Expert says Paris climate agreement is “economically and environmentally flawed” as US rejoins accord
President Joe Biden on Wednesday, Jan. 20, signed an executive order
to rejoin the Paris climate agreement. It was one of his first moves as president and it could prove devastating to the economy of the United States.
Nicolas Loris, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, said that the agreement is flawed economically
and environmentally from the beginning.
"It will be very costly for American families and businesses because 80 percent of our energy needs are met [through] carbon-emitting conventional fuels," Loris told The Epoch Times
He warned that regulating carbon emissions and subsidizing alternatives would harm U.S. taxpayers.
The accord, which was signed 2015, tasks signatory countries with putting forward plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It aims to limit the global temperature increase preferably to just 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the United Nations, countries should aim to limit their carbon emissions in order to "achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century."
Loris believes that goal will be hard to reach because the Paris accord has "no teeth" and the developing countries are getting a "free pass" when it comes to their greenhouse gas emissions.
Paris accord will make the economy take a hit
In a 2016 Heritage Foundation report titled "Consequences of Paris Protocol: Devastating Economic Costs, Essentially Zero Environmental Benefits," Loris and other experts analyzed the costs of the economic fallout as well as the impact the Paris climate agreement would have on reducing carbon emissions globally. The report also explored the consequences the U.S. would face if the country is part of the accord.
"We estimate that over a 15-year period, you're talking about an aggregate loss of $20,000 per family of four," he said. "If the cost of energy is increased, Americans not only have to pay more for electricity and at the pump, but they will also have to pay more for groceries, going out to eat, or buying clothes, as it all takes energy to make."
Poor families are going to be hit hard because they spend the highest percentage of their budget on energy costs. But consumers, in general, will shoulder much of the burden because businesses will pass on them the additional expenses if the cost of energy is increased. (Related: Why exiting the Paris Climate Accord helps America's poorest
"It's a very regressive policy, rather than something that should be more proactive and innovation-focused that can lead to economic and environmental well-being," he said, noting that the agreement fails to achieve both.
A similar analysis by The Heartland Institute shows that The Paris climate agreement will cost the U.S.
about 2.7 million jobs by 2025 due to scaling back certain of industries.
If the U.S. continues to be part of the accord, that same analysis revealed that the country would see significant decreases in the production of iron, steel, natural gas in coal by 2030. By 2040, the U.S. would see a loss of 3 trillion dollars’ worth of gross domestic product (GDP) and 6.5 million jobs lost in the industrial sector.
World leaders laud Biden's move
World leaders and Paris climate agreement supporters lauded Biden
for rejoining the accords. Both British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Biden's decision in their respective Twitter accounts.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, on the other hand, said the departure from the accord of the U.S. under Trump has diminished their capacities to change things.
"Now we are dealing with an administration that is conscious of what is at stake and that is very committed to use the voice of the U.S., a voice that is very powerful on the international level," she said.
Biden's move also found domestic support.
"Economic recovery and combating climate change go hand in hand, and President Biden has made these critical issues some of his top priorities upon taking office," said Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, in a statement.
"America's clean energy industries stand ready to invest in U.S. communities and the U.S. workforce as we work together to achieve a more prosperous and lower-carbon future," she stated.
For more on Biden's moves to undo many of the policies enacted by President Donald Trump, follow JoeBiden.news