In response to President Trump pulling out of the Paris treaty several states and cities have set up a Climate alliance. They have announced that they would abide by the targets the US set in the Paris climate treaty. States and cities absolutely have the right to set whatever rules and regulations they like within their borders. If they want to set something higher or lower than the Paris treaty they definitely can. This proves more than anything else that you do not need to be part of the Paris treaty to do your part to preserve the environment.
The issue is these states and cities fundamentally misunderstand the Paris agreement. There are only very few countries who are in the treaty for the environment. Most countries in the treaty are in it for the cash or “development funds” promised to them by the treaty. Whenever the climate alliance speaks they only discuss what targets they will hit. They never discuss how they will fill the gap of funding left by the US. In fact they are always silent on this issue. This is of course by design. Even liberals are not keen on sending billions of dollars overseas to make the treaty work. In 2014 alone OECD estimates that 64 billion out of the 100 billion target was met and distributed. If the Climate Alliance is serious they will make an announcement on how much of this they would shoulder.
China and India
The easiest way to see if a country prioritizes action on climate change is to see their commitment to the Paris treaty. The mainstream media has been non-stop in their praise for China and India and how well they have been keeping to their target. It sounds nice at face value but we have to realize one thing. China and India did not commit to reducing emissions. In fact they committed to increasing them. In a treaty to reduce carbon emissions China and India have committed to increasing theirs. All that they have promised is that instead of increasing their emissions by 100 they will increase it by 60 or 70 instead. Remember that no one actually checks the submissions given by the various nations. None of these documents were challenged. If these countries actually cared about the environment wouldn’t they have submitted targets that actually reduced their emissions?
Let us take a look at other countries. After all maybe only China and India are careless about the environment. Pakistan sent in a document with no targets. All they have is how much money they would need. If they cared about the environment we would be able to see some sort of target instead of a demand for money. North Korea and Malaysia have the same structure as China and India where they only reduce the amount they were going to increase by. Of course they are quick to point out that they will reduce this more if they get more funds from developed countries.
I will not go through the countries one by one but they are all the same. It is not about climate change it is about receiving money from the US. Unless the Climate Alliance acknowledges that they will not save the Paris agreement.