Monday, December 12, 2011

Durban climate change conference: last minute talks produce "meaningless" deal

And it is not I who is calling it meaningless. That is what Samantha Smith, of WWF International says. For once I agree with a Warmist. It defers all action for four years and, as Harold Wilson once sagely said: "A week is a long time in politics"

The United Nations (UN) climate change summit in Durban, South Africa looked certain to fail after India threatened to walk out.

The emerging superpower was protesting against EU plans to force all countries to cut carbon emissions as part of a legally binding treaty.

As the talks overran into the second night it looked like exhausted delegates would have to give up and go home empty-handed.

But in a highly unusual form of on-the-hoof diplomacy, the warring female ministers were forced to go into a public ‘huddle’ to find a resolution.

The so called “10 minutes to save the world” resulted in a form of words both parties could live with and relieved applause from the other 190 countries present.

The new deal means that for the first time every county in the world is committed to cutting carbon – although the legal wording remains vague and the treaty will not come into force until 2020.

Charities point out that the "Durban road map" is still too weak to stop temperatures rising above the "danger point" of 2C because it does not set tough targets for emissions cuts or a quick enough timetable.

However Chris Huhne, the UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, who played a key role in the talks, insisted it was a “huge step forward” – especially after the failure of the last high profile UN attempt at a deal in Copenhagen in 2009.

He pointed out that the world’s three biggest polluters – the US, China and India – who account for almost half the world’s emissions are now committed to cutting carbon.

“What we have done today is a great success for European diplomacy. We have managed to put this on the map and take the major emitters – the US, India and China to a road map that will secure an overarching deal.”

In particular the inclusion of the US, that has resisted any previous attempts to be part of a global deal, is a significant move.

Todd Stern, the US climate envoy, said every country made compromises. "This is a very significant package. None of us likes everything in it. Believe me, there is plenty the United States is not thrilled about," he said.

Mate Nkoana-Mashabane, the president of the conference and South Africa’s foreign minister, said the longest UN climate change meeting in history, was a roller coaster. “We have saved planet earth for the future of our children and our great grand children to come. We have made history,” she said.

‘The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action’ is carefully worded to ensure all countries are comfortable with the legal form.

It commits all parties to “a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force” that will be decided in 2015 and come into force in 2020.

In the interim between now and 2020 just Europe and a handful of other rich countries are legally bound to cutting carbon emissions through a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

The deal also includes plans to set up a Green Climate Fund that will channel around £60bn a year towards helping countries adapt to climate change from 2020. The UK has already committed £3.4bn to fighting climate change and will be expected to donate around £1bn a year to the new fund once it is set up.

There are also plans to pay poor countries not chop down trees in order to stop deforestation and plans to look at taxing aviation and shipping.

The commitment to emission cuts sends a clear signal to business to start investing in green technologies like wind turbines.

It means Europe is likely to increase its targets to cut carbon from 20 to 30 per cent by 2020, putting pressure on the UK to increase our own ambitious targets even further.

But Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, who was thrown out of the conference centre for protesting earlier in the week, said the deal was not enough to stop dangerous climate change.

The UN warns that emissions have to peak before 2020 and start coming down to keep temperature rise below 2C.

"The chance of averting catastrophic climate change is slipping through our hands with every passing year that nations fail to agree on a rescue plan for the planet,” he said.

Samantha Smith, of WWF International, said the compromise had watered down the deal to such an extent it became almost meaningless. "They haven't reached a real deal," she said. "They watered things down so everyone could get on board."

Celine Charveriat, Director of Campaigns and Advocacy for Oxfam, said the world is “sleepwalking towards 4C”, where millions of people will be displaced by floods and drought.

“The failure to seal an ambitious deal will have painful consequences for poor people around the world,” she said. “A 4C temperature rise could be one of utter devastation for poor farmers who will face increasing hunger and poverty.”


Durban climate "deal" isolates Australia

Plus more details of what was agreed

DURBAN'S meek outcome doesn't bode well for international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions or the sustainability of Australia's domestic scheme. After 13 days of negotiations, governments agreed to the Durban Platform. But they did not agree to a new international treaty to cut emissions.

The key component of the platform includes all countries negotiating "an agreed outcome with legal force" by 2015 to start cutting emissions by 2020. It's a platform to continue debating the details of an agreement where countries disagree on most of the substantive matters.

