California Gov. Jerry Brown has hailed a new global climate change agreement, signed by nearly 200 countries at a United Nations conference in Paris late last week.
“This is a historic turning point in the quest to combat one of the biggest threats facing humanity,” said Brown, in a statement released by his office on Saturday. “Activists, businesses and sub-national leaders now need to redouble their efforts and push for increasingly aggressive action.”
The deal, which is to be signed formally next April, calls on the world “to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 ̊C above pre-industrial levels by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes” per year, and to balance new emissions with sequestration by trees and oceans sometime between 2050 and 2100. Each nation will determine its own contribution to the effort; there is no actual provision in the agreement to make it enforceable.
The deal was specifically crafted to avoid the U.S. constitutional requirement that treaties be ratified by the U.S. Senate. Prior to the Paris climate talks, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wrote to President Barack Obama specifically warning him that “any agreement arising from Paris 2015 must be submitted to the United States Senate.”
Among other provisions, the deal calls for industrialized countries to pay $100 billion per year to developing nations to deal with the effects of climate change. “In the coming decades the world will have to say goodbye to coal, oil and gas,” crowed Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Brown had attended the Paris conference after delaying his journey slightly to make a visit to San Bernardino in the wake of the terror attacks.