Byrd–Hagel Resolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Byrd–Hagel Resolution was a United States Senate Resolution passed unanimously with a vote of 95–0 on 25 July 1997, sponsored by Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Robert Byrd (D-WV). The resolution stated that the US should not sign a climate treaty that would 'mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I Parties, unless ...[it]... also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period', or would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States. This effectively prohibited the US from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.[1]

Impact[edit]

Despite the unanimous passage of the Byrd-Hagel resolution, U.N. Ambassador Peter Burleigh signed the Kyoto Protocol on behalf of the Clinton Administration on November 12th 1998.[2] However the Clinton Administration ultimately withheld the treaty from acquiring Senate approval due to potential political backlash and disapproval.[3]

During the Bush administration, Senators Robert Byrd, Jesse Helms, Pat Roberts, and Larry Craig issued a letter to President George W. Bush to identify the President's stance on the Kyoto Protocol and climate change policy.[4] President Bush responded "I oppose the Kyoto Protocol because it exempts 80 percent of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy. The Senate's vote, 95-0, shows that there is a clear consensus that the Kyoto Protocol is an unfair and ineffective means of addressing global climate change concerns."[5]

During the Obama administration, the U.S. pursued climate policies such as the Copenhagen Accord and Paris Agreement in advocating for more comprehensive environmental reform an to allow nations to self determine their own emission based commitments.[6] In a 2014 Time article, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated that "Congress should play an active role in the negotiations—not by blocking the deal, but by sending a new Global Climate Change Observer Group to report on the proceedings in Paris and closely evaluate other countries’ climate plans".[7]

Related Legislation[edit]

H.Res.211 was a U.S. House of Representatives Resolution that was introduced with the support of 102 cosponsors on July 31st 1997.[8] H.Res.211 maintained similar language to the Byrd-Hagel Resolution incurring that the Kyoto Protocol should "(1) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex 1 Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period; or (2) result in serious harm to the U.S. economy."[9] Despite the initial popularity of the resolution it ultimately was referred to the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade where no subsequent action took place. [10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Byrd-Hagel Resolution". National Center for Public Policy Research. Archived from the original on 2016-08-09. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  2. ^ "Statement By The Press Secretary - Kyoto Protocol Signing". clintonwhitehouse4.archives.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  3. ^ "98/11/12 Fact Sheet: U.S. Signs the Kyoto Protocol". 1997-2001.state.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  4. ^ "ParlInfo - GRIEVANCE DEBATE : Environment: Greenhouse Policy". parlinfo.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  5. ^ "Text of a Letter From The President". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  6. ^ Biniaz, Susan. “WHAT HAPPENED TO BYRD-HAGEL? ITS CURIOUS ABSENCE FROM EVALUATIONS OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT.” Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, 2018, pp. 7–9.
  7. ^ "Chuck Hagel: Climate Change Is a National Security Problem". Time. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  8. ^ Knollenberg, Joe (1997-08-21). "All Info - H.Res.211 - 105th Congress (1997-1998): Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the conditions for the United States becoming a signatory to any international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  9. ^ Knollenberg, Joe (1997-08-21). "All Info - H.Res.211 - 105th Congress (1997-1998): Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the conditions for the United States becoming a signatory to any international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  10. ^ Knollenberg, Joe (1997-08-21). "All Info - H.Res.211 - 105th Congress (1997-1998): Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the conditions for the United States becoming a signatory to any international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-23.