The negotiations for other countries to sign an agreement to engage in climate-based economic hardship, as Australia has through its carbon tax, are all uphill from here.

Significantly, Kyoto has been taken out of its casket and been put on critical life support. With Kyoto's emission reduction commitments expiring on December 31 next year, its future will be decided at next year's December meeting guaranteeing a gap.

Kyoto's survival is still in doubt. Canada is likely to withdraw in the next year. Japan and Russia aren't likely to sign up to a new Kyoto emissions reduction round.

Keeping Kyoto alive is a strategic move to use it as a 2012 bargaining chip to pressure developing countries to stay in the negotiating tent. It's their cause celebre because it puts emission cutting obligations on rich countries.

The legal architecture of a $100 billion-a-year Green Climate Fund will also be established to finance climate change adaptation for developing countries. Ultimately, financing the GCF will become the negotiating chip for rich countries to buy off support from poorer ones.

Where the GCF's money is coming from remains unclear. If financing is direct, Australia's contribution is expected to be between $2bn and $3bn a year.

The option to finance the GCF from an international shipping and airline tax that disproportionately hits geographically isolated, trade dependent nations (read Australia) remains.

The division and hostility that exists around negotiating a document to progress negotiations doesn't indicate positive outcomes in future talks.

Structurally, negotiations remain difficult because they are required to be progressed on an equity-based approach where developed countries take on more obligations, and developing countries fewer obligations despite being the major source of emissions growth.

The extent of the wrangling about whether the world negotiates a new treaty probably doesn't make much sense from the outside.

But there are good reasons for division. Any agreement is about cutting global greenhouse emissions levels. But it will also be about if, and how, the world agrees to radically restructure the global economy.

Cutting emissions means countries have to take on higher costs bases. All countries will have to rededicate resources from economic development to the high cost of emissions reduction, slowing growth.

Because most of Australia's emissions profile comes from cheap coal-based electricity, the cost gap to alternatives is high. Europe desperately wants other countries to impose equivalent costs that they've shackled their economy with through the introduction of an emissions trading scheme.

But proportionate to the size of the economy it's less burdensome than for developing countries.

In India, the bulk of their population has never turned on a light switch. Before agreeing to the deal Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan argued India wouldn't "write a blank cheque and sign away the livelihoods and sustainability of 1.2 billion Indians".

Any future treaty can make the difference between whether Indians living in electricity-free shanty towns ever enjoy the modern conveniences we take for granted.

The conference isn't a victory for global emissions reduction. It's a victory of intent. It still leaves Australia and its carbon tax plan well ahead of global action.

The entire economic case for the scheme was built on the premise that other countries would impose equivalent carbon prices, which would have reduced the acute economic pain inflicted on the Australian economy. The Durban Platform does not rectify that.

It means Australia's carbon tax, starting on July 1 next year, will be implemented years before we know whether a successful international agreement can be struck and other countries take action.

As a result, the Durban Platform perpetuates the problems with Australia's carbon pricing scheme. It is politically unsustainable to increase a carbon price without a comprehensive international agreement and a price in other countries.

With no certainty about equivalent action in other countries, the "certainty" the government claims will be provided by the Australian price remains elusive.

The Treasury modelling's carbon tax impact scenario is at odds with reality.

That leaves the Durban Platform as a breath of life for the Gillard government and their carbon price. But it's a long way from the outcome Australians need if they're going to shoulder the world's largest carbon tax.


S. African pro-market activist slams UN's 'Green Climate Fund'

'Government to govt aid is a reward for being better than anyone else at causing poverty' -- 'It enriches the people who cause poverty', says Leon Louw. Leon is basically a libertarian

South African development activist Leon Louw declared the UN's “Green Climate Fund” nothing more than an attempt by wealthy nations to keep the poor nations from developing.

In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot at the Durban UN climate summit, Louw declared foreign aid or “government to government aid” is simply a way for rich countries to reward poor countries who are “best at causing poverty.” Louw is the Executive Director of South Africa's Free Market Institute which is considered the “3rd ranked most influential think-tank in Africa.”

“What the government of rich countries are saying to poor countries is: 'Those of you who are best at causing poverty, we will enrich you, we will give you money,'” Louw told Climate Depot while attending the UN climate summit.

“Government to government aid is a reward for being better than anyone else at causing poverty. Countries that get more government to government aide have lower economic growth rates. Countries with less aid, have higher growth rates. If you subsidize failure you get failure and foreign aid does exactly that. It rewards people for being unsuccessful,” Louw stated.

