The Paris climate conference is already looking like an expensive waste of time, judging by this report.
The US Senate sent a powerful and unmistakable message to UN climate delegates this week: Don’t expect any US money for Obama’s climate promises.
52 U.S. Senators voted to block an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule this week that would curb carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. Passing the resolution without a veto-proof vote (the President has already promised not to sign it) makes this act of defiance symbolic only. But with the Paris climate summit just a week and a half away, it’s powerful symbolism indeed.
The Senate is sending a clear message to the world’s climate delegates, who are busy prepping for the impending COP21 conference: This legislative body won’t ratify any kind of binding Global Climate Treaty (GCT), so don’t even try.
Secretary of State John Kerry tried to side-step this problem last week when he insisted negotiators wouldn’t be working on a treaty in France, a comment that immediately inspired backlash and spurred the French foreign minister to suggest that Mr. Kerry was probably “confused.”
But let’s clear any confusion up now: The United States won’t sign on to a binding, enforceable GCT. So what else is there for UN delegates to work towards, if such a treaty is off the table?