US Withdrawal from Paris Accord may be Ideologically Meaningful, but Practically Meaningless

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  • Outline of Paris Climate Accord (PCA):
    • Much of the PCA is voluntary
    • Unlike the Kyoto Protocol that differentiated between developed and undeveloped nations, the PCA blurs the line and doesn’t discriminate as distinctly
    • Find an agreeable way to measure so called “loss and damage” that results from climate change, but these so called “loss and damage” would not translate into, provide for, or be the basis for any compensation or liability
    • Establish progressively more restrictive binding targets every 5 years for each nation – known as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) – to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
      • Developed countries are expect to establish objectives and drive towards absolute declines in GHG emissions
      • Developing countries are expected to move towards economy-wide objectives
    • International trading of emissions credits would be allowed, which would allow one country to purchase credits from another to meet their NDC
  • Conclusion: Withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Accord is a non-event, in our opinion
    • By making most of the objectives, processes, procedures and methods voluntary and self-selective, at least for the US, the objectives and goals would change with a change in Washington, DC, which makes a global climate agreement almost useless

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