Friday, September 05, 2014
Climate sceptics should be 'crushed and buried' says eco-Fascist Sir Paul Nurse
Once again note a major Warmist statement that fails to mention a single scientific fact. All Warmists have is abuse, as we see again below. They only ever make vague generalizations about "science". We are obviously not supposed to question them. Why? Because they have no answers. Their science is pseudo-science
Politicians who do not believe in climate change should be 'crushed and buried', according to the new president of the British Science Association.
Sir Paul Nurse, who starts his presidency next week, pledged to 'take on' the 'serial offenders' who he accused of cherry picking scientific facts to suit their arguments.
In an extraordinary outburst, Sir Paul accused those who refuse to accept scientific orthodoxy on global warming of 'distorting' the facts.
Sir Paul launched what could be interpreted as a thinly-veiled attack on former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who is widely viewed as a climate sceptic. He also targeted climate sceptic lobby groups such as that run by former Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson.
Mr Paterson, who was sacked by David Cameron in July, has said he believes the negative impact of global warming has been exaggerated - to the exasperation of climate scientists.
Sir Paul, speaking in London yesterday, said: 'Today we have those who mix science up with ideology and politics, where opinion, rhetoric and tradition hold more sway than adherence to evidence and logical argument. 'There have been ministers - recent past ministers - who have paid attention to some parts of science with respect to genetically modified crops and apparently not other parts with respect to climate change.'
Mr Paterson is a fierce supporter of the drive for GM food - a cause which earned him friends in science, but the fury of many consumers.
Sir Paul said: 'Politicians live in a world where the strength of their rhetoric means much more than scientific content.
'They can't play with science - they have to listen to science and scientists.
'But when they are serial offenders - and there are serial offenders - they should be crushed and buried.
'I think if we cannot get politicians and lobbyists to take scientists seriously we need to take them on.
'And I am certainly prepared to do that. I have done in the past.'
Sir Paul, who will expand on his comments during his inaugural address at the British Science Festival in Birmingham next week, has long been an outspoken critic of what he sees as the politicisation of science.
The geneticist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 2001, has previously criticised US politicians for opposing the teaching of natural selection in schools.
'We have to be aware and beware organisations that pretend to talk about science but masquerade as lobby groups,' he said. 'You see that a lot with climate groups, they have been some recent news in the last day or so about the funding of some of these organisations.'
Lord Lawson has refused to name funders of his think tank since it was formed in 2009, explaining that they may be vilified by environmentalists.
On Tuesday the Guardian newspaper publicly outed two 'secret' donors who have supported the foundation. The names were uncovered by the investigative blog Desmog UK.
Neil Record, the founding chairman of a currency management company Record and an confirmed he has given money to the GWPF but said the amount was a “private matter”. Record gave the IEA £36,000 to support a seminar featuring Lawson in November 2009.
Lord Nigel Vinson, a wealthy industrialist and life vice-president of the IEA, has given the GWPF £15,000 according to Charity Commission records.
Sir Paul said yesterday: 'Scientists should think hard about our relationship with politicians. We should not just sit on the sidelines and sneer and criticise all the time. 'We have to work on good relationships so that they feel ashamed to say some of the things they say.'
The scientist also criticised Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate-sceptic think tank. Sir Paul said: 'We have to be aware and beware organisations that pretend to talk about science but masquerade as lobby groups.
'You see that a lot with climate groups, they have been some recent news in the last day or so about the funding of some of these organisations.
'There are lobbying groups in the environmental area who are climate change denialists, and very recently some of their funders have just been revealed.
Lord Lawson – who describes himself as a 'climate realist' has said his think-tank is 'open-minded on the contested science of global warming', but remains 'deeply concerned' about the costs of policies proposed in the quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sir Paul added: 'We need to be aware of those who mix up science, based on evidence and rationality, with politics and ideology, where opinion, rhetoric and tradition hold more sway. We need to be aware of political or ideological lobbyists who do not respect science, cherry picking data or argument, to support their pre-determined positions.'
Mr Paterson, who is to deliver the Global Warming Policy Foundation annual lecture next month, left his cabinet position with a rant at the power of environmental pressure groups.
He said he had grave misgivings about the influence of 'the Green Blob', adding: 'By this I mean the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape.'
Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, accused Sir Paul of using 'the language of extremism'. 'If he can't live with critics and sceptics that is too bad. But there is no need to use this kind of violent and aggressive vocabulary.
