Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday the climate agreement reached this week in Paris did not contain any enforcement provisions because Congress would not have approved them.
"It doesn't have mandatory targets for reduction and it doesn't have an enforcement, compliance mechanism," Kerry said during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."
Kerry said such mechanisms were not included because Congress would have refused to greenlight the deal.
Binding legal requirements would have made the Paris agreement a treaty, requiring approval from two-thirds of the Senate. Because no climate change measure could close to the high bar in the chamber, the Paris deal was written to avoid it.
Kerry also said he hopes the climate agreement will send "a very powerful message to the marketplace" about where they should place their energy investments.
Critics have said the climate deal's lack of enforceable requirements could render it useless given the fact that countries will face no punishment for breaking the agreement.
"There's mandatory reporting," Kerry said. "That reporting will be used by one country to measure against another."
The secretary of state said he thinks the deal will "produce its own form of oversight."