The Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly signed a deal with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) vowing to cooperate on everything from climate change “education” to imposing the highly controversial UN Agenda 2030. The EPA-UNEP agreement, which has gone almost entirely unnoticed until now, bypasses normal constitutional and legislative procedures and facilitates what one leading critic described as the “globalization” of the U.S. Government. And so, even while President Donald Trump has announced that America would withdraw from the UN Paris Agreement on “global warming” and other UN schemes, federal bureaucrats are still dutifully working to implement them. The implications for sovereignty, self-government, and liberty are massive.
The so-called “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU), which was sent to The New American magazine by a high-level source within the environmental movement, is supposed to “consolidate, further develop and intensify” the “cooperation” and “effectiveness” of the EPA and the UN in achieving what the document describes as “their common goals and objectives.” According to the agreement, the “UNEP and the EPA share common goals and objectives.” Those objectives include hampering American energy, subverting U.S. sovereignty, further undermining private-property rights, perpetuating poverty in the Third World, and much more, analysts said after reading the agreement. And under the plan, the EPA purports to have the power to cooperate with other governments and international organizations “to protect the environment globally,” it claimed in the MOU.
Among other goals, the joint EPA-UNEP scheme is aimed at providing a “framework” via which the UN and the EPA can cooperate in the “implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals, and through which they may intensify such cooperation.” As this magazine has documented extensively, the UN's so-called Agenda 2030 is essentially a road-map to global totalitarian, technocratic rule over humanity, as the UN agreement itself also makes clear. Troubling provisions in Agenda 2030, often touted as the “Sustainable Development Goals,” or SDGs, include calls for radically “transforming our world,” as the UN's marketing and PR gurus put it. The plan also demands indoctrination of children worldwide until they “promote” the UN's totalitarian ideology known as “sustainable development.” It mandates national and international wealth redistribution, too. Then-UN boss Ban Ki-moon described the scheme as the global "Declaration of Interdependence."
Property-rights watchdog Tom DeWeese, president of the liberty-minded American Policy Center, told The New American that the UN-EPA agreement is a threat to America. “This MOU is part of the globalization of our own government,” said DeWeese, author of the new book Sustainable: The WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property and Individuals. “It clearly demonstrates the hidden inner workings of our government agencies with United Nations agencies and why it is so dangerous. The EPA is part of a United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) permanent council of government agencies that meet behind closed doors, creating policy and agreements that are not presented to or approved by our elected Congress. This is the standard operating procedure used by the UN and its globalist agents to avoid our Constitution. For them our founding document is just a troublesome nuisance. Even as President Trump walks away from the Paris Climate Accord, with this MOU in place the EPA has still agreed to its basic implementation.”
Under the controversial agreement, the EPA and the UNEP agree to cooperate on a broad range of initiatives. Among the areas where the two vowed to work together is working with governments around the world to implement UN environmental agreements, including through the changing and enforcing of laws and regulations to meet UN demands. The scheme also calls for working together on “education,” including on “climate change.” No doubt the signatories intended to promote the discredited UN-backed hypothesis that human emissions of CO2, which account for a fraction of one percent of all the “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere, were driving catastrophic global warming. Indeed, among the actions to be taken is “responding to climate change” by cooperating on reducing energy use and emissions of CO2, an essential gas exhaled by humans that is known to many scientists as the “gas of life.”
The agreement purports to commit the EPA and the U.S. taxpayers who fund it to help the UNEP and other governments in “Transitioning to a Green Economy.” That specific clause calls on the EPA and the UN to promote UN programs such as the “10-Year Framework of Programs,” a Marxist-style global scheme that aims to use government to make production and consumption “sustainable.” Obviously, the only way to do that is through government control of consumption and production, the very essence of communism. The entire “sustainable development” agenda is totalitarian to the core, calling for government control over every aspect of human life. Indeed, in a 2014 report on the “Green Economy,” the UN claims everyone must “alter their worldview, profoundly and dramatically.” A separate UN report entitled “Working towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy: A United Nations System-wide Perspective” went even further: “Transitioning to a green economy requires a fundamental shift in the way we think and act.”Agenda 2030 makes clear that “no one will be left behind.”
To advance their agenda to transform the economy and all of humanity under the MOU agreement, the UN and the EPA called for a wide array of cooperation, including joint “symposia, seminars, workshops and training; study tours, exchanges and training programs; development of technical and informational materials, including analytical tools; collaborative research and demonstration projects; collaborative development of scientific publications; cooperative research on subjects of mutual interest; information exchange; needs assessments; temporary assignments of personnel from one Participant to another; and other forms of cooperation as may be determined jointly by the Participants.” Of course, U.S. taxpayers, by far the largest contributors to the UN, are largely responsible for footing the bill. An EPA official did not respond to questions asking how much taxpayer funding had been spent on the “non-legally binding” MOU and initiatives linked to it. The UN also refused to say.
