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The Legal and Economic Case Against the Paris Climate Treaty

May 3, 2017

The Paris Agreement is a costly and ineffective solution to the alleged climate crisis. Since it is plainly a treaty not withdrawing from it would set a dangerous constitutional precedent.

This study provides eight reasons for President Trump to keep his campaign commitment to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Among them are:

"1. The Paris Climate Agreement is a treaty by virtue of its costs and risks, ambition compared to predecessor climate treaties, dependence on subsequent legislation by Congress, intent to affect state laws, U.S. historic practice with regard to multilateral environmental agreements, and other common-sense criteria.

2. In America’s constitutional system, treaties must obtain the advice and consent of the Senate before the United States may lawfully join them. President Obama deemed the Paris Agreement to not be a treaty in order to evade constitutional review, which the Agreement almost certainly would not have survived.

3. Allowing Obama’s climate coup to stand will set a dangerous precedent that will undermine one of the Constitution’s important checks and balances.

 4. The Agreement endangers America’s capacity for self-government.

5. The United States cannot comply with the Paris Agreement and pursue a pro-growth energy agenda."

Christopher C.
Marlo Lewis, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), where he writes on global warming, energy policy, and other public policy issues.