to my Mayor’s drafting of a climate “action” plan, in which solar panels are worshiped as godly like objects.
    Hopefully, technology continues advancing and we are still allowed to purchase petroleum gasoline such that we can use our cars as back up electric generators when our solar panels are iced over, snowed over; and the pipes in our houses are about to freeze solid in an arctic outbreak.
    While we push for continued subsidies for the ornate solar panels, we also complain about not having enough to build more homes so as to help keep shelter costs down. But all you need is two words to shove these thoughts aside: “science denier.”

  • moby

    A lot of businesses and diverse groups were on board with Paris agreement.

    • WorthKnowing

      So what?

  • Oregon Engineer

    India made the most succinct description of the purpose for the Paris climate agreement :

    “In a pointed declaration made at the time of signing, India put it on the record that its involvement in Paris depended on financial assistance from other major powers.”
    entire article here

    Trump is correct that part of the burden for reducing world wide carbon emissions and air pollution for india and china (and the rest of the developing economies) would be on the shoulders of US taxpayers. We have already reduced our carbon footprint for electrical energy to 1990 levels and they will continue to go down. and it was done at our internal expense. all of it due to the increase of energy prices and taxpayer subsidies to the solar and wind energy. So just exactly why should the US taxpayer fund India’s and China’s efforts to reduce carbon expenditure. bottom line let them make their own internal improvements to air quality and reduced carbon emissions on their own dime. as a taxpayer I see absolutely no need to provide any aid to any foreign country for any purpose. In my opinion free trade will accomplish more than any handout.

  • 好几年没用过博客了,支持下!

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