Paris Deal Will Be Legally Binding, Hollande Insists
The United States and France seem to have differing views on the expected outcome of the United Nations climate summit in Paris.
On Wednesday, the Financial Times quoted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry commenting that the Paris agreement is “definitively not going to be a treaty,” Reuters reports. French President François Hollande replied that “if the agreement is not legally binding, there won’t be an agreement, because that would mean it would be impossible to verify or control the undertakings that are made.”
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Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius added yesterday that the Paris talks will be more than “hot air,” unlike past U.N. climate negotiations. “The fact that a certain number of dispositions should have a practical effect and be legally binding is obvious, so let’s not confuse things, which is perhaps what Mr. Kerry has done.”
U.S. representatives “have said that certain elements of a Paris agreement may contain some legal obligations, but the emission reduction plans each country submits would not be binding,” Reuters reports. “Fabius acknowledged that the U.S. had to take account of domestic political sensitivities.”