The EPA's focal person to oversee the agreement is Acting Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs Jane Nishida, a former World Bank official and an Obama appointee. Nishida was not available when her office was reached by The New American. And Marianne Bailey, the deputy director of the EPA Office of International and Tribal Affairs, did not return a message. On the UNEP side, the point person appears to be Barbara Hendrie, the regional director for the UN Environment North America Office, who has worked for the British government and for the Obama administration's “refugee” schemes. Both of the bureaucrats overseeing the implementation of the UN-EPA memorandum have perfect globalist pedigrees and credentials. Hendrie did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment by press time, but her deputy, Fatou Ndoye, confirmed that the MOU was still in effect and would remain in place for five years from the signing date. “We are not in a position to address the remaining questions — which may be best addressed by the U.S. administration,” Ndoye added, refusing to say on what or even how much public money had been spent.
The two lead bureaucrats are supposed to organize high-level meetings at least once every six months, with their “experts” meeting more frequently than that. It was not immediately clear how the EPA under the Trump administration was dealing with the MOU. But according to the terms of the scheme and an official at the agency, it will remain in force for five years from the date it was signed, with the option to extend it at any point prior to its expiration. The EPA acknowledged receipt of questions, including a question on whether the scheme was still in force under Trump, but the agency did not offer much in the way of answers, referring questions to other bureaucracies. In May, The New American magazine filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents related to the MOU with the EPA. The agency denied the request to have the findings expedited, and so far, it has not responded beyond acknowledging receipt of the request.
An EPA official told The New American that the original MOU was signed in 2011, with an updated version signed five years later by disgraced former EPA boss Gina McCarthy. When asked what authority was being relied upon to implement UN Agenda 2030, the official said that U.S. policy on that scheme, which the mass-murdering regime in China boasted of playing a “crucial role” in developing, was being set by the White House National Security Council and the U.S. Department of State. The EPA “receives policy guidance on such matters” from those two executive agencies, and so questions on Agenda 2030 policy should be referred to them. No more details were provided on the EPA's implementation of the UN scheme, which was never ratified by the Senate as required for all treaties by the U.S. Constitution. But the official did cite a long list of statutes under which the agency claims the power to enter into the MOU with the UN.
Critics said it was time for the Trump administration to quash the MOU and clean up the rest of the mess left by Obama. “Given UNEP’s pedigree and the Obama administration’s unbridled hostility to fossil fuels, President Trump should scrap the UNEP-EPA MOU,” noted Dr. Bonner Cohen, a senior policy analyst with the market-oriented Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), adding that the UN-EPA deal entangles America in some of the “worst schemes ever cooked up by UN bureaucrats” and their cronies. “Trump and [former] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt inherited the MOU from their predecessors and are under no obligation to adhere to its content.... Continued fealty to the Obama-era MOU runs counter to the president’s goal of American global energy dominance, which is anchored to our abundance of oil, natural gas, and coal. The ties that bound the UN and the Obama administration should not be allowed to constrain the choices of everyday Americans.”
Cohen also linked the agreement to the controversial UN “Paris Agreement,” the Obama-backed UN “climate” plan to quash the U.S. economy and build up China's while further eroding liberty and national sovereignty. “The UNEP-EPA memorandum is little more than an implementation tool of the Paris agreement and should suffer the same fate,” Cohen explained, pointing to Trump's announcement of a U.S. withdrawal from the Paris scheme. “Both are part of what is, at its core, a decidedly anti-American agenda.” And indeed, Trump has made that abundantly clear, repeatedly referring to the discredited man-made global-warming hypothesis as a “hoax” designed to handicap America and advance a globalist agenda.
Beyond simply ripping up the MOU, though, Trump and Congress should go much further. For one, the EPA itself is unconstitutional, as the U.S. Constitution does not delegate any authority over the environment to the federal government. Unless the American people decide to amend the U.S. Constitution to give the feds environmental authority, those responsibilities should go back to states and local communities where they belong. Secondly, the U.S. government should withdraw from the UN, which Trump properly described as an enemy to freedom and the United States while on the campaign trail. Legislation in Congress, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (H.R. 193), would accomplish that, and more. Now all that is needed is an outcry among Americans and a push by the president.