Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #240

The Week That Was: September 10, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Treaty or No Treaty? According to reports, on September 3, U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the Paris Climate Agreement (Treaty) prior to the G-20 economic meeting in Hangzhou, China. It is becoming clear that Mr. Obama has no intention of submitting the agreement for approval by two-thirds of the US Senate to become a Treaty, as required by the US Constitution — Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. As such, the agreement is not a treaty having the force of law in the United States, nor is it even a Congressional-Executive Agreement requiring a simple majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The enforcement of the agreement under international law is a subject for legal scholars and; possibly extensive litigation. As the situation exists now, the future President can simply state that the United States changed its mind. Of course, the avid green groups would be outraged.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #239

The Week That Was: September 3, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Did Obama Sign? What? There were reports speculating that U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Junping would officially sign the Paris Climate Treaty (Agreement) when they met on September 3, ahead of the G-20 economic meeting in Hangzhou, China. As of midnight US Eastern Daylight Time on September 3, noon Hangzhou daylight time on September 4, there were no official reports that such a formal signing had taken place. Several news reports stated that both groups announced ratification of the treaty. However, there may be a language problem. According to the Constitution of the US, the President cannot ratify a treaty, ratification requires approval of two-thirds of the US Senate. In closing hours of the Paris Conference of Parties (COP-21) ending December 12, 2015, the US delegation insisted on changing the document so it would not appear to be a treaty but a non-binding agreement. No doubt, there will be several interpretations of the theater taking place in Hangzhou. It may be another version of theater dating back to the period of the Six Dynasties. See links under After Paris!

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