NYT: John Kerry getting pretty excited about orchestrating what he’s sure, this time, will be a successful global climate treaty
posted at 8:41 pm on January 6, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
I’m not sure how many examples of the futility of the grandiose worldwide-climate-treaty scheme we need before globalist-minded, big-government bureaucrats will finally wise up to the reality that political interests pitted against economic ones is always unsustainable in the long run, but evidently… at least one more. Via the NYT:
But while the public’s attention has been on his diplomacy in the Middle East, behind the scenes at the State Department Mr. Kerry has initiated a systematic, top-down push to create an agencywide focus on global warming.
His goal is to become the lead broker of a global climate treaty in 2015 that will commit the United States and other nations to historic reductions in fossil fuel pollution.
Whether the secretary of state can have that kind of influence remains an open question, and Mr. Kerry, despite two decades of attention to climate policy, has few concrete accomplishments on the issue. The climate bills he sponsored as a senator failed. At the United Nations climate summit meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, Mr. Kerry, then a senator from Massachusetts, labored behind the scenes to help President Obama broker a treaty that yielded pledges from countries to cut their emissions but failed to produce legally binding commitments. …
Shortly after Mr. Kerry was sworn in last February, he issued a directive that all meetings between senior American diplomats and top foreign officials include a discussion of climate change. He put top climate policy specialists on his State Department personal staff. And he is pursuing smaller climate deals in forums like the Group of 20, the countries that make up the world’s largest economies. …
Not only must he handle difficult negotiations with China — the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases — for the 2015 treaty, but the pact must be ratified by a Senate that has a long record of rejecting climate change legislation. “In all candor, I don’t care where he is, nothing is going to happen in the Senate for a long time,” Mr. McCain said.
No kidding. It’s never been a secret that John Kerry holds the ambition of donning the green mantle of environmentalist knighthood so close to his heart, but it’s still a mystery to me why so many Democrats and their ultra-progressive ilk the world over insist upon wasting everybody’s time and resources pushing for a top-down, one-size-fits-all regulatory agenda that treats environmental quality and economic prosperity as if they are mutually exclusive. The United Nation, et al’s ideas for these magnanimous treaties (the latest fizzled iteration of which just went down last November, although they’re hoping to revive things in time for the big Paris meeting in 2015) only seem to result in a recipe for mutual impoverishment, rather than gunning for the free-market, free-trade growth that is the real driver of efficiencies, innovations, and alternative technologies that can help the world reach cleaner goals.
Incidentally, you can bet that Kerry’s climate-treaty eagerness is a behind-the-scenes factor under consideration in the (dis)approval/delay of the Keystone XL pipeline; as the NYT notes, “approval of the pipeline could blacken Mr. Kerry’s green credentials and hurt his ability to get a broader climate deal” — and does he ever want that climate deal.