The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said last month’s historic international climate change accord will fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeTop Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal Austin, Milley to testify on Afghanistan withdrawal The Pentagon budget is already out of control: Some in Congress want to make it worse MORE (R-Okla.) argued that since the pact’s climate goals are not legally binding, the United States and other countries have no reason to stick to their promises.
The pact “will be no more significant to the United States than was the Kyoto Protocol,” Inhofe wrote Tuesday in the Washington Examiner, comparing it to the 1997 United Nations treaty, which was the first international climate pact, but the United States never signed it due to Senate opposition.
“With casual disregard for legally binding targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol and no resulting sanctions, it is disingenuous to suggest that this year's agreement — contingent on voluntary actions from 196 countries — will be any more successful,” he said.
Inhofe argued further that, for President Obama, the pact is an attempt to beat back domestic criticism of his climate change agenda, which Inhofe said is widely opposed.
Inhofe has called climate change the greatest hoax played on humanity and threw a snowball in the Senate last year to argue against climate policies.
The GOP has for months looked for ways to undermine or stop the Paris agreement, including arguing that it needs Senate ratification and trying to deny funding for the Green Climate Fund, which would erode support for the agreement among poor countries.
But while Inhofe reiterated his position that the pact needs Senate approval before it is binding, he focused more on highlighting how ineffective it will be.
“If President Obama is truly looking for a historic achievement, he would be seeking out Senate involvement instead of attempting to find ways around it,” he said.