This commentary originally appeared in The Hill on April 18, 2016.
This Earth Day, President Obama will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions and funnel aid to developing nations. Amid the pageantry and celebration, a crucial fact will be downplayed: Obama’s signature is good for a maximum of nine months.
President Obama is signing the Paris Accord, but The United States is not. To bind the country, the Agreement must be ratified as a treaty by two thirds of the Senate.
The Administration argues that the Accord is not a treaty but rather an executive agreement between President Obama and other nations. Even so, the President cannot bind the country with an executive agreement; he can only bind his administration.
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