The Associated Press described the UN climate fund as a method to “distribute tens of billions of dollars a year to poor countries to help them adapt to changing climate conditions and to move toward low-carbon economic growth.”

But Louw, says the UN climate fund will wreak havoc on the developing world's poor. Louw explained: “The money goes to government and governments spend it on of course on themselves, meaning various government projects, creating bigger departments -- bigger bureaucracies, it's called big bureaucratic capture. They build empires, they build conference centers, and they buy political support. They go and distribute the money to communities where they want support and votes.”

Louw was at the Durban summit to oppose the UN climate fund to poor nations. According to Louw, the entire UN foreign aid process is aimed at keeping the developing world's poor – poor.

“The money goes to the people who then are better at causing poverty. They can hire more bureaucrats, pass more laws have more regulations. If you are good at causing poverty, we will give you more money to do what you do more of, which is to cause poverty. So they enrich the people who cause poverty, they compliment them on how good they are at causing poverty,” Louw said.

Louw said the entire premise for the UN's climate fund is an admission that their goal is to keep poor nations poor.

The UN is admitting -- this is implicit in the fund -- that combating climate change is very costly, especially for poor people, its devastating for poor countries. What the UN is saying is: 'We want you to indulge our opinion of climate change and if you do so it's going to cause a great deal of poverty and unemployment in poor counties.' You cannot, as a poor country, subscribe to the Kyoto Protocol and grow. The two are mutually exclusive,” Louw explained

Louw continued: “So What the rich counties say is 'don't worry, we will reward you for again causing poverty, if you adopt our climate policies that will cause poverty.' That is why there is a UN fund, in other words, they admit it. So having environmental policies causes poverty and they say 'we will enrich you for doing so, we will reward you for causing poverty.'”

“The UN is saying to poor countries: 'Those of you who adopt more anti-prosperity, anti- jobs, and anti-growth policies, under the pretense of environmentalism, we will enrich you. It doesn't matter -- as long as you cause poverty -- we will enrich you.'”

Louw asserts that the developing world does not need the wealthy Western world to achieve riches.

“Poor countries can become rich very quickly, like China, India, and in Africa, Ghana. Ghana, which has moved more than any other country in the world from being un-free to a free economy, is having 12 percent growth. It's now one of the highest growth counties in the world.

"Africa itself, Sub-Saharan, what used to be called black Africa, is now the highest sustained growth region of the world. The highest growth country in the world over the last 30 years is Batswana. So they don't need the rich countries to help them. All they need is for the rich counties to leave them alone.”

Louw says that if left alone, the developing world can gain wealth and freedom.

“They can actually overtake the rich countries like Hong Kong did. They become richer than the rich countries. China and India are headed that way. So now what the rich counties do is a kind of eco-imperialism. The rich nations say to the poor nations: 'Now you have to stop growth, you have got to stay poor. If you -- the government -- manage to keep your country poor, undeveloped and backward, we will then compensate you.' It is not a compensation for what the rich countries have done, it's a compensation for the ability of the governments of the poor countries to stop them from becoming rich,” Louw concluded.


The Real Story behind Durban/COP 17 through Twitter

By Sophia

The traveling UN circus is over for this time. This was the 17th show on the road so far. Some highlights:
- ‘they are supposed to be saving the planet and they can’t even run a meeting…‘

- Everything here is a study, there is nothing tangible

- Awkward silence as Russian delegate asks what we just decided on

- He still doesn’t understand what’s going on w docs. No one else does either, but they want to go home

- decisions passed more due to exhaustion/lack of clear communication, not active consent

I have written extensible about the blatant hypocrisy from the UN pack and their jet set allies, this traveling circus that fly around the globe in first class, or private jet, stay in hotel rooms at $700-800 per night in spa resorts, and gets wined and dined at expensive restaurants.

All of this of course paid by us, the normal people.

While they at the same time preach austerity, frugality and sacrifice from us, the taxpayers.

This blatant hypocrisy is so mind numbing that it would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that these people have the power to force us to obey them.

They are a truly parasitic class in the sense that Karl Marx wrote about it. How ironic that today most of this class is leftists and so called “liberals”.

And here are the inner workings of this parasitic class, described live from people in the conference, via twitter feeds.

