The Obama administration is ramping up its efforts to get the American public behind its goal for a strong global climate change deal in Paris in December.
With weeks to go until negotiators meet to hash out a final international agreement, President Obama worked in recent days to make sure the country knows the importance of United States leadership in getting worldwide buy-in for a strong deal.
Republicans also ratcheted up their efforts to undermine Obama’s participation in the climate talks, arguing that the deal will amount to a treaty that requires — and will not receive — Senate ratification to take effect.
The GOP also wants to show world leaders that the Obama administration’s pledge for the deal — a 26 percent to 28 percent cut in the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared with 2005 — is not possible, and Obama should not be trusted to live up to his promises.
Though the deal is still being negotiated, it’s shaping up to be a collection of individual pledges from countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, steps to increase clean energy production, financing for poor countries and other efforts. Chances are that the deal will not be legally binding, which allows Obama to argue that it is not a treaty that needs Senate ratification.
The stakes are high, both because of the expected effects of climate change and because Obama wants to avoid the mistakes of the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, which ended with no deal.
The White House set the tone for the week Monday with the news that 81 companies, including some big names like Intel Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co., are on board with Obama’s goals for an ambitious, strong, long-lasting agreement in Paris.