The architecture of the Paris deal, which allows countries to offer emissions cuts and finance based on what each government believes it can deliver, makes comparing commitments difficult. But that freedom to set goals is part of what makes the Paris accord “fair,” said Nigel Purvis, a chief climate negotiator in the Clinton and George W. Bush years. That architecture follows what Democrats and Republicans alike demanded in a 1997 Senate resolution that passed 95-0, which specified that any climate deal the United States joined must treat all parties’ commitments the same legally.
“Not only is it fair, but [it] is what the Bush administration thought was fair,” he said. “It’s been a pillar of U.S. climate policy for 10 years.”