The disengagement of the United States from the Paris 2015 agreement left a bitter taste in the mouth of all the parties involved.
Much to the chagrin of the preceding Obama administration which was one of the champion of the climate change deals, the Trump administration has done an ‘on the heel U-turn’ and skipped out on the Paris agreement, which committed the U.S. to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
While this is bad news for the environmentalists and the other major players in the Paris agreement, there remains a small matter of positives for the citizens of the United states in that they have a President who keep his campaign promises and that the Paris agreement was in itself a bad deal for the American people.
However, four reasons play an important role in Trump’s withdrawal of the United states from the Paris accord. According to the Daily Signal, these reasons may help increase the competitiveness of the energy industry state-side and would save the US Government a whole lot of tax payers money.
1. The Paris Agreement was costly and ineffective
The Paris Agreement is highly costly and would do close to nil to address climate change.
If carried out, the energy regulations agreed to in Paris by the Obama administration would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, harm American manufacturing, and destroy $2.5 trillion in gross domestic product by the year 2035.
In withdrawing from the agreement, Trump removed a massive barrier to achieving the 3 percent economic growth rates America is accustomed to.
In terms of climate benefits produced by Paris, there are practically none.
2. The agreement wasted taxpayer money.
In climate negotiations leading up to the Paris conference, participants called for a Green Climate Fund that would collect $100 billion per year by 2020.
The goal of this fund would be to subsidize green energy and pay for other climate adaptation and mitigation programs in poorer nations—and to get buy-in (literally) from those poorer nations for the final Paris Agreement.
The Obama administration ended up shipping $1 billion in taxpayer dollars to this fund without authorization from Congress.
Some of the top recipients of these government-funded climate programs have in the past been some of the most corrupt, which means corrupt governments collect the funds, not those who actually need it.
No amount of transparency negotiated in the Paris Agreement is going to change this.
Free enterprise, the rule of law, and private property are the key ingredients for prosperity. These are the principles that actually will help people in developing countries prepare for and cope with a changing climate and natural disasters, whether or not they are caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Withdrawal is a demonstration of leadership.
The media is making a big to-do about the fact that the only countries not participating in the Paris Agreement are Syria and Nicaragua.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a bad deal. Misery loves company, including North Korea and Iran, who are signatories of the deal.
Some have also argued that it is an embarrassment for the U.S. to cede leadership on global warming to countries like China.
Drawing a moral equivalency between the U.S. and China on this issue is absurd because China has serious air quality issues (not from carbon dioxide), and Beijing has repeatedly falsified its coal consumption and air monitoring data, even as it participated in the Paris Agreement.
Thus there should be no environmental comparison between the U.S. and China.
Moreover the US can work with other countries over a multitude of security, economic, and diplomatic reasons of mutual concern. Withdrawal from the agreement will not change that.
4. Withdrawal is good for American energy competitiveness.
Some proponents of the Paris Agreement are saying that withdrawing presents a missed opportunity for energy companies. Others are saying that it doesn’t matter what Trump does because the momentum of green energy is too strong.
Neither argument is a compelling case for remaining in the agreement.
Whether it is conventional fuel companies or renewable ones, the best way for American energy companies to be competitive is to be innovative and competitive in the marketplace, not build their business models around international agreements.
There is nothing about leaving the agreement that prevents Americans from continuing to invest in new energy technologies.
The market for energy is $6 trillion and projected to grow by a third by 2040. Roughly 1.3 billion people do not yet have access to electricity, let alone reliable, affordable energy.
That’s a big market incentive for the private sector to pursue the next energy technology without the aid of taxpayer money.
The U.S. federal government and the international community should stop using other peoples’ money to subsidize energy technologies while regulating affordable, reliable energy sources out of existence.
In summary, the Paris Agreement was an open door for U.S. administrations to regulate and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on international climate programs, just as the Obama administration did without any input from Congress.
Now, that door has thankfully been shut.