'Scepticism used to be a sign of science itself. When scientists cannot cope with that, and instead use this language of extremism, it is a sign of desperation, a sign they are losing the plot.'
Telluride 2014 Review: ‘Merchants of Doubt’
A Warmist reviews a Warmist film below. Note the characteristic failure to mention even one scientific fact. All they have to offer are fanciful comparisons beween skeptics and various discredited people, a pure "ad hominem" argument of no logical force. It's just an extended episode of abuse
A new documentary makes a strong argument comparing climate change deniers to long-since discredited pro-tobacco lobbyists.
A documentary about climate change deniers may seem like it’s preaching to the choir. Wherever you stand on the issue, you’re probably inured to any opposing arguments. That’s part of of the problem, and Merchants of Doubt illustrates how deniers have manipulated the scientific debate, and why the climate change scientists have succumbed to them. A wise man once said “knowing is half the battle.” I think they made a movie about him too. So knowing how this has been perpetrated can be a valuable step in educating the public to see through the lies.
Merchants of Doubt puts climate change denial in strong context, comparing its tactics to the tobacco industry. We all agree it was wrong to say cigarettes were healthy, let alone that they don’t cause cancer. Now that we’ve all learned they were selling something hazardous, we can objectively understand the tactics. Hint: If Morton Downey, Jr. claims he smokes four packs a day and he’s fine, don’t be like Morton Downey, Jr.
Merchants of Doubt shows us that climate change deniers have the same incentives (oil, chemicals, coal, etc.) and tactics for keeping scientists and legislators too tied up in something else to address the real issue. An anti-global warming study claiming 31,000 scientists refuted climate change was audacious enough to list blatantly fake names among the 31K. I mean, did they think no one would check the names? They included Michael J. Fox and Geri Halliwell!
Fake experts earn a very good living as talking heads for cable news debate shows. Marc Morano seems to be the most aggressive, bullying the scientists he debates so that he “wins.” Hey, if a nerd in a suit can’t trade barbs, surely climate change isn’t real. And there is science’s weakness. Scientists, by their own admission in the film, are not media savvy. They may even be anti-social, but we can forgive people who can’t come out of their shell.
The premise is that Morano is the fun one, the party boy who gets all the good college kids to stop all their boring studying. I don’t think yelling is fun though. Morano is proud of himself for putting scientists’ personal e-mail addresses online so his followers can send them threatening, abusive messages. He even admits he’s only trying to make the pro-climate change side miserable. “We’re the negative force,” he says, “trying to stop stuff.” So there you have it: not contributing anything good, just trying to take away other people’s efforts. Now sure, some bad ideas have to be stopped, but Morano is less about ideology than just being a troublemaker.
Director Robert Kenner crafts a compelling presentation for Merchants of Doubt. The graphics, archival footage and energetic speakers are strong on both sides. An effective thread compares climate change denial, pro-tobacco and the fire retardant issue to a magic trick or con. The film manages to uncover some mystery too, although that may have already been uncovered in the Naomi Oreske and Eric Conway book, and Kenner featured those discoveries in the film.
Merchants of Doubt is still a film more about what already happened than what we can do in the future. Again, awareness itself may be the solution. They’re going to keep using these tactics to avoid any issue. Don’t be fooled.
New data backs 'ice age' prediction
Russian scientist argues sun, not man, heats Earth
As the United Nations prepares for its 2014 Climate Summit in New York this month with an agenda to advance a new carbon-emissions regulatory agreement to supersede the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the Russian scientist who correctly predicted the lack of global warming over the past 19 years has gained new scientific support for his belief that Earth is in the beginning of a prolonged ice age.
A new study from Lund University in Sweden, published Aug. 17 in Nature Geoscience, has reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age, the last so-called “global maximum” extending from 20,000 to 10,000 years ago. Analysis of trace elements in ice cores in Greenland and from cave formations in China indicates the growth and melting of a thick ice sheet stretching from the Arctic to northern Germany were related to variations in the sun’s UV radiation output.
“The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change. It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions,” said Raimund Muscheler, lecturer in quaternary geology at Lund University and co-author of the study, in a widely cited interview published by LaboratoryEquipment.com.
