Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Thrashes Paris Climate Agreement: 'Somewhere Between a Farce and a Fraud'

March 19, 2018

Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Oren Cass described the Paris climate accords as "worthless" in a new video from the think tank's "City Journal" project, calling them "somewhere between a farce and a fraud."

President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement in June, drawing rebukes from former President Barack Obama, Democrats, the media, and countries across the world.

But Cass told John Stossel that Trump was correct to do it.

"[The] Paris accord was somewhere between a farce and a fraud," Cass said.

Cass described the agreement as countries being allowed to send in any commitment they wanted on a piece of paper, which were then stapled together and described as an "amazing" achievement.

"What you find is they either pledge to do exactly what they were already going to do anyway, or pledged even less than that," Cass said.

China, for instance, pledged to reach peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, but the U.S. had already done a study guessing Chinese emissions would peak in 2030 anyway. India, Cass said, made no pledge to curb their emissions but rather to become more "efficient."

Those two countries represent more than a third of the world's population.

The Obama administration, on the other hand, pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

"Even if we zeroed out our emissions tomorrow, the future of climate change is still a question of what happens in China and India," Cass said.

Responding to Obama's comment that Trump had joined nations that "reject the future," Cass said the U.S. should be proud to reject one that includes "worthless climate agreements that everyone goes to Paris to talk about."

"The earth is warming," Stossel said. "Man may well be increasing that, but the solution isn't to waste billions by forcing emissions cuts here, while other countries do nothing while pretending to make cuts. Trump was right to repudiate this phony treaty. Most of us didn't even know how phony it was. But now we do."