Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trump Adviser Urges President to Stay in Paris Climate Agreement, but Scrap Pledges

Rep. Kevin Cramer argues the U.S. should stay at the global negotiating table, but walk back all its commitments to cut carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, a key energy advisor to Donald Trump, argues the country should stay in the Paris climate accord. (Credit: Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
A letter being circulated on Capitol Hill by a key Congressional ally of Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry argues that the United States should stay in the Paris climate agreement—but on some starkly different terms.

In the letter, Rep. Kevin Cramer, (R-N.D.) said the United States should not flatly renounce the global agreement, but should walk back its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions to something less ambitious. He also said the U.S. should stop aid payments to the UN's main climate action fund altogether.

That would mean abandoning key promises while attempting to retain influence over future climate actions.  It plainly puts the fossil fuel agenda first and relinquishes U.S. leadership toward the treaty's underlying goal of eliminating emissions of carbon dioxide from the use of fossil fuels within a few decades.

President Obama pledged to make a 26 to 28 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to a 2005 baseline.  And in follow-up talks, Obama's negotiators agreed that the cuts would have to be even deeper by mid-century.

"This target would cause irreparable harm to our economy, particularly our manufacturing and energy sectors, and should be rejected," Cramer claimed in the letter.

Instead, Cramer wrote, the president should come up with a new pledge.  "We should showcase the energy security, consumer, and emission benefits produced by the shale revolution," he said, adding the country should emphasize clean coal and nuclear technologies, among other things.  Ultimately, the new pledge should help ensure the future of fossil fuels, he wrote.

The letter overlooks one key part of the Paris agreement, though: not only are countries prohibited from backsliding in their ambition, they are required to ratchet up those ambitions.

Trump Adviser Urges President to Stay in Paris Climate Agreement, but Scrap Pledges

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