On Thursday, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry issued a statement criticizing President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, which, in effect, declared that as mayor she will not be bound by Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits state governments specifically, and metropolitan governments within states by extension, from entering “into any treaty, alliance, or confederation.”
“The United States of America should be a global leader in addressing the dire impact of climate change on our civilization, and it is very disappointing that President Trump does not see that. As a member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, I am committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and working with corporations and citizens to do the same, even if the President is not. There’s too much at stake for cities not to lead on this issue, and Nashville will,” Barry said in the statement.
“In 2016, Mayor Barry formed the Livable Nashville Committee, comprised of leaders from Nashville’s public, private, environmental, academic, and philanthropic sectors, and charged its members with developing a shared vision for protecting and enhancing Nashville’s livability and environmental quality. Draft recommendations, which include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, are available to review,” the statement added.
The Global Covenant of Mayors, to which Mayor Barry has pledged her allegiance, “is an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low emission, resilient society,” according to its website.
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy formally brings together the Compact of Mayors and the European Union’s Covenant of Mayors, the world’s two primary initiatives of cities and local governments to advance their transition to a low emission and climate resilient economy, and to demonstrate their global impact.
The Compact of Mayors was a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and to track their progress transparently. The Compact was launched in September of 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg. The Compact was activated under the leadership of the global city networks — C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) — and with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues.
Created in 2008 to implement the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets, the Covenant of Mayors has firm commitments of over 6800 cities in 58 countries resulting in Action Plans with an investment of over €110 billion.
Like a number of liberal mayors of cities around the United States, mostly Democrats, Barry also signed the “Statement from The Climate Mayors in Response to President Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement,” released on the same day.
The President’s denial of global warming is getting a cold reception from America’s cities.
As 187 US Mayors representing 52 million Americans, we will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy.
We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice. And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.
The world cannot wait — and neither will we.
Two other mayors of Tennessee cities, Madeline Rogero of Knoxville and Andy Berke of Chattanooga, have joined Barry as signators on the “Climate Mayors” statement.
In effect, these “Climate Mayors” declared their own foreign policy, in direct opposition to the duly elected President of the United States, who, unlike them, has the constitutional authority to determine the country’s foreign policy.
Constitutional law experts around the country have stated that such declarations are in direct violation of Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution of the United States.
“The fact that the sun rose again this morning was less predictable than the media-Democrat hysteria over President Trump’s entirely reasonable decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Convention on climate change. The decision was clearly right on the merits: The pact, which would do nothing meaningful to address global temperatures, is an exercise in progressive preening, touted by hypocrites who zip to and from climate confabs in their private jets — the kind of “Do as I say, not as I do” lovers of humanity (but loathers of people) who never take one plane when two are available,” former assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy wrote at National Review on Friday.
President Trump’s decision should have been obvious and indisputable, not momentous. That it was not is a measure of detachment from our constitutional moorings.
The Paris Convention is a treaty. Under the Constitution, a treaty does not become law binding on the United States unless the president submits it to the Senate, obtains two-thirds approval there, and then ratifies the treaty. (Contrary to popular belief, the Senate does not ratify treaties; the president does the ratifying, but only if the Senate has consented.) That never happened to the climate agreement. It never had a chance of happening. . .
The Left’s objective was to impose the Paris agreement without making Democratic office-seekers accountable for it. That is exactly what the Constitution is designed to prevent.
Several Democratic governors also decided to oppose the President’s foreign policy, by forming “The United States Climate Alliance.”
“In response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay R. Inslee today announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change,” they said in a statement released on Thursday:
“The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet. This administration is abdicating its leadership and taking a backseat to other countries in the global fight against climate change,” said Governor Cuomo. “New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions. We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change which is why I am also signing an Executive Order confirming New York’s leadership role in protecting our citizens, our environment, and our planet.”
New York, California, and Washington, representing over one-fifth of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, are committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan.
“The President has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion,” said Governor Brown. “I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy – not for America, not for anybody. If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up.”
“I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inaction in D.C. is met by an equal force of action from the states,” said Governor Inslee. “Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our nation. While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.”
“With input from all participants, the U.S. Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy,” the statement concluded.