Here We Go Again — Latest in Long Line of ‘Historic Climate Pacts’ Now a “First Step”

Wall Street Journal columnist Walter Russell Mead writes, about former Vice President Joe Biden’s vow, if elected, to re-impose the Paris climate treaty on the United States, that Paris was “envisioned as the first step in a globally coordinated campaign to limit the emission of greenhouse gases.” Finally, a first step!

Or rather, Here we go again.

A quick if very abbreviated reminder:

The United Nations writes of itself, “In 1992, its ‘Earth Summit’ produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a first step in addressing the climate change problem.” 

Of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol amending that agreement, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said “The Kyoto Protocol was the first critical step – today we must take further and more far reaching action towards a truly sustainable future for seven billion, rising to over nine billion, people.”

Of the 2009 amendment to UNFCCC agreed in Denmark, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared, “Copenhagen is a first step toward a new world climate order, nothing more but also nothing less”.

There were more such initial forays but, anyway, now Paris represents that first step mankind could, at long last, take.

Evocative of Mr. Biden’s pronouncement that it’s time those high-earners who pay the overwhelming share of individual income taxes finally “put some skin in the game”, his party’s leading voices insist that decades of international climate agreements and costly domestic policies constitute “climate inaction”. Rather than years more of make-believe, let’s recognize what the taxpayer has spent on this agenda, and assess what we have received for the “investment.

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