The recently published Lund University solar research lends support to the research of Russian scientist Habibullo Abdussamatov, the head of the prestigious Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg. Abdussamatov has compiled scientific data supporting the theory “sun heats earth,” refuting global warming theorists that insist greenhouse gases are the culprit in a phenomenon of anthropogenic global warming
Using data analyzing sunspot activity going back to the 19th century, Abdussamatov argues that total sun irradiance is the primary factor responsible for climate variations on Earth, citing evidence for his theory the earth is about to enter a prolonged cooling phase because sunspot activity has been in a weak “mini-max” in the current Solar Cycle 24 after hitting a “solar minimum” in 2009.
In a scientific paper published in St. Petersburg last November. Abdussamotiv predicted that “after the maximum of solar Cycle-24, from approximately 2014, we can expect the start of the next bicentennial cooling cycle with a little Ice Age in 2055 plus or minus 14 years.” He believes a global freeze “will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Observations of the sun show that as for the increase in temperature, carbon dioxide is ‘not guilty,’” Abdussamatov wrote in 2009, as reported by WND. “As for what lies ahead in the coming decades, it is not catastrophic warming, but a global, and very prolonged temperature drop.”
The comment was drawn from a paper Abdussamatov wrote that was featured on Page 140 of a 2009 report issued by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. It documented more than 700 scientists who disagree over the proposition that global warming is a man-made, or anthropogenic, phenomenon.
As historical support for his theory, Abdussamatov cited the observations in 1893 of the English astronomer Walter Maunder, who came to the conclusion that from 1645 to 1715, sunspots had been generally absent. Maunder found that coincided with the middle and coldest part of the severe temperature dip known as the “Little Ice Age” that stretched from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
Abdussamatov also observed “the most significant solar event in the 20th century was the extraordinarily high level and the prolonged (virtually over the entire century) increase in the energy radiated by the sun,” resulting in the global warming that today climate alarmists believe is a man-made phenomenon.”
“The intense solar energy flow radiated since the beginning of the 1990s is slowly decreasing and, in spite of conventional opinion, there is now an unavoidable advance toward a global decrease, a deep temperature drop comparable to the Maunder minimum.”
Abdussamatov warned that more precise determination of the date of the onset of the upcoming deep temperature drop and the depth of the decrease in the global temperature of the Earth may not be available for another eight years. His assessment awaits measurements of the form and diameter of the sun currently being made from the Russian segment of the International Space Station.
Abdussamatov directs the space station’s Russian-Ukrainian project Astrometria.
“The observed global warming of the climate of the Earth is not caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, but by extraordinarily high solar intensity that extended over virtually the entire past century,” Abdussamatov wrote. “Future decrease in global temperature will occur even if anthropogenic ejection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere rises to record levels.
“Over the past decade, global temperature on the Earth has not increased; global warming has ceased, and already there are signs of the future deep temperature drop.”
Abdussamatov concluded the Earth is no longer threatened by the catastrophic global warming forecast of some scientists since warming passed its peak in 1998-2005.
“The global temperature of the Earth has begun its decrease without limits on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions by industrial developed countries,” he wrote. “Therefore, the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol aimed to rescue the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off at least 150 years.”
As new climate change summit looms, UN environment efforts still a mess, study says
This month, the United Nations will double down at another climate summit on calls for sweeping and costly global action on a wide array of environmental fronts, as part of a drive for “sustainable development” and a comprehensive new global climate control treaty.
But an important U.N. investigative unit is warning that the world organization’s management of environmental programs and treaties is a chaotic mess that has not improved much in years.
Among other things, the U.N. investigators warn of:
Large-scale duplication of effort and unnecessary competition between 28 U.N. organizations and the managers of 21 international treaties that deal with vital environmental issues;
A sense of environmental priorities that focuses on issues “that are often accompanied by mass media attention, such as climate change and green economy,” giving less attention to other important priorities;
The related lack of “a clear division of labor” among U.N. development organizations and a welter of U.N. treaty bodies that slops over into definitions of the boundaries between “environmental protection and sustainable development;”
Huge, uncoordinated overall increases in environmental spending—the inspectors report that as of 2012, U.N. spending on environmental issues was increasing faster than its spending on anti-poverty efforts—that also failed to make a distinction between “normative” and “operational” spending, i.e., between generating mandates to protect the environment and various types of actual activity;
Lack of a “transparent” U.N.-wide framework to track spending “in a manner that would pave the way for more efficient allocation of resources,” not to mention clarifying the distinction between spending on conservation and other actions.
