Letter: Another view of the Paris Agreement withdrawal
We must respectfully disagree with Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard’s assessment of the Paris Agreement that was published in the June 13 edition of Current. The U.S. has been a leader and will continue to be in protecting the environment.
I disagree with his assessment that “Republicans will understand that protecting the environment goes beyond carbon emissions.” Republicans frequently are branded with being anti-environment when the opposite is true. For example, the EPA was established during the Nixon administration by executive order. Republicans look for solutions that strike a balance on issues and also encourage entrepreneurial creativity to effectively solve problems rather than costly and ineffective government solutions.
China is the largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for almost 30 percent. The United States is 14.3 percent, and we are aggressively reducing the emissions, including those from coal through innovations from our industries. The Paris Agreement permits Russia to increase its emissions approximately 50 percent while China and India have no meaningful cap on emissions until 2030. I suspect that by 2030 China’s contribution of emissions will significantly continue to rise while the U.S. will continue to drop without the constraints imposed by the agreement.
Supporters of the agreement present it as focused on the impacts of climate change. However, it effectively increases the control of government over the energy sector and other industries, making the U.S. less competitive in the international marketplace.
Finally, the agreement by its own calculations produces no significant impact on global temperatures. Based on the EPA’s own models, if the U.S. eliminated all of its carbon emissions, global temperatures would only decrease by less than 0.2 of a degree Celsius.
Withdrawal from the commitment will have little to no effect on our nation’s commitment and progress toward protecting the environment. We see it as a rejection of a bad deal that severely and carelessly impacts our economy while allowing other countries to effectively do nothing for more than a decade.
Greg and Kelly Brown, Carmel