Plans to Turn ‘Politically Binding’ UN Climate Change Accord Into Federal Law

Barbara Hollingsworth | September 12, 2014 | 2:20pm EDT
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Chris Horner (CEI)

( – Obama administration officials who say they intend to sign a “politically binding” agreement to drastically reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at the United Nations’ (UN) climate change conference in Paris next year already have a legal strategy to turn any non-binding accord into federal law, warns Christopher Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

Horner told that the “name and shame” effort is an alternative to a new climate change treaty already being drafted by the UN that would have to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

“Obama’s statement acknowledges that he cannot get a new climate treaty past China or U.S. voters,” Horner told

But he added that environmental activists are already planning to employ the same collusive sue-and-settle strategy they have used in the past to impose draconian energy restrictions on all Americans even though there’s been no global warming for nearly 18 years.

(Source: Lord Christopher Monckton)

’It’s quite clear under Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution that after the president signs it, any binding international law agreement has to be ratified by the Senate,” Horner explained.

But he noted that “activist green groups, in conjunction with the New York attorney general’s office, have already developed plans to use the federal courts to force Americans to drastically reduce their energy consumption whether or not Obama signs a new climate change treaty in Paris next year” to replace the expired Kyoto Protocol.

Horner predicted the White House strategy in a 2009 paper published by the Federalist Society, in which he wrote: “It appears that Kyoto will be the subject of a controversial effort to sharply revise U.S. environmental treaty practice…. waiving the Constitution’s requirement of Senate ratification by reclassifying the product of talks as a congressional-Executive agreement, not a treaty.” (See Kyoto II ...Emerging Strategy.pdf)

”You can’t just dismiss this if you know what they’re trying to do,” Horner said, pointing to a copy of a court pleading drafted by environmental activists that he received from the New York attorney general’s office under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request two years ago .

The draft lawsuit argues that the federal government should be required to honor its international commitments even if they are not ratified by the Senate.

The strategy was confirmed in June by Yvo De Boer, the UN’s former climate chief. “If the U.S. feels that ‘internationally legally binding’ has little value, and that the real value lies in legally-binding national commitments, then these regulations can be the way for the U.S. to show leadership,” De Boer said.

“We know where this is going,” Horner told “As they intend, it will end up in the courts, not the Senate. The issue would come down to 'How do you implement it?' and that is where stunts like the NY AG's come in. You get a court to turn these gestures into law and/or a friendly administration to roll over and get a court's blessing by settling a ‘sue-and-settle’ case.”

“You can’t trust the courts not to do that, and it will be as good as ratifying” a climate treaty as far as Americans are concerned, added Horner, author of Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed.

The Paris accord will primarily target Western developed nations such as the United States, Horner pointed out. ”The argument is: ‘The atmosphere is a pie, and you’ve already had your slice’.”

“We need another Byrd-Hagel Resolution,” he added, referring to a July 1997 resolution that passed the Senate unanimously. It stated that the United States would not be a signatory to any climate change agreement that did not include developing countries and that would “result in serious harm to the economy of the United States.”

Marlo Lewis, Horner’s colleague at CEI, believes that the strategy will also prevent future presidents and Congresses from rolling back burdensome Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

“Obama will use the climate action plan initiatives as a basis for demanding similar ‘pledges’ from other nations – but also use the hoped-for agreement to lock in his domestic climate agenda. If he pulls it off, future Congresses and the next president won’t be able to overturn EPA regulations, for example, without violating our Framework Convention ‘pledges’ to the ‘international community’,” Lewis predicts.

The UK’s Lord Christopher Monckton, who has attended all the UN climate change conferences, including the one held in Durban, South Africa in 2011, previously told that “the next big moment of danger will be in Paris in December of next year.”

That’s because one of the publicly stated outcomes of the Durban conference was “a decision by Parties to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, and no later than 2015.”

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