Consider it a campaign promise rightly kept. Trump on Thursday announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate-change accords, and if he holds to his decision, he'll do the American people a great service.
Simply put, before any president attempts to bind the United States to an enduring multinational accord, it's his duty to convince the American people — through constitutional processes — that the agreement is in the best interests of the United States.
Barack Obama failed to do this in 2015. Trump is right to reject his actions today.
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First, let's dispense with any notion that climate change is too important to be left to constitutional treaty-making process. If the consequences of climate change will be as catastrophic as alarmists fear, then the constitutional process becomes more important, not less.
The constitutional process creates binding obligations that are based in broad consensus. If two-thirds of senators vote to ratify a treaty, then that effectively means that a supermajority of the American people either agree or acquiesce to the nation's commitment. It provides the basis for national action in response.
It's important to note that effective treaties bind not just the United States but all the signatories. Nonbinding pacts like the Paris Agreement, by contrast, are easily fractured and easily exploited.
By definition, violating "voluntary" arrangements doesn't breach international law, and the result is an international arrangement that will exist precisely as long as any country believes it remains in their best interests — and no longer. It's inherently unstable.