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

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Tensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Overnight Defense: Iran tensions swirl as officials prepare to brief Congress | Trump threatens war would be 'end of Iran' | Graham tells Trump to 'stand firm' | Budget talks begin 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.

“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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 CastorHouse climate panel will study drilling ban backed by 2020 Dems Overnight Energy — Presented by Job Creators Network — Ocasio-Cortez knocks O'Rourke's climate plan | Dems in disarray over Paris climate bill | Climate change top issue for Dem voters in poll Dems lack unified plan for pushing Paris climate bill 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.