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Escape & Evade: EPA’s McCarthy refuses to quantify climate impact of Paris climate agreement

Despite repeated questioning by Congressman Lamar Smith, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy refuses to quantify or acknowledge any climate impact resulting from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

CONGRESSMAN LAMAR SMITH: “If the Paris Climate Agreement involving 177 countries was completely implemented, okay, the entire climate agreement completely implemented, you have distinguished scientists including Bjorn Lomborg and twenty-seven other top climate scientists including three Nobel laureates have concluded that the reduction in global warming would only be one-twentieth of a degree Celsius by 2030, one-sixth of a degree Celsius in the next eighty-five years. It sounds to me like if they’re anywhere close to being right, then this Paris Climate Agreement is almost all pain and no gain. Why is that not the case?”

ADMINISTRATOR GINA MCCARTHY: “Well, no sir. The Paris Agreement was an incredible achievement that changed the direction of the world and is going to ultimately allow us–”

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “Do you disagree– Do you think the Paris Climate Agreement will have a greater impact on climate change then I just said and that these twenty-seven scientists said?”

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “I think it sets us on a course to work together on a planetary scale to address the biggest environmental–”

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “Understand. As far as the actual impact on climate change do you disagree with these twenty-seven top climate scientists–”

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “I disagree with the way in which you’re characterizing it, Mr. Chairman. With all due respect, it is a tremendous step in the right direction.”


ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “The numbers you’re talking about–”

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “I know those are wonderful words. I’m talking about quantifying the impact. The impact is one-sixth of a degree over then next 85 years. If every country all 177 countries, implemented–”

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “Sir, there is not a single country that signed that expecting that the 2020 goals would get us where we need to be. It is a step in that direction–”

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “But, you don’t disagree with the conclusion of these scientists as far as the climate agreement goes in Paris, as it stands right now?”

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “The agreement itself was designed as a step forward.”


ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “It was not designed to produce all of the action–”

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “Understand. But, as far as the step forward goes, the step forward was as I described it?”

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “Well sir, you can’t make a marathon without getting across the starting line.”

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “Okay. It’s clear you don’t disagree with their conclusion. You may think it’s a beginning, but you can’t disagree with their conclusion.”

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “I don’t even know what their conclusion– the context of their conclusion. What I do know sir–”

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “Again, it’s reducing global warming one-sixth of a degree Celsius over the next 85 years.”

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “It’s better than we were before and it’s only the first step.”


Hearing: Ensuring Sound Science at EPA
House Science Committee
June 22, 2016