Six Reasons We Will Always Have the Paris Agreement

June 3, 2017

In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the thawing of frozen organic material stored in the tundra soils release huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. USFWS/STEVE CHASE
President Trump announced recently to a baffled world that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Or in his own inimitable words, “we are leaving, . . . we will renegotiate a better deal . . . #AmericaFirst.”  

The reactions from other world leaders were fast and furious, with the strongest words coming from the newly elected president of France, Emmanuel Macron. He made it quite clear there would be no renegotiations, that Paris would step up to the leadership challenge to #MakethePlanetGreatAgain, as he tweeted.

Two major international legally binding treaties were negotiated on my watch while I was secretary-general of Parliamentarians for Global Action, a network of legislators: the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Arms Trade Treaty, both of which our organization worked on intensively. Such legally binding agreements and treaties are like the Bates Hotel, you can check out but you can’t leave.  Paris Agreement rules will continue to apply to rest of the world and to major sectors of the US that trade with the world.