Evidence of what the report calls a “conflict of interest” by project managers of the United Nations Environment Program, the ostensible flagship of U.N. environmental action, in hiring outside evaluators to examine their own projects.
The updated “review of environmental governance in the United Nations system” was published over the summer by a Geneva-based organization known as the Joint Inspection Unit, or JIU, which is charged with examining management issues across the entire sprawling U.N. system, and submitting findings to the U.N.’s top leadership.
It is a return to an examination that JIU made of the same topic in 2008, when the unit found a lot to be concerned about, much of it linked to the U.N.’s tendency since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to link “sustainable development” with environmental preservation, leading to the same kind of organizational confusion that the JIU still finds today.
In its 2008 report, the JIU made a dozen recommendations on how the U.N. needed to refocus itself on separating environmental conservation from “sustainable development” by giving greater authority to the Nairobi-based United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), separately tracking environmental and development spending, and otherwise clarify the expanding and expensive confounding of development and environmental priorities. Almost all of the recommendations were accepted at the time by the U.N.’s top brass.
Since then, however, the number of U.N. global conferences merging the environment and “sustainable development” has only multiplied, culminating in last year’s 20-year anniversary gathering to commemorate the original Earth Summit—and push the “sustainable development” agenda still further.
When it came to the clarification of tasks and assignments—and subsequent elimination of waste and duplication-- that the JIU suggested, not so much has apparently been done.
According to JIU, the 20th anniversary Rio conference in 2012 “agreed to make a few institutional rearrangements,” including an expansion of the mandate of UNEP that would “empower it” to lead efforts to “formulate United Nations system-wide strategies on the environment,” but not a lot else has taken place in the areas of clarification of the roles of the remainder of the organization.
The 97-page JIU update report contains one lengthy paragraph inserted into its executive summary that lauds a number of vaguely worded changes it describes as “significant improvements” made in the wake of its 2008 review. These include “enhancement of the UNEP coordinating mandate on the environment,” and “better coordination and mainstreaming of environmental and environment-related activities in the field.”
UNEP has produced a dizzying tally of some 285 environmental goals that exist across the U.N. system
The paragraph is otherwise laden with dense but vague references to “enhanced synergies and efficiency in the management of the secretariats” of various multilateral environmental treaties on hazardous waste disposal and organic pollutants, and “intensified cluster synergies in thematic and sectorial areas.”
But the main body of the report restates a blunt assessment from the 2008 report that “the current framework of international environmental governance is weakened by institutional fragmentation and specialization,” and adds: “The statement is unfortunately still valid six years later.”
Meantime, UNEP has produced a dizzying tally of some 285 environmental goals that exist across the U.N. system that the inspectors call “the first step towards the identification of common goals and system-wide planning for results in the environmental area.”
The list includes “goals and objectives drawn from existing international treaties and non-legally binding instruments” and includes everything from promises to monitor and coordinate action against forest fires to “substantially increase the global share of renewable energy resources.”
The list, however, is just that: a list—albeit one that gives some indicator of the staggering array of targets and priorities that have been tucked away in a host of international agreements over the years. As the JIU report sardonically notes, additional progress “cannot be achieved without coordinating responsibilities and efforts.”
As for UNEP’s increased role in global management of the environment, the JIU noted that its scientific findings were, at times, questionable.
Different divisions of UNEP “sometimes produce separate scientific assessments outside the [UNEP] Office of the Chief Scientist,” the report notes. That office was founded, according to UNEP’s website, “to help strengthen the interface between global environmental science and policy while making the science base of UNEP’s activities stronger.”
Moreover, those outside assessments are used by project managers to assess their projects supported by UNEP’s Environment Fund, which is described on the UNEP website as “is the main source of funding for UNEP to implement its Program of Work and Medium Term Strategy.”
(Current UNEP budgeting calls for “voluntary” contributions to the Environment Fund of $118 million for 2014, and $134 million in 2015. The U.S. contribution in both years is still apparently undefined; in the past, it has ranged between roughly $6.2 million and $6.6 million.)
In other words, when assessing their own projects, UNEP officials hire their own outsiders to do the job.
The JIU report calls those actions “an issue of conflict of interest, and notes that “despite its competent scientific assessment capability the Office of the Chief Scientist has never been involved in the scientific assessment of those projects.”
