December 10, 2009
In response to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference December 7th through 18th, The Heritage Foundation is launching a video series to cover all the details and aspects of the climate summit. We’ll address all the angles (climate, energy, national security, sovereignty, trade, and more) and provide you with everything you need to know about Copenhagen.
Steven Groves, Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow in Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, discusses what YouTube sensation Lord Monckton made a wildly popular topic: a climate change treaty’s threat to American sovereignty.
There are a number of reasons an international treaty at Copenhagen could threaten U.S. sovereignty:
• 1 out of 192. Multilateral treaties are much more dangerous than bilateral treaties. The United States will be only one of 192 nations at Copenhagen and although most countries are looking for the U.S. and China to take the lead, the U.S. could have much less say regarding the final text.
• Politically binding. In testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Groves warned that “the contemplated post-Kyoto treaty is a serious threat to American sovereignty and other vital U.S. national interests because of its legally binding nature; its intrusive compliance and enforcement mechanisms; and the inability to submit reservations, understandings, or declarations to its terms.”
• Watching the U.S. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was an expensive failure, largely because many of the nations who signed on to the treaty failed to meet their emissions targets because the economic pain was too great. Even if they had met the targets, the environmental benefits would’ve been suspect. But because the United States is largely blamed for “causing the climate catastrophe”, other countries will be watching the U.S like hawks while they themselves fall short of their own emissions targets and other treaty requirements.
You can read the rest of Groves’ paper, “The “Kyoto II” Climate Change Treaty: Implications for American Sovereignty” and the rest of Heritage’s work on Copenhagen here.