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US says Paris Climate Treaty not legally binding

World Climate Summit. Paris 2015

As is usual before a major climate treaty talk, the US begins to hedge and evade. Oh sure, we talk a great game about being squeaky-green with plentiful renewable energy and lowered carbon emissions. But when it comes time to make an international treaty, well, then the US says it’s not really a treaty thus not legally binding or openly sabotages the talks, as happened with Kyoto.

So now we have our usual charade of pretending to be very earnest about preventing climate change while insuring we don’t actually have to do anything about it. This may be done out of obstinacy — we are so marvelously Exceptional we don’t need others telling us what to do — or because the fix is in from the usual corporate suspects and their lobbyists. It’s probably a mixture of both.

[Hollande and Obama emphasized] their personal commitment to reach an “ambitious and durable” treaty to avert the worst effects of global warming, the White House said.

The call came a day after Hollande and France’s foreign minister responded to comments by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said Wednesday that the December agreement in Paris was “definitely not going to be a treaty.”

Kerry also said the text would not set “legally binding reduction targets.”

Hollande is not happy about Kerry’s evasion.

“If the agreement is not legally binding, there won’t be an agreement, because that would mean it would be impossible to verify or control the undertakings that are made,” Hollande said.

And that is precisely what the US wants.

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