Small wonder that the current JIU inspectors acknowledge tepidly that “progress has been made,” in bringing a sense of order and efficiency –as well as objectivity and restraint--to the U.N.’s huge and still-growing menu of environmental ambition, they are much more firm in stating that still, “there is much to be accomplished.”
Tusk likely to upset the EU applecart
Donald Tusk’s nomination as the next president of the European Council is a major game changer for the EU's energy and climate policy. And it is not a good one, writes Andrzej Ancygier
The impact of Tusk’s nomination on one of the most important positions in the EU on the European energy and climate policy depends on three main factors: his standing in the Council, evolution of his perspectives on the renewable energy and climate policy and, last but not least, developments in Poland after he has been replaced by a less marked personality.
Tusk versus the rest
Leading the biggest party in Poland for over a decade and being the longest-serving democratically elected prime minister of this country requires strong personality. In the case of Donald Tusk this feature has been further strengthened by the constant struggles with his main opponent, Jarosław Kaczyński. This attribute may have a big impact on Tusk’s impact on the European policy negotiated in Brussels. As opposed to his predecessor, Tusk is not someone eager to find a compromise. Much more he is ready to put everything at stake to achieve his goals. Poland’s success during the negotiations over the EU budget perspective 2014-2020 and repeated vetoes of the European 2050 renewable energy and climate roadmaps are a result of such an approach. This doesn’t bode well for the future of the European energy and climate policy, especially when the discussion over EU energy climate policy targets for 2030 and global climate negotiations are approaching a decisive phase.
But the decision-making process at the European level is very different than the one at the national level. Whereas in Poland Tusk did not hesitate to take advantage of his prerogatives as the Prime Minister and could easily ignore or deride Kaczyński’s conspiracy theories, in Brussels he will have to deal with much stronger personalities with more rational arguments. Although Tusk is a good speaker, due to his limited language skills he will not be able to take a full advantage of this skill at the European level. But Donald Tusk has an advantage, that few others politicians have: the positive image that Poland – with the exception of its disastrous energy and climate policy – enjoys abroad. As a prime minister of that country for over seven years he has contributed significantly to creating this image. This will allow him to take a stronger position not as a compromise seeker but as an agenda setter – again not really good news for the global climate negotiations.
Although it may be good for the process of the European integration to have a much more visible person at the helm of the European Union, development of renewable energy and more ambitious climate policy will not be on his agenda. Therefore a much more active role of the other countries will be required to push European policy in both areas forward, before the EU becomes the laggard of the global climate negotiations. As the president of the European Council Tusk will probably try to force his idea of the Energy Union – and he should be supported in doing so under the condition that less attention will be given to coal and more to renewables and energy efficiency.
Tusk versus renewables and climate
Donald Tusk’s fierce opposition to climate policy and development of renewable sources of energy has led to Poland’s miserable progress on both. It is however not clear, to what degree this opposition has been caused by domestic factors, i.e. the pressure from the coal industry and the willingness to save Polish state-owned energy companies from the fate of their German counterparts, or whether this opposition resulted from his personal convictions. But independently from the reason, both factors will change. When in Brussels Tusk will not be held hostage to Polish coal miners demanding state support to save unprofitable coal mines. Also the close connections with the Polish energy companies will be cut.
At the same time as President of the European Council Tusk will be approached by a number of different stakeholders: not only lobby groups defending coal and nuclear energy but associations and organizations representing renewable energy sector and fighting for climate protection. This will give Tusk a chance to take a broader look at the developments in the EU and globally. Whether or not he will use this opportunity to broaden his horizons remains to be seen.
Poland without Tusk
After over seven years, in the coming weeks Tusk is going to give up his position as Poland’s longest-serving democratically elected prime minister. Although it has not been the best time for the Poland’s renewable energy and climate policy, it was an era of relative stability in the country which had seen 13 prime ministers between 1989 and 2007. Tusk’s Civic Platform party has undergone a number of upheavals since it was created in 2001 but has been held together by Tusk with a strong hand. But this came at a price: to avoid competition Tusk replaced all opponents, who could one day take over his leading position. As a result, although there are some strong personalities in the party, it will be difficult for any of them, especially Tusk’s potential successor Ewa Kopacz, to keep the party strong and united.
