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Pompeo: Paris climate accord 'didn't change a thing'

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo knocks Turkey in NATO speech: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates US to temporarily withdraw some embassy personnel in Baghdad: report MORE said the Paris climate agreement that more than 170 countries have committed to has failed to “change a thing” when it comes to global emissions.

“Go look at the countries that are still in the Paris agreement and see what their CO2 emissions were. It’s one thing to sign a document; it’s another thing to actually change your behavior,” Pompeo told reporters Monday.

Asked whether the U.S. remained committed to backing out of the agreement first signed by former President Obama, Pompeo said the country wants “safe drinking water and clean air” but said the agreement did not produce any outcomes outside of making countries “feel good” about being in the international pact.

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“Go look at Chinese carbon emissions since they entered the Paris agreement. They may feel good about being in the deal. Their people may — you may feel good about their people being in the deal, but it didn’t produce — if you’re looking for a change, it didn’t change a thing,” Pompeo said.

While campaigning and upon taking office, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE vowed to pull the U.S. out of the accord when it is first able to leave in November 2020, likening the pact to a raw deal that bound the U.S. to unequal carbon standards.

Democrats and environmentalists have derided the decision, warning it would have significant impacts on global efforts to curb greenhouse gases which are causing climate change.

However, Pompeo on Monday bashed the pact for its inability to enforce emissions controls across the board. The Trump administration has long pointed to China as having an unfair advantage in the agreement. The country produces the largest amount of carbon dioxide emissions.

“Indeed, this was why President Trump withdrew, because it was a document without any enforcement mechanism that was going to cost the American people a fortune for no benefit,” he said.

Pompeo’s comments come a week after House Democrats introduced a bill that seeks to recommit the U.S. to the Paris agreement.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? Progress toward managing rising seas US to exit Paris accord whether Trump or Biden wins MORE (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis, aims to block President Trump from pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. Under the bill, named the Climate Action Now Act, Trump would also have to submit a new plan to Congress outlining how the U.S. will continue to meet the goals established in the Paris agreement.

The bill is expected to be marked up in committee this week.