A Climate-Centered Foreign Policy for the United States

AuthorFranklin L. Kury
Chapter 13: A Climate-
Centered Foreign Policy
for the United States
The ultimate use of Article 1, Section 27, is as a cornerstone in a cli-
mate-centered foreign policy of the United States.
e principles of the amendment are simple, clear, and universally
appreciable: the right to a healthy environment; public ownership of public
natural resources; a nd the trusteeship obligation of government to conserve
those natural resource s for future generations.
ese principles oer the United States a unique basis to regain its lost
credibility as a reliable world partner on environmental matters.
Regaining t hat condence among other nations requires the president and
Congress to commit fully to these principles. ey can do so by beginning
the process under Article V of the Constitution for enacting Article 1, Sec-
tion 27, as a federal constitutional amendment.
at commitment would be a tangible demonstration of our desire to
restore our credibility and reliability as an environmental leader. It would
alleviate international skepticism th at the United States ca n be counted on to
stick with what it proposes.
Enacting the Environmental R ights Amendment will take, at best, severa l
years. Assum ing passage by Congress in one session, it likely will take severa l
years to be ratied by thir ty-four states, the required three-fourths majority.
But the United States need not wait for ratication to be completed, as long
as the administration and Congress show a strong commitment to starting
the proce ss.
Look at two events of recent years. President George W. Bush refused to
adopt the Kyoto Protocol after the United States led eorts for its creation.
President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord after the Obama
administration played a key role in establishing the agreement.
In short, we cannot preach battling climate change abroad unless we are
doing something signicant about it here at home.
While our credibility a nd reliability are being revitalized, the principles
of Article 1, Section 27, are a sound basis for an aggressive climate-centered

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