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President Trump is likely getting an earful in Paris over his extrication of the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement earlier this year.
But our withdrawal will be meaningless unless he follows up with two important actions before he leaves office.
First, the administration must vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 “Endangerment Finding” from carbon dioxide. Under the 2007 Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA, this finding is required for the Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act. No finding, no policy.
Second, the U.S. must pull out of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This treaty, which was ratified by the Senate, is the document that enables subsequent emissions agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol (not ratified) and the Paris agreement (an executive agreement).
Our withdrawal from the Paris agreement will be meaningless unless Trump follows up with two important actions before he leaves office.
As long as we are a party to the Framework Convention, a new president with different views on climate policy could simply sign us right back into the Paris agreement.