In his speech, Trump clearly and articulately spelled out the flaws of the Paris agreement — flaws that apply to Canada as well as the United States. Paris puts the U.S. at a disadvantage to its major trading nations. It requires a redistribution of wealth from the U.S. and Canada to other nations.
While Canada and the U.S. are required to reduce their reliance on coal and other fossil fuels, other nations — China, India and African countries — will be allowed to dramatically increase their use of fossil fuels. The expansion of coal use is already underway. China’s coal-fired capacity is forecast to jump 19 per cent over the next five years while Canada tries to eliminate coal to meet climate targets. Pakistan and South Africa are planning major coal-fired projects. India sits on vast coal reserves that it won’t likely leave in the ground.
The idea that the wealthy nations should curb their fossil-fuel-based growth while developing nations expand theirs is an idea embedded in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The theory has been that since developed nations are “principally responsible” for current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it is incumbent on them to bear a “heavier burden” as developing nations pursue fossil-fuel-based growth.
Even if one accepts the UN science on climate change, the economic fundamentals behind the Kyoto and Paris protocols are flawed, unfair, damaging and — as has been shown since all this started back in Rio in 1992 — politically unworkable on any international scale.
It’s not the science that’s the problem (although the science might also be a problem). It’s the economics and the politics of attempting to shape an international global control regime. Trump got it just right as he outlined the unnecessary burdens to be imposed on America and the West while other nations are allowed to proceed with business as usual. He rightly decried “the massive redistribution of U.S. wealth to other countries.”