By Jeff Judson and Willie Soon, For the Express-News
As a policy analyst and atmospheric scientist, we felt the need to respond to Gilbert Garcia’s recent column attacking U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith’s “anti-science” support for President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, or PCA.
Smith is right to oppose PCA, which has the dubious honor of simultaneously being environmentally worthless for the planet and economically punitive for the United States. In fact, PCA is really more about global wealth redistribution than it is about the climate. The 2016 analysis of PCA by Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center found that even if every single signatory met its nonbinding commitments, global temperatures would be reduced by at most 0.2 degrees Celsius in 2100 relative to the baseline case of no PCA.
Simply put — any impact on the climate produced by this treaty over the next 80 years would be negligible.
Of course, that 0.2 degree reduction is the best-case scenario, possible only if every country meets its pledge. But France, Germany and Sweden are the only countries in Europe pursuing policies to meet their commitments, according to Transport & Environment and Carbon Market Watch. And Germany’s emissions have actually increased over the past two years, thanks to the shortsighted decision to close the country’s nuclear power plants.
The American Geophysical Union is already warning that India, the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, has plans for its coal industry that are incompatible with its treaty pledge, which included no emissions commitment. And China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, does not have to begin reducing its emissions until 2030.
Meanwhile, the United States pledged to cut its carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. That’s right — for the next 13 years, the United States would be competing with a self-imposed handicap while the world’s largest and third-largest emitters would be free to spew carbon dioxide with impunity.