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President Reagan walking with Secretary of State George Shultz outside the oval office, December 4, 1986. Secretary of State Shultz and the State Department played a critical role in the strong U.S. leadership for the Montreal Treaty, with Shultz personally convincing Regan to overrule opponents of a strong treaty in his Cabinet. Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Photograph no. C38208-20.
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U.S. Climate Change Policy in the 1980s

GOP Presidents Recognized Need for U.S. Leadership on Ozone Depletion and Climate Change

Reagan Overruled Cabinet Members Opposed to Montreal Protocol on Ozone Layer

Bush 41's State Department Warned "We Simply Cannot Wait" to Take Action on Climate Change

Stances Are at Odds with 2015 GOP Presidential Candidates

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book #536

Edited by Robert A. Wampler, PhD

December 2, 2015

For more information contact: Robert A. Wampler, 202/994-7000 or wampler@gwu.edu

Related links

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December 3, 2015

Memos show Bush advisers worried about climate change
The Hill
December 3, 2015

Kyoto Redux?
Obama's Challenges at Copenhagen Echo Clinton's at Kyoto
by Robert Wampler
December 18, 2009


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Washington, D.C., December 2, 2015 – Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush actively promoted measures to combat climate change, with Reagan in 1987 overruling objections within his own Cabinet to a major proposed treaty to protect the ozone layer, according to recently declassified records posted today by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org). As world leaders, including President Barack Obama, meet in Paris for the latest round of climate talks, the posting reveals a desire by the two Republican leaders from the 1980s for strong American leadership on climate issues that sometimes resembles the Obama White House view more than that of many of today’s top GOP officials – or presidential candidates.

In connection with the Montreal Protocol (negotiated in 1987 and put into effect in 1989), both Reagan and Bush 41 showed a clear desire to tackle environmental concerns and to lead the global community in that effort, according to the documents. Protests by the Domestic Policy Council, led by Attorney General Edwin Meese, and other agency heads led Reagan to step in to ensure adoption of the final set of U.S. objectives for the treaty. Bush basically shared his predecessor’s views on entering office in January 1989.

Both presidents’ secretaries of state, George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III, played key roles in blocking efforts by other Cabinet secretaries to frustrate implementation of more environmentally friendly policies. For example, memos for senior State Department officials in today’s posting note that “Global climate change is the most far reaching environmental issue of our time” and that notwithstanding the need for continued research, “We simply cannot wait – the costs of inaction will be too high.”

Today’s posting features documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A follow-up posting on the Clinton administration’s climate policies will appear later this month.

U.S. Climate Change Policy in the 1980s

by Robert A. Wampler

Nearly 20 years after UN members met in Japan to adopt the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse emissions that drive global warming, 190 nations are now gathering in Paris to try once more to reach agreement on a new follow-on accord to head off potentially catastrophic global warming. Attending the opening session with 90 other world leaders, President Barack Obama is seeking to erase the memory of the December 2009 Copenhagen climate change conference which saw negotiations collapse after President Obama made a high profile appearance at the conference in hopes of securing a breakthrough in the talks. In hindsight, it now appears that President Obama has been laying the basis for strong U.S. global leadership on climate change heading into the Paris talks. He has done so most notably through issuing new clean-air regulations that mandate tough reductions in greenhouse emissions, and the decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project (which enjoyed some bipartisan support in Congress), stating in connection with the latter that “Approving the project would have undercut our global leadership on climate.”[1]

It is no surprise that Republican Party leaders and presidential candidates have voiced their vehement opposition to these moves. For some time now, it seems that the Republican Party’s skeptical stance or even denial of climate change and the need for steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a core commitment, if not a badge of honor. This was seen when GOP politicians joined with coal and other energy industries to criticize President Obama’s new clean-air regulations and the Keystone decision.[2]This criticism has even extended to Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on climate change that called the fight against global warming a moral imperative, as even Catholic Republican presidential candidates sought ways to distance themselves from the Pope’s position.[3]

