Target: President Obama
Goal: Thank the Obama administration for finding creative and pragmatic ways to reduce global carbon emissions despite congressional obstructionism
The Obama administration has announced that they will use executive action to pursue an international accord to reduce global fossil fuel emissions and combat climate change. The Constitution states that the U.S. cannot enter into any legally binding treaties without the approval of ⅔ of the Senate. Since Republicans in the current Senate will never agree to ratify any legally binding climate treaty, the administration is getting creative to craft a framework that will effectively oblige signatory nations to reduce their carbon without requiring a vote in Congress.
In order to work around the ratification requirement, President Obama’s negotiators have been meeting with diplomats from around the world to hammer out details of a “politically binding” hybrid agreement that would build on goals laid out in existing agreements without the need for a new approval-dependent treaty. The agreement would be signed at the United Nations summit meeting in Paris in 2015.
Officials from the U.S. as well as other major emitters recognize the importance of avoiding a repeat of the failed Kyoto Protocol, which the Senate refused to ratify back in 1997. According to Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for climate change to the United Nations,“there’s a strong understanding of the difficulties of the U.S. situation, and a willingness to work with the U.S. to get out of this impasse. There is an implicit understanding that this not require ratification by the Senate.”
This bold move is a continuation of the Obama administration’s domestic climate agenda, which has also harnessed executive authority to enact pragmatic carbon-reducing measures here in the U.S. that don’t require congressional approval. Thank President Obama for continuing to work toward a just and sustainable future, even in the face of such single-minded opposition.
Dear President Obama,
The future habitability of our planet is dependent on our ability as a species to come together and change our fossil fuel consumption habits en masse. Such a radical shift is inconceivable without the participation and cooperation of every major carbon emitting nation in the world. It is a moral and economic imperative that we act now to curb global carbon emissions and mitigate the damage that has already been done.
Since the U.S. has historically been the largest emitter, it is our responsibility to lead this movement. Thank you for being the leader the world needs, and for taking the first steps toward a new sustainable future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jackl via Wikimedia Commons