United Nations Framework Convention of the Climate Change (UNFCCC)
On 2016 Earth Day (4/22/2016) heads of states in UN pledged their commitment to fight the global warming. So, how effective will be the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Changed and will the countries committed follow through?
I suppose aside from the photo opportunity, and ear to ear smiles at the photo shoots of the heads of countries at the UN on Earth Day 2016, on paper 196 countries pledged their support for the United Nations Framework Convention of the Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris therefore, committing to make changes in the way their respective governments will act. The Paris agreement was approved on December 12, 2015, but almost within 48 hours the majority Republican held government in the U.S. has shown its position by passing measures to the opposite direction of the UNFCCC. GOP has also made it clear that UNFCCC is not binding in the U.S. Although U.S. is considered one of the major contributors to global pollution, it would be a shame for our nation and for our law makers not to put into place regulations contemplated by UNFCCC.
This is our election year, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has indicated that he does not believe in global warming and manmade global warming; “Unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change,” on 9/21/15; Trump told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt. I am not sure what Mr. Trump needs, and by the way I am a Republican, but it seems to me if 196 countries to the UNFCCC agreed in Paris that we have a problem that needs fixing, we should support the accord not only on paper but also in our actions as a responsible nation. In December of 2015; President Obama pledged in Paris that U.S. will do its part as a leader in the world, since then special interest groups and lobbyist in Washington have been working around the clock to undermine the President’s position. I think we should do what we say we are going to do if we want other nations to start believing what we say. Let’s face it folks, our reputation in the world is not that stellar these days. We sign it, then it only follows that we have to do what we commit to. President Obama has indicated that he will veto any effort by the GOP to undermine the UNFCCC.
We are not short of Federal Regulatory Authorities. Just to name a few here; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) www.epa.gov; U.S. Department of the Interior, https://www.doi.gov/ ; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, https://www.usace.army.mil/; Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq; National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), https://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/; US Department of Justice (DOJ), https://www.justice.gov/. We are also not short of Federal Environmental Laws, and to just name a few we have: The Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Comprehensive and Liability Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Oil Pollution Act, and many more! So what gives here? All we have to do is to make sure we act as we promulgate laws, and not let our lobbyist do an end run around them, as they have been doing time and again.