This lock-step opposition, however, has not always been the case. Recently declassified documents provide evidence that there was a keen appreciation by the Reagan and Bush I administrations of the need to address global environmental challenges, in particular those related to human-driven degradation of the atmosphere and global warming. Despite its overall ideological adherence to small government and free market economics, the Reagan administration did demonstrate significant U.S. leadership in tackling the risks posed by the production and use of ozone-depleting chemicals. Similarly, the George H. W. Bush administration entered office in 1989 with an eye towards building on this leadership to push for international conferences to address a wide range of environmental problems, including climate change. The Bush I administration would back off from this stance, however, in the face of growing business opposition to strong steps to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, leaving it to the Clinton White House to revitalize U.S. leadership on these issues.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which entered into force on January 1, 1989, stands as the most successful and widely ratified international environmental agreement. The U.S. lead negotiator, Richard Elliot Benedick, authored a comprehensive history of the negotiations that is critical for understanding the underlying scientific issues as well as the complex domestic politics and international diplomacy surrounding the talks.[4] As Benedick discusses, and as the documents posted today illustrate, U.S. leadership was vital to the successful negotiation of a strong ozone treaty with a clear and firm timetable for reducing production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons that degrade atmospheric ozone. This leadership, however, was not unanimously supported within the Reagan administration, and the State Department, working with the Environmental Protection Agency, had to fight back attempts to weaken the agreement.[5]

The U.S. goals for the ozone treaty as it entered the final talks are laid out in Documents 1 and 4 in this compilation. These goals can be summarized as a near-term freeze on emissions of the key ozone-depleting substances, combined with subsequent reductions to near zero, with the interim targets subject to revision based on periodic review incorporating reassessments of the underlying science. The need for continued U.S. leadership to secure an ozone treaty that embodies these goals is discussed in Documents 2, 3 and 6. These latter documents address the battle waged by the State Department within the Domestic Policy Council (DPC), chaired by Attorney General Ed Meese, against a rear-guard effort by Secretary of the Interior Donald Hodel, the office of the Special Trade Representative and the Office of Management and Budget to scale back the commitments made under the proposed treaty, based on questions about the underlying science and the impact on U.S. industry. As the documents show, State was concerned that if a “dysfunctional” DPC resulted in an about-face by the U.S. regarding the goals it had pressed for in the negotiation, it “would damage our international credibility, unleash major domestic criticism, and probably result in unilateral U.S.” controls on ozone-depleting chemicals. The last point was driven by the likelihood that if an international agreement was not reached, the courts would compel EPA to impose unilateral reductions, which would hurt U.S industry. (See Document 5 on this concern.) To head off this possibility, Under Secretary of State John Negroponte successfully urged Secretary of State George P. Shultz to write to Attorney General Meese laying out the serious repercussions from such a reversal. (Document 3; a copy of Shultz’s letter, presenting the points outlined by Negroponte, can be found in Document 6.)

In the end, President Reagan had to intervene and overrule the dissenting Cabinet members to approve the U.S. goals for the treaty.[6] Following the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on September 16, 1987, which largely conformed to U.S. objectives, Reagan submitted the treaty to Congress for ratification, which occurred in April 1988. The draft memorandum from Secretary Shultz to Reagan (Document 7) describes the Montreal Protocol as “an important instrument for the protection of a critical global environmental resource.” Without the treaty, with ozone degradation unchecked, the prospect was for an increase in skin cancer, suppression of human immune responses, reduced crop yields, adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems and “potentially significant climatic changes.”

The George H. W. Bush administration entered office in 1989 with plans to build upon this success. Already in 1988, the U.S. had supported creation within the UN of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to carry out systematic research into the causes of global climate change and to assess potential strategies to address it.[7] As a candidate, Bush had called for an international conference on environmental issues, and new Secretary of State James Baker had strongly supported the work of the IPCC. Documents 8-11 provide insight into how Baker’s State Department viewed the range of global environmental issues facing the world, and the need for continued strong U.S. leadership to address them. The need for determined action on climate change is underscored in these documents. As briefing memoranda stressed, “Global climate change is the most far reaching environmental issue of our time. If the climate change within the range of current predictions actually occurs, the consequences for every nation and every aspect of human activity will be profound.” (Documents 9 and 10) While recognizing the need for continued research, this could not be used as an excuse for delay: “We simply cannot wait – the costs of inaction will be too high.” (Document 8) Furthermore, the U.S. could not hope to persuade other nations to take necessary steps to meet this challenge if it would not do so itself. (Document 9)

As the course of subsequent negotiations demonstrates, addressing climate change is a challenge much more complex than protecting the ozone layer, as proposals to curb greenhouse emissions will affect a much broader range of industries, from energy to manufacturing and transportation. The road towards the current Paris conference began during the Bush I administration when the UN moved forward in establishing the framework for addressing climate change. In December 1990, the UN General Assembly created the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Agreement on Climate Change. The committee drafted the Framework Convention on Climate Change that was signed at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. But in this same period the domestic opponents of strong curbs on greenhouse emissions had grown in number and strength, producing the coalition of Republican political leaders and industrial interests that are so prominent today. The efforts of the Clinton administration to provide renewed global leadership in this changed political environment, leading to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, is the focus of the second EBB in this series, to be posted next week.


