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In 2016 the United States, under former President Obama, entered into the Paris Climate Treaty as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By setting what the UNFCCC calls a “Nationally Determined Contribution” (NDC) individual countries would each pledge emissions reduction goals.  

As was typical of the Obama administration’s policies, the Paris Climate Treaty is a deal that is all cost and no benefit for American taxpayers, U.S. businesses, and the nation’s economy. Due in part to the regulations imposed under Obama in order to satisfy the country’s NDC pledge, such as the Clean Power Plan, Fuel Economy Standards, and methane rules, Americans will see increased costs for the affordable energy they rely on every day. 

While developed countries are expected to finance their respective sides of the agreement, the smaller developing countries that cannot afford the changes are financed by the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund (GCF). This fund’s goal is to raise $100 billion a year through voluntary contributions from countries who have signed the Paris Climate Treaty. Thus billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars are currently, and will continue to be, sent abroad to finance projects in foreign nations.

While on the campaign trail President Trump consistently pointed out the Paris Climate Treaty as being a “bad deal” for Americans. The Trump administration should now work to withdraw America from this costly and burdensome deal.

Below are the top five reasons the U.S. should withdraw.

  1. Cost to U.S. taxpayers. The direct cost to U.S. taxpayers of the Paris Climate Treaty and GCF is very high since former President Obama unilaterally pledged to give $3 billion dollars to the fund and has already sent hundreds of millions abroad.
  2. Increased energy costs for U.S. consumers and businesses. If the Paris Climate Treaty moves forward, as does the accompanying regulations proffered under Obama, American consumers will see costs skyrocket. The costs of combined measures such as the Clean Power Plan and CAFE standards would amount to the same as a $30 per ton carbon tax, or $20 billion in annual costs. Household electricity costs are projected to increase up to 20%, and an average family of four would see total income loss of over $20,000.
  3. Puts U.S. at a competitive disadvantage. This agreement will cost the U.S. an estimated 6.5 million jobs by 2040 and reduce GDP by over $2.5 trillion, putting the country at a huge disadvantage to countries like China, India, or Russia. Also, these countries, which are signers of the agreement, are allowed to increase or have no cap on their emissions of greenhouse gases. For instance China has asserted its emissions will “peak” around 2030 putting the U.S. economy at a severe economic disadvantage in the interim and moving forward.
  4. Paris Climate Treaty will have negligible benefits to the environment. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which compiled the combined impacts of the various pledges under the Treaty, it found a global temperature reduction of 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100.
  5. The Paris Agreement is a Treaty and needs to be ratified by Senate. Since the Paris Agreement is a signed agreement between 195 countries for a similar goal it can be defined as a treaty and should be subject to a vote by the U.S. Senate. This is stated in Article 2, Section 2 of the United States Constitution where it says, “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties.”


Photo credit: Eric Lynch