Dulles, Virginia — Bowing before the politically correct lords of the environmental movement, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared this week that when it comes to the issue of climate change, “America has to lead, and [California is] doing so with or without Washington.” Schwarzenegger was explaining his decision to ratify a two-year environmental alliance between the state of California and the People’s Republic of China under the supervision of the United Nations.
Frustrated with the Bush administration’s reluctance to embrace a global climate treaty that would place caps on greenhouse gas emissions, Schwarzenegger engaged the UN and China by making an end run around the White House and bragging, “California is not waiting for the federal government to take action.” Normally, applause is in order for a governor who protects his constituents from an intrusive federal government in Washington. But that is not what Arnold is doing here. He is flaunting the Constitution and undermining national sovereignty.
Specifically, Schwarzenegger instructed Linda Adams, the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, to sign a “Memorandum of Understanding,” (MOU) between California and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which provides “a framework of cooperation and facilitate[s] collaboration” between California and China on climate change issues. Schwarzenegger pledged to the UNDP that California will support “capacity building in China” — infrastructure, technology, and other resources to help the communist regime reduce its greenhouse gasses.
But while Mr. Schwarzenegger was enlisting the Golden State’s taxpayers in a new environmental welfare program, Yvo de Boer, the UN’s climate czar, was promising Beijing exemptions on carbon emission mandates that are at the heart of a proposed UN climate change treaty. Back at the White House, Mr. Bush was signaling his intent to sign on to a treaty that would cap carbon emissions — as long as China accepted the same standards.
The Constitution reserves to Congress the responsibility to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,” and the power to negotiate and ratify treaties to the President and the Senate respectively. While the China-California Compact is short on specifics, and may not rise to the level of a treaty, it raises many questions.
Why is Mr. Schwarzenegger cutting deals with the repressive Chinese government at a time when the President is being pressured to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics? To what extent is the Golden State governor underwriting the financial obligations of a country that has manipulated its currency against the dollar and with which the United States is running a $256 billion trade deficit?
If this is an agreement between California and China, why does it need the blessing of the United Nations? It’s not hard to see the UN’s interest. According to the Memorandum, “Cost-Sharing Agreements,” agreed to by the parties shall be “in accordance with the applicable UNDP rules,” and the agreements will further “specify contributions to specific UNDP projects in China to be identified by the Parties carried out under this MOU.” The UNDP will receive additional funding by virtue of this agreement and direct how it is spent. The UN Charter states that the organization is to be funded by member governments, which California is not.
Over the years, Mr. Schwarzenegger has entered into similar agreements with Mexico and Brazil. He has urged ratification of the UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty. In a speech before the UN General Assembly last year, he advocated a global treaty on climate change urging countries “to come together in a new international agreement that can be embraced by rich and poor nations alike. California is moving the United States beyond debate and doubt to action.”
This is what the UN wants — to implement its agenda through globalist governors when it is not receiving the attention it craves from the Oval Office — and Arnold is cooperating fully. Because he is constitutionally prohibited from seeking higher office in the U.S., might Schwarzenegger be auditioning for a future lead role at the United Nations — the position of Secretary-General perhaps?
Whatever his motivations, Schwarzenegger is the latest in a series of U.S. pols serving as freelance diplomats. In international affairs, America must present one head of state and a unified voice.
In a previous career, Arnold Schwarzenegger held the title of “Mr. Universe.” Let’s hope he’s not seeking the same title today.