Document 1. U.S. Position Paper, UNEP Ozone Layer Protocol Negotiations, Third Session: April 27-30, 1987, Geneva, Switzerland, April 22, 1987.
Source: Department of State FOIA

This document was prepared to guide the U.S. negotiators at the ozone layer protocol negotiations in Geneva – the final round of talks before Montreal. The overall U.S. goals were a near-term freeze on the combined emissions of the most ozone-depleting substances; a long-term scheduled reduction of the emissions of the chemicals with the ultimate goal of eliminating all but limited uses for which there are no substitutes; and periodic review of the protocol provisions based on continued assessments of the underlying science, with an eye to revising the targeted chemicals, the reduction schedule or targets. The U.S. had pressed for these goals in previous talks, taking a leadership role in the face of efforts by other governments, including the European Union, Japan and Russia, to scale back the scope, stringency or timing of the proposed reductions. For the Geneva session, the U.S. goals were to keep the talks focused on developing a protocol based on the U.S. freeze-reduction approach; pressing for as broad a coverage as possible of potentially ozone-depleting chemicals; defining a meaningful initial reduction step beyond the freeze; the need for an agreed longer-term phase-down; and steps to facilitate and encourage participation by less-developed countries, as well as many producer and user countries.

Document 2. Memorandum, John Negroponte (OES) to Acting Secretary of State John C. Whitehead, May 8, 1987, Subject: Ozone Protection Negotiations [with attached cable].
Source: Department of State FOIA

This document illustrates the U.S. push for a successful conclusion to the ozone negotiations, in this case by support and encouragement of UN Environmental Program Executive Director Mostafa Tolba, an Egyptian diplomat whose role Benedick described as essential to the negotiations. At the recently-concluded Geneva talks, Tolba had convened a small group made up only of the heads of delegations, including the US (Benedick), the EC (Britain, Denmark, Belgium and the Commission), Canada, Norway, Russia and Japan to draft a nonbinding “Chairman’s draft” of the key article on controls. This draft called for a freeze on specified CFC’s at 1986 levels within two years of the protocol coming into force; a 20% reduction two years later (1992) and a further reduction of 30% to take place by 1994 or 1996, depending on the criteria. There was general consent the draft was close to what the final protocol would say, and as Benedick later noted, it was close to the U.S. preferred outcome. Following final working level discussions, the formal talks would conclude in September in Montreal with the signing of the protocol. On the home front, however, the State Department continued to face a rear guard action being waged in Washington against the agreement. Interior Secretary Hodel, the Office of the Special Trade Representative, and OMB were calling for a Domestic Policy Council meeting to review yet again the U.S. position. As Negroponte points out, U.S. backsliding on the agreement would entail political costs for the administration, whose support for the agreement had garnered public and political support, while the EPA administrator Lee Thomas supports a firm, quasi-automatic reduction schedule to provide strong incentives to industry to develop substitutes for the targeted chemicals.

Document 3. Memorandum, John Negroponte to Secretary of State George Shultz, May 29, 1987, Subject: Ozone Negotiations: Letter to Attorney General Meese.
Source: Department of State FOIA

The internal debate over the proposal ozone agreement came to a head in the summer of 1987, leading Negroponte to urge Secretary of State Shultz to write to Attorney General Ed Meese (the Chairman of the Domestic Policy Council) expressing his strong support for the established U.S. position in the negotiations, and to propose securing a Presidential decision to close the debate. Negroponte writes that “Many regard this issue as the most important priority on the global environmental agenda,” and highlights the role played by the State Department, and the EPA to bring the other governments to follow the U.S. position, which had been developed through “intensive interagency deliberations” leading up to approval of the U.S. negotiating authority in November 1986. Now, however, some agencies, in particular Interior and OSTP, had raised questions about the scientific basis for the agreement and the effects of the proposed CFC reductions on U.S. industry. Negroponte warns Shultz that “The positions proposed by Interior and OSTP would undo the progress achieved to date and make the Administration appear less serious about protecting the ozone layer” than other countries supporting the protocol. Such an about-face “would damage our international credibility, unleash major domestic criticism, and probably result in unilateral U.S.” controls on ozone-depleting chemicals. By contrast, the U.S. current position is “responsible and pragmatic, prudently addressing the environmental risks, while providing a market stimulus and a reasonable time-frame for industry to develop alternate products.” All in all, Negroponte warns that the DPC process is “dysfunctional” on this matter, and if not addressed, “could cause needless embarrassment to the Administration on an issue which is attracting growing attention from Congress and public interest groups,” a judgment which is shared by the National Security Council.

