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CEI Releases New Report on Serious Economic and Legal Consequences of Remaining in Paris Climate Agreement

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Today the Competitive Enterprise Institute released “The Legal and Economic Case Against the Paris Climate Treaty,” a new report outlining why President Donald Trump should withdraw the United States from the agreement.

According to the report’s authors, CEI’s Chris Horner and Marlo Lewis, the Paris Climate Agreement is a costly and ineffectual solution to the alleged climate crisis, and quite plainly, a treaty. Worse, the Agreement’s mid-century emission reduction target can’t be met without putting energy-poor countries on an energy diet.

“Failure to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty would entrench a constitutionally damaging precedent, set President Trump’s domestic and foreign policies in conflict, and ensure many years of diplomatic blowback, imperiling America’s capacity for self-government,” said CEI senior fellow Marlo Lewis. “The agreement makes our country beholden to the demands of foreign leaders, U.N. bureaucrats, and international pressure groups, disallowing American consumers from determining our own energy needs and wants—including at what price.”

According to the report, in addition to being detrimental to America’s political and economic interests, the Paris Climate Treaty pursues an anti-energy agenda throughout the developing world that is both unjust and dangerous. The agreement, producing no detectable climate benefits, diverts trillions of dollars from productive investments that would enhance global welfare to feeding political ambitions.

New arguments from the U.S. State Department to remain in the Paris Climate Treaty are misguided, contrary to the language in the Paris Climate Agreement, and ignore serious legal consequences, says author CEI Senior Fellow Chris Horner. Horner responds to these arguments:   

“The argument that we can simply renegotiate the Paris Climate Treaty is false; that’s not an option under the deal. The agreement’s language in Article 4 is clear and deliberate. According to this treaty, any revision must be more stringent—we cannot revise downward, and we are required to make it worse, every five years, forever. This is a truly terrible deal for U.S. consumers and the economy.

The Paris treaty is "politically binding," like prior climate treaties, but carries huge potential legal consequences, and the State Department is misleading the White House by ignoring these risks. If President Trump stays in this treaty and follows through in his energy agenda, every climate-activist state attorney general, environmental group, and the entire climate industry will surely litigate on the basis of the Paris treaty.” 

“The least we can do is give the U.S. Senate a vote. Other countries which signed this pact, submitted it for a vote: Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and even France's Senate and the European Parliament got a vote. Surely, the United States is as democratic as these other countries... or are we?"

To read the executive summary of “The Legal and Economic Case Against the Paris Climate Treaty,” please click here.

To read the paper in its entirety, please click here.

For further questions or media requests, please contact Kate Brown at 202-213-7051 or kate.brown@cei.org.