Should the US sign the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement invites countries to sign the agreement on April 22, 2016. To date, “the United States intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent below its 2005 level in 2025 and to make best efforts to reduce its missions by 28%.” (US Cover Note INDC). However, it should be noted that the Paris Agreement does not impose penalties for failure to comply.
Key members of the United States Senate have indicated that the agreement is not legally binding, as these binding agreements (Treaties) must be voted upon by the Senate.
“It’s important, too, to note that “treaty” means different things to different entities. The Senate is required to ratify any agreement that binds — with or without an enforcement mechanism — the United States to financial commitments or actions that it does not already take, under law. If the $200 billion global commitment to developing nations had included specific numbers for the U.S. budget, we would have had to ask the Senate. (In fact, whatever money the United States does allocate will have to go through the Congressional budget process.)” (No, The Paris Climate Agreement Isn’t Binding. Here’s Why That Doesn’t Matter.
by Samantha Page Dec 14, 2015 4:30 pm)
Should the United States sign and ratify the Paris Agreement? Before answering, please consider reading: (LEGAL OPTIONS FOR U.S. ACCEPTANCE OF A NEW CLIMATE CHANGE AGREEMENT) By Daniel Bodansky, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, May 2015