Document 4. Domestic Policy Council Proposed Guidance for Ozone Protocol Negotiations, June 3, 1987.
Source: Department of State FOIA

Continuing the fight within the DPC to keep negotiations on the ozone treaty on track, this document provides the State Department’s views on guidance to the U.S. negotiators for the next round of talks. The U.S. goal continues to be coverage of all ozone-depleting CFC’s (with halons subject only to a freeze, not subsequent reductions, because of their importance to defense manufacturing). In terms of the control provisions, the U.S. should work within the framework of the aforementioned “Chairman’s draft.” As the guidance on these and other issues makes clear, the basic thrust of the U.S. position is clear: to target all the significant ozone-depleting chemicals within a framework of an initial freeze, with pathways to bring as many countries into the agreement as possible, as well as to subsequent reductions, up to and equaling 95 % of 1986 production levels.

Document 5. Memorandum, David Colson (L/OES) to Ambassador Negroponte, June 4, 1987, Subject: L/OES’s Evaluation of Litigation Risks in Relation to Government Decisions on the Regulation of Ozone-Depleting Substances [with attached memorandum, including Memorandum, Deborah Kennedy (L/OES) to John Negroponte (OES), July 14, 1986, Subject: CFC Litigation].
Source: Department of State FOIA

This document demonstrates one of the key factors driving the U.S. goals in the ozone negotiations: the concern that, absent an agreement, the administration would be legally compelled to impose regulations on the production of ozone-depleting substances unilaterally, which could have a seriously negative impact on U.S. industry and its ability to compete in the world market. The cover memorandum, from David Colson of the legal office of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), to Negroponte, forwards the attached memorandum by Debbie Kennedy of the legal office (whom Benedick says played a critical role in preventing any watering-down of the U.S. position on the eve of the final talks). Based on these legal assessments, Colson tells Negroponte that “it is our best judgment that, in light of the statements on the record that there is a large risk of ozone depletion if CFC use continues at present levels, a decision [by the EPA] to take no action would not be sustained.”

Document 6. Memorandum, Richard E. Benedick (OES) to the Deputy Secretary, June 9, 1987, Subject: Domestic Policy Council Meeting on Protocol to Control Ozone-Depleting Chemicals – 11:00 a.m., Thursday, June 11 [with attached documents].
Source: Department of State FOIA

The State Department’s ongoing struggle within Reagan’s Cabinet with opponents of the proposed ozone protocol is the focus of this memorandum from the chief U.S. negotiator. The DPC meeting on the topic on May 20 had failed to resolve these deep divisions, and, as Negroponte recommended (see Document 3), Secretary Shultz had written to Attorney General Meese on June 1 pressing the urgent need to sustain U.S. support of the ozone agreement (see Shultz letter attached to this document). Now, Benedick recommends that Deputy Secretary Whitehead should push for DPC agreement that the U.S. continue to negotiate for a strong ozone agreement, or failing this, to put the matter before President Reagan as soon as possible for his decision. The attached talking points stress the “risks of loss of international credibility, domestic political backlash, and undesirable unilateral regulation if we fail to continue the . . . successful U.S. leadership role” in the talks. Other attachments include the key points in the Circular 175 memorandum setting down the U.S. negotiating objectives for the ozone talks; a November 28, 1986 memorandum from Negroponte to Acting Secretary Wallis seeking approval of Circular 175; and a May 18, 1987 memorandum for the Domestic Policy Council from the Energy, Natural Resources & Environment Group discussing the key issues surrounding the proposed agreement in detail.

Document 7. Memorandum, Abraham Sofaer and John Negroponte to Secretary of State George Shultz, November 18, 1987, Transmittal to the Senate of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer [with attached documents].
Source: Department of State FOIA

This document marks the successful conclusion of the ozone negotiations, containing Sofaer’s and Negroponte’s recommendation to Secretary Shultz that he send the attached report to President Reagan on the Montreal Protocol, with the proposed message to the Senate seeking its advice and consent to the agreement. The report to the President describes the Montreal Protocol as “an important instrument for the protection of a critical global environmental resource.” Left unchecked, the depletion of stratospheric ozone could result in an increase in skin cancer, suppression of human immune responses, reduced crop yields, adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems and “potentially significant climatic changes.” According to the memo, only a multilateral agreement will effectively limit and reduce the production of ozone-depleting substances, and early U.S. ratification will encourage ratification by other nations, whose participation is essential, and is “consistent with our foreign policy and economic and environmental interests.”