I think it sums it all up very well. Any one that has been to any of these marathon meetings/conferences in the UN or EU, I have, instantly recognizes the very familiar settings and how “things” proceed.!/BBCRBlack/status/145534592613490688

Heard in corridor #cop17 – ‘they are supposed to be saving the planet and they can’t even run a meeting…‘!/ecotist/status/145558495180226560

Watching the plenary at #COP17 now … totally FUBAR!/ElizabethMay/status/145555729598775296

Plenary at #COP17 resuming amid serious confusion over texts!/iansully/status/145610040299102208

the guy sat next to the Malaysian delegate is falling asleep on the #cop17 tele, while his negotiator speaks – we all know how he feels!/LungelwaKunene/status/145575365518168064

Having a plenery meeting trying to reach consensus and delegates are debating the position of brackets!! Really?!! Bleh!!!/lmdo/status/145604459228172289

”We should rename this … studies. Everything here is a study, there is nothing tangible” -Nicaragua!/BBCRBlack/status/145572635223392256

How to close the gap in new draft #cop17? ‘Launch a work plan’ with no end date

Overheard #cop17 outside closed room; “that is the ‘what the heck do we do now?’ meeting”

#COP17 #climate update: no new developments other than to say there are far fewer people here now + they all keep checking their watches!!/vdblt/status/145700322050981888

Awkward silence as Russian delegate asks what we just decided on.!/NastasyaTay/status/145699913752248321

#Russiaraises flag again. He still doesn’t understand what’s going on w docs. No one else does either, but they want to go home.!/nagidapc/status/145699734621921281

Feeling disillusioned with the UN process- decisions passed more due to exhaustion/lack of clear communication, not active consent!/ChrisWright162/status/145698756489261056

President smashing out the decisions quicker than delegates can rush out the door to catch their flights

And this is the real danger, in all these small prints and haggling over words and commas; the people driving this Global Warming Hysteria successfully advance their agenda one sentence and paragraph at a time.

Fully knowing that the delegates at these conferences, as it gets closer to the end of the meting, they just want to adopt “something” and go home so they can say publicly that they achieved anything (se above on the twitter feeds).

That’s when you can push trough your agenda when most people are just exhausted. Ant they know that most people, especially politicians, don’t read these very lengthy documents with all small print and all the paragraphs and sub paragraphs.

The politicians leave that to their “bureaucrats”. So the “bureaucrats” are very much in control of “the show”. And can push their own agenda.

The report is Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action Under the Convention,November 29 2011

Monckton’s post here and below:

Durban: what the media are not telling you

”DURBAN, South Africa— “No high hopes for Durban.” “Binding treaty unlikely.” “No deal this year.” Thus ran the headlines. The profiteering UN bureaucrats here think otherwise. Their plans to establish a world government paid for by the West on the pretext of dealing with the non-problem of “global warming” are now well in hand. As usual, the mainstream media have simply not reported what is in the draft text which the 194 states parties to the UN framework convention on climate change are being asked to approve.

Behind the scenes, throughout the year since Cancun, the now-permanent bureaucrats who have made highly-profitable careers out of what they lovingly call “the process” have been beavering away at what is now a 138-page document. Its catchy title is “Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action Under the Convention — Update of the amalgamation of draft texts in preparation of [one imagines they mean 'for'] a comprehensive and balanced outcome to be presented to the Conference of the Parties for adoption at its seventeenth session: note by the Chair.” In plain English, these are the conclusions the bureaucracy wants.

The contents of this document, turgidly drafted with all the UN’s skill at what the former head of its documentation center used to call “transparent impenetrability”, are not just off the wall – they are lunatic.”

“Main points:

Ø A new International Climate Court will have the power to compel Western nations to pay ever-larger sums to third-world countries in the name of making reparation for supposed “climate debt”. The Court will have no power over third-world countries. Here and throughout the draft, the West is the sole target. “The process” is now irredeemably anti-Western.

Ø “Rights of Mother Earth”: The draft, which seems to have been written by feeble-minded green activists and environmental extremists, talks of “The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony between humanity and nature”. Also, “there will be no commodification [whatever that may be: it is not in the dictionary and does not deserve to be] of the functions of nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed with that purpose”.

Ø “Right to survive”: The draft childishly asserts that “The rights of some Parties to survive are threatened by the adverse impacts of climate change, including sea level rise.” At 2 inches per century, according to eight years’ data from the Envisat satellite? Oh, come off it! The Jason 2 satellite, the new kid on the block, shows that sea-level has actually dropped over the past three years.

