Oren Cass explains that the Paris Agreement is pointless, whether America participates or not. This fact isn't based on right-wing antipathy for the environment, but on the details of the agreement itself.

Even before President Trump had completed his announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change, howls of disbelief and outrage went up from proponents of the agreement. But the critical dynamic underlying the 2015 Accord, willfully ignored by its advocates, is that major developing countries offered "commitments" for emissions reduction that only mirrored their economies' existing trajectories. Thus, for instance, China committed to reaching peak emissions by 2030--in line with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's prior analysis. India committed to improving its emissions per unit of GDP--at a rate slower than that metric was already improving. President Obama, meanwhile, pledged America to concrete and aggressive emissions cuts that would require genuine and costly change. ...

The giveaway for the Paris charade is the refusal to set baselines. If nations are to hold one another accountable for progress on greenhouse-gas emissions, surely they must agree on a starting point from which to progress. Yet the framework for Paris pointedly omitted this requirement. Countries could calculate their own baselines however they chose, or provide none at all. Now, per Chait, the pledges have themselves become baselines, and each country receives applause or condemnation in inverse proportion to its seriousness.

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