Taking this into consideration it may be clearer, why Tusk’s long-time opponent and leader of the conservative Law and Justice Party (PIS), Jarosław Kaczyński, was among the first who congratulated Tusk on the nomination. Already in the recent surveys Kaczyński’s party was given a small advantage over the Civic Platform. Potentially weakened and even divided Civic Platform will allow Kaczyński to win the next parliamentary elections scheduled for late 2015. This would mean a disaster for Poland and this country’s renewable energy and climate policy: Kaczyński, who until recently took Hungarian PM Viktor Orban as an example to follow, considers climate change to be a fallacy. Also renewables are strongly criticized in his party, especially wind energy. Instead stronger support for lignite and hard coal is the main pillar of the party’s energy policy.
A black day?
Although possibly positive in some other areas, Tusk’s nomination as the next Mr. Europe is a major game changer for the European energy and climate policy. And it is not a good one. At least initially coal and nuclear lobbies in Brussels may hope for a friendlier ear to their arguments and Poland’s opposition to renewable energy and climate policy may become even more decisive after conservative Law and Justice takes over power in Poland. Stronger activity of the other governments will be needed to balance Poland’s tendency to obstruct European energy and climate targets. Otherwise the 30 August 2014 will be remembered as a dark day for the European renewable energy industry, climate protection and thus the fate of the future generations.
Important world leaders to skip big climate meeting
Chinese president Xi Jinping has decided to skip a meeting of world leaders on climate change in New York, according to climate insiders, casting doubt on the summit’s potential to make progress ahead of next year’s major UN climate summit in Paris.
President Xi had been expected to attend the 23 September summit called by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but is now set to send another senior Chinese politician in his place, though Beijing officials are yet to confirm this.
The news will be a blow to summit organisers, coming swiftly after the announcement that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will also miss the meeting. Modi is scheduled to go to New York on 26 September and his decision not to advance his trip by three days to appear at the informal climate summit has created further paralysis among bureaucrats. Most of them do not even know if the environment minister is planning to go instead.
In this situation, the statement issued after the recent New Delhi meeting of environment ministers from BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries assumes added significance. The joint statement stuck to the long-held stand of developing nations.
Since then, there have been reports in India about alleged attempts by industrialised countries to woo Philippines away from the Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) group. Other members of the group include India, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua and Saudi Arabia.
During last year’s UN climate summit in Warsaw, Philippines took a leading position in this group by pressuring industrialised countries to live up to their commitments to mitigate emissions and help poorer nations tackle climate change effects. This position was strengthened because that summit was held in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated large areas in the Philippines.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s informal summit comes as climate negotiations are heating up because a comprehensive global treaty to tackle climate change is expected by the end of 2015. Industrialised countries – led by the US and the European Union – are pressing for all 192 nations to take on legally binding obligations to rein in greenhouse gas emissions. India has so far opposed this strongly.
At a negotiating session of the UN’s climate secretariat this June, on behalf of LMDC the Venezuelan delegation submitted a draft of what the global climate deal should contain, a draft that was promptly opposed by negotiators from many industrialised countries. Indian negotiators now say they are waiting to see the draft being prepared by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat. They want this ready before the next UNFCCC summit – scheduled in Lima this December – so that every government has a year to negotiate before the 2015 deadline.
Leaders of climate NGOs that regularly shadow the UNFCCC summits are apprehensive because they have heard the French government is preparing its own secret draft – the 2015 summit will be held in Paris – just the kind of activity that led to a fiasco at the 2009 summit in Copenhagen. Negotiators from most developing countries are keen to see a public draft months before the deadline.
The UN Secretary General’s informal summit is being held against this backdrop, with the hope that heads of government will provide some much-needed political impulse to the negotiations.
Led by US President Barack Obama, many heads of industrialised nations are expected at the summit. The absence of China and India at the highest level will take some of the sheen off, but they can possibly come back on board if leaders of industrialised countries make serious commitments about what they are going to do to mitigate emissions and help developing nations. An expert group set up by the UN Secretary General has already given recommendations on how to finance a greener economic path for all countries.
The office of the UN Secretary General is bringing business and civil society leaders to meet the heads of state and government at the summit, hoping for announcements of new commitments and practical actions to address climate change. It will be the first time since the Copenhagen summit that a majority of world leaders will get together on the issue. Green NGOs are mobilising to hold street marches in New York and elsewhere to coincide with the summit.
Speaking ahead of the summit, Ban Ki-moon said: “Solutions exist and we are already seeing significant changes in government policies and investments in sustainable ways of living and doing business. The race is on, and now is the time for leaders to step up and steer the world towards a safer future.”
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