If the United States were to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, as President Trump has pledged to do in a few months, that might provide another reason for leaders to think twice about whether they want a spot at a summit meeting to launch negotiations on a post-2020 agreement that the president might withdraw from.
On Monday, the current and former vice presidents discussed the risks that the agreement would face if the United States were to get out.
Addressing the fourth annual Global Climate Action Summit, the only one of its kind that takes place in North America, Joe Biden warned that the emergence of national action to fight climate change, even if driven by top leaders such as the president, would mean the United States would be a laggard in international climate negotiations in Paris.
“The gap that exists between what America is doing and what the world thinks the United States should be doing … will be a substantial step backward,” Mr. Biden said.
One way for the U.S. to keep current commitments was for the Obama administration to launch a national climate change commission and solicit public input, he said.
“We’re not going to be able to carry forward to 2025 and 2030 and all the things we have to do with a commission with all the pushback it would get,” Mr. Biden said.
In response to a question, he added, “You can’t just say you’re going to do something, you have to show you’re going to do something.”