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Pompeo: Paris Climate Deal ‘Didn’t Change a Thing’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks at the State Department in Washington, D.C., March 13, 2019. (Michael Gross/State Department)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the Paris Climate Agreement signed by the Obama administration “didn’t change a thing” regarding the carbon emissions of the more than 170 other countries that chose to sign it.

“Go look at the countries that are still in the Paris agreement and see what their CO2 emissions were. It’s one thing to sign a document; it’s another thing to actually change your behavior,” Pompeo said. “Go look at Chinese carbon emissions since they entered the Paris agreement. They may feel good about being in the deal. Their people may — you may feel good about their people being in the deal, but it didn’t produce. If you’re looking for a change, it didn’t change a thing.”

The 2015 Paris deal required China to reduce emissions 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Beijing has struggled to stay on track to hit that target since signing the deal, despite President Xi Jinping’s claims that his country is leading the global push to combat climate change. Methane emissions from the country’s coal sector have risen at a steady rate despite government regulations designed to slow them.

President Trump announced in the summer of 2017 that he would pull the U.S. out of the climate pact by November 2020, the soonest the administration is allowed to legally withdraw from the deal. The White House said then that the president hoped to strike a new climate deal that was better for the U.S.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said at the time.

House Democrats proposed a bill last month that would prevent Trump from pulling out of the Paris deal. The Climate Action Now Act would require the administration to propose a plan for keeping the U.S. in accord with the deal’s emission-reduction goals, though it has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate.

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