Document 8. Memorandum, Frederick Bernthal (OES) to Richard T. McCormack [Under Secretary-Designate for Economic Affairs], February 9, 1989, Subject: Attached Background Materials.
Source: Department of State FOIA

As this memorandum for the Under Secretary-Designate for Economic Affairs and the attached briefing materials demonstrate, the State Department in the newly-inaugurated George H. W. Bush administration saw climate change as an area where the U.S. could and should continue to provide global leadership, building on the success of the Montreal Protocol negotiations. The materials consist of a briefing paper on environmental, health and natural resources issues, and proposed answers to questions submitted to Secretary of State-Designate Baker by then-Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware). All of the documents stress the new President’s commitment to addressing climate change, noting the President’s call for an international conference on environmental issues during the campaign, and Baker’s strong support for the recently-organized UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose Response Strategies Working Group (RSWG) the U.S. chairs. The crucial leading role the U.S. played in the Montreal Protocol negations will also be required as work begins on developing an international strategy to address climate change, according to the memo. While noting the need for more research on the underlying science, identification of near-term steps to identify new energy sources, and the costs and benefits of proposed international strategies to combat climate change, the State Department warns that this cannot be an excuse for delay: “We simply cannot wait – the costs of inaction will be too high.” The need for action is also underscored in the proposed answers to Senator Biden’s questions about the role the new administration will play in addressing global environmental problems. Reiterating points Secretary Baker made to the RSWG, the world “can probably not afford to wait until all of the uncertainties have been resolved,” and while the scientific work goes forward, “we should focus immediately on prudent steps that are already justified on other grounds,” such as reducing CFC emissions further, greater energy efficiency and reforestation. Global solutions should be “as specific and cost-effective as possible,” and must reconcile the “transcendent requirements for both economic development and a safe environment.”

Document 9. Memorandum, State Department Bureau of Environment, Health and Natural Resources (OES/E), Environmental Issues, February 15, 1989.
Source: Department of State FOIA

This memorandum provides a more detailed and broader assessment of the global environmental issues facing the new Bush administration and the need for strong U.S leadership. Nations such as Britain and France, and even Russia, are pressing for action on these issues, spurred by “a growing awareness that the combination of rapidly growing human populations and their quest for economic development is for the first time threatening to cause irreversible destruction of natural resources and unprecedented changes in the global climate system itself.” The Bush administration now has a chance to set itself apart from the Reagan White House, which, despite the leadership shown in the ozone talks, was overall seen as giving environmental issues a low profile, in line with its ideological adherence to small government and free markets. The challenge will be to develop and implement a domestic policy agenda that will support international efforts to address global environmental issues, for unless “the US is willing to reduce its own emissions, curb its own waste flows and improve the energy efficiency of its own economy, we will not be able to persuade other nations to do so.” Surveying the full agenda of global environmental issues – including acid raid, hazardous wastes, and deforestation – the memo declares “Global climate change is the most far reaching environmental issue of our time. If climate change within the range of current predictions actually occurs, the consequences for every nation and every aspect of human activity will be profound.” As Secretary Baker’s remarks to the UN working group noted earlier warned, the world likely cannot wait until all uncertainties are resolved before taking action, and the U.S. must develop its own domestic strategy for tackling greenhouse gas emissions and then work to develop a global strategy consistent with policies.

Document 10. Memorandum, Frederick Bernthal (OES) to Secretary of State James A. Baker III, February 27, 1989, Subject: Review of Key Foreign Policy Issues: The Environment [with attached policy review papers].
Source: Department of State FOIA

