When President Obama flew to Ottawa, Canada, on Wednesday to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, promoting their climate-change policies was near the top of the agenda. “The Paris Agreement was a turning point for our planet,” the leaders’ joint statement said, referring to the climate pact signed with fanfare in April by nearly 200 nations. “North America has the capacity, resources and the moral imperative to show strong leadership building on the Paris Agreement and promoting its early entry into force.”
Attracting rather less attention than the Ottawa meeting was a June 22 hearing on Capitol Hill. Testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy extolled the Paris Agreement as an “incredible achievement.” But when repeatedly asked, she wouldn’t explain exactly how much this treaty would actually cut global temperatures.
The Paris Agreement will cost a fortune but do little to reduce global warming. In a peer-reviewed article published in Global Policy this year, I looked at the widely hailed major policies that Paris Agreement signatories pledged to undertake and found that they will have a negligible temperature impact. I used the same climate-prediction model that the United Nations uses.