Ø War and the maintenance of defence forces and equipment are to cease – just like that – because they contribute to climate change. There are other reasons why war ought to cease, but the draft does not mention them.

Ø A new global temperature target will aim, Canute-like, to limit “global warming” to as little as 1 C° above pre-industrial levels. Since temperature is already 3 C° above those levels, what is in effect being proposed is a 2 C° cut in today’s temperatures. This would take us halfway back towards the last Ice Age, and would kill hundreds of millions. Colder is far more dangerous than warmer.

Ø The new CO2 emissions target, for Western countries only, will be a reduction of up to 50% in emissions over the next eight years and of “more than 100%” [these words actually appear in the text] by 2050. So, no motor cars, no coal-fired or gas-fired power stations, no aircraft, no trains. Back to the Stone Age, but without even the right to light a carbon-emitting fire in your caves. Windmills, solar panels and other “renewables” are the only alternatives suggested in the draft. There is no mention of the immediate and rapid expansion of nuclear power worldwide to prevent near-total economic destruction.

Ø The new CO2 concentration target could be as low as 300 ppmv CO2 equivalent (i.e., including all other greenhouse gases as well as CO2 itself). That is a cut of almost half compared with the 560 ppmv CO2 equivalent today. It implies just 210 ppmv of CO2 itself, with 90 ppmv CO2 equivalent from other greenhouse gases. But at 210 ppmv, plants and trees begin to die. CO2 is plant food. They need a lot more of it than 210 ppmv.

Ø The peak-greenhouse-gas target year – for the West only – will be this year. We will be obliged to cut our emissions from now on, regardless of the effect on our economies (and the lack of effect on the climate).

Ø The West will pay for everything, because of its “historical responsibility” for causing “global warming”. Third-world countries will not be obliged to pay anything. But it is the UN, not the third-world countries, that will get the money from the West, taking nearly all of it for itself as usual. There is no provision anywhere in the draft for the UN to publish accounts of how it has spent the $100 billion a year the draft demands that the West should stump up from now on.

The real lunacy comes in the small print – all of it in 8-point type, near-illegibly printed on grubby, recycled paper. Every fashionable leftist idiocy is catered for.”


Hold your breath for what the AGU sees as authoritative

Do kindergarten teacher views on climate science really debunk those of the climate skeptics? That’s what the American Geophysical Union reportedly says.

According to the Environmental News Examiner article “American Geophysical scientists strike back with climate change literacy online“:
American Geophysical Union (AGU) scientists struck back at climate change deniers yesterday at the 44th annual AGU meeting of earth scientists from around the world in step with global leaders’ discussion of solutions to climate change at the 17th U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, Africa.

A representative from NASA announced “My guess is that it isn’t that there are a lot of climate change deniers in as so much as the few of them there are – are just loud.”

And how exactly did the AGU strike back a deniers? With a survey of K-12 teachers:
Further supporting the NASA position on global warming, a representative from the National Earth Science Teachers of America (NESTA) reported the results of 555 K-12 teachers in the United States who currently teach about climate change.

And what were the results?
On average, 89% of respondents indicated that they believe global warming is happening with the highest levels of agreement from respondents in Western states, younger teachers, urban teachers, and females.

Only 6% of respondents indicated that they did not believe global warming is happening. On average, only 13% of respondents attribute climate change to mainly natural causes with the highest rates of this response among male and Southern respondents.

Apparently as far as the AGU is concerned, climate skeptics — including top scientists like Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson, hydrogen bomb architect Edward Teller, MIT atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, space science pioneer S. Fred Singer, first president of the National Academy of Sciences Frederick Seitz and more than 31,000 other American scientists — are wrong because their views differ with those of 494 K-12 teachers.

Words fail us.


Climate Models Predict Flood And Drought For Africa

If you bet on every horse in the race, you have a pretty good shot of holding a winning ticket.

2007 : "Africa has always been predicted to be the continent that will be worst hit by global warming and climate change. Could those predictions be coming true? Extreme rains and floods have made for a very wet summer in Africa, and there is no end in sight to the downpours that are swallowing towns and forcing over a million to flee their homes in at least 20 countries. This weather is what climatologists predicted, and it is happening even faster than expected,”


2011: "Drought in east Africa the result of climate change"

Being close to the equator, Africa should be least hit by global warming – which predicts the greatest changes at high latitudes.

SOURCE (See the original for links)


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: