Sensenbrenner: Without Global Participation, Climate Treaty Will ‘Flunk Good Deal Test’

October 6, 2009

Sensenbrenner: Without Global Participation, Climate Treaty Will ‘Flunk Good Deal Test’

Madison, Wis.– U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, issued the following statement in conjunction with his appearance at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Annual Conference:

“India’s government says that the West owes billions of dollars to developing nations to compensate for climate change.  In its submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Indian government argued that this funding should be a legal obligation that ‘cannot be subject to decisions of developed country governments or legislatures.’ 
 
“In its own submission, China argued that developed countries should provide ‘new, additional, adequate, predictable and sustainable’ funding of up to 1 percent of a nation’s gross domestic product, over and above existing foreign aid.  For the U.S., this amounts to as much as $140 billion per year.
 
“In addition to massive financial transfers, developing countries have demanded that developed countries reduce their emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.  Cuts of this magnitude could only be achieved by wrecking developed countries economies, and indeed, the global economy.  By contrast, the Waxman-Markey legislation that narrowly passed the House would have required a 17 percent cut below 2005 levels, and studies found it could cost up to 2.4 million American jobs.   
 
“Developing countries are also leading efforts to gain free access to developed countries Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for clean-energy technologies.  Their proposals include preventing patenting in developing countries, requiring compulsory licensing, and ensuring access to new technologies on non-exclusive royalty-free terms.  All of which ignore the fact that new technologies will only be developed if there are incentives to create them.
 
“Finally, developing countries are unwilling to take on any legally-binding emissions reduction commitments in exchange for their demands.  Business as usual projections show that even if developed countries reduce their emissions to zero, global emissions will be higher in 2050 than they are today because of increases in the developing world. 
 
“My point isn’t to disparage developing countries or the efficiency gains that they have made—I applaud their progress—but their efforts have to be viewed in the context of the above realities.  Developing countries view climate change as a cash cow and it doesn’t matter how much methane that cow spews.
 
“The United States can’t agree to, and the Senate won’t ratify, a treaty that: (1) transfers hundreds of billions of dollars abroad, (2) promises emissions reductions that we can’t possibly meet, (3) destroys American IPR, and (4) seeks no commitments in return.  Nor would such a treaty be environmentally effective.  As I told Chief U.S. Negotiator Todd Stern, an agreement like that ‘flunks the good deal test.’
 
“The convention in Copenhagen can only succeed if developing countries recognize the right of every country to protect its own national interests.  The U.S. cannot be a party to a treaty that will weaken our economy and disadvantage American businesses worldwide.”
 
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