These policy review papers prepared for Secretary Baker summarize the key points found in the environmental policy issues paper discussed above (Document 9). Hitting on all the major points made in the earlier memorandum, the attached Executive Summary and longer issues paper stress yet again the need for U.S. leadership, drawing on America’s unique assets of experience with environmental protection, public and private research capabilities, strong NGO’s, and leadership within the international system in addressing the challenging agenda of global environmental problems. In the discussion of climate change, the same dire language is used regarding the consequences if global warming increases as scientists are predicting. In response, the U.S. must ensure that the issue is “addressed responsibly, within the mainstream of scientific opinion, in a way that recognizes both the complexity of the potential problem and the uncertainties resulting from gaps in our knowledge.” Looking at greenhouse emissions, the brief notes the potential costs to society of a major cutback in the use of fossil fuels, and how uncertainties about possible offsetting dynamics (increase in cloud cover, ocean/atmosphere interactions, etc.) make it hard to justify such costs politically. However, “a number of prudent measures could be taken that we would never regret, whether or not global warming ever occurs, e.g., increasing efficiency in energy use, global reforestation, and phasing out CFC production and use. “To this end, the U.S. must start to consider rational response strategies even as it begins work to increase scientific understanding on global warming.

Document 11. Memorandum, Richard J. Smith (OES) to Secretary of State Baker, May 16, 1989, Subject: Preparations for an International Conference on the Environment.
Source: Department of State FOIA

This memorandum discusses options for fulfilling President Bush’s campaign pledge to host an environmental conference. Bush had said that the agenda for this conference would be clear: “We will talk about global warming. We will talk about acid rain. We will talk about saving our oceans and preventing the loss of tropical forests. And we will act.” After reviewing options drawn up by State and EPA involving both large and small conferences, the OES Coordinating Committee had drafted a proposal calling for a major conference to be held in 1991 focusing on a range of key issues. Attendees would include world governments, international organizations, environmental groups, and industry representatives. In the interim, other more focused conferences targeting each of the key environmental issues would feed into the 1991 conference. Though there was widespread support for this idea, State was concerned it would be difficult to manage such a gathering of disparate groups, making it hard to produce the desired outcome. This caution foreshadows the political opposition to addressing climate change that would grow over the next four years.


[1] On Obama’s new clean air regulations, see Josh Lederman, “Climate change: Obama orders steeper cuts from power plants, Washington Post, August 2, 2015; and Fact Sheet: President Obama to Announce Historic Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants, The White House, August 3, 2015 [available online at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/08/03/fact-sheet-president-obama-announce-historic-carbon-pollution-standards. On the Keystone XL pipeline decision, see “Obama’s bid to save the world,” Edward-Isaac Dovere. Politico, November 6, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/barack-obama-keystone-climate-talks-215608; “How Obama’s Keyston XL rejection adds momentum to the Paris climate talks,” Chris Mooney, Washington Post, November 6, 2015.

[2] On the immediate moves by Republican leaders and industry to criticize both decisions, see Joby Warrick and Steven Mufson, “Foes of clean-air rule plan multiple-front battle, Washington Post, August 3, 2015; and “President Rejects Keystone Pipeline, Invoking Climate,” Coral Davenport, The New York Times, November 6, 2015, A1.

[3] For the GOP candidates’ reactions to the Pope’s message on global warming, see “Pope Francis’ views on climate change put Catholic GOP candidates in a bind,” Washington Post, June 18, 2015. The Pope’s encyclical letter, Laudato Si, released on June 18, 2015, can be found at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html. A good background on Pope Francis’s views on global issues in connection with his address to Congress is “Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress,” by Claire Ribando Seelke, et al, Congressional Research Service, September 8, 2015, available online at http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44184.pdf.

[4] Richard Elliot Benedick, Ozone Diplomacy: New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet, Harvard University Press, Enlarged Edition, 1998.

[5] It is interesting to note that despite the key role played by the State Department in bolstering U.S. leadership in the ozone negotiations, former Secretary of State George Shultz does not mention the negotiations or the agreement in his memoirs. However, he has spoken out forcefully on the need to address the threat posed by global warming; see the edited interview transcript in David Biello, “A Republican Secretary of State Urges Action on Climate Change,” Scientific American, July 24, 2013, available at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/questions-and-answers-with-george-shultz-on-climate-change-and-energy/.

[6] Benedick discusses the internal Cabinet debate and Reagan’s final decision in Chapter 5: Forging the U.S. position, pp. 51-67. In the Shultz interview noted above, he says he had two meetings with President Reagan about the ozone treaty, and they decided the U.S. should back the treaty as an “insurance policy. Rather than go and confront the people who were doubting it and have a big argument with them, we'd say to them: Look, there must be, in the back of your mind, at least a little doubt. You might be wrong, so let's all get together on an insurance policy;” see Biello, op. cit. Shultz points out that the scientists were right, and so the Montreal Protocol was enacted in the “nick of time.”

[7] Benedick, Ozone Diplomacy, p. 321.