Only in the fantasy world of UN climate negotiations could anyone seriously believe that agreeing a piece of paper that shifts money around will “save the planet”. OK, perhaps in the fantasy world of journalism as well.
At 3 in the morning, a few exhausted and desperate delegates hammer out a “deal” which, when examined carefully, appears to be little more than an agreement to agree in the future (which is legally unenforceable), containing more loopholes than a battered old cardigan
As predicted yesterday, the moonbat media (Sydney Morning Herald, UK Telegraph etc) are crowing about this “historic” deal:
The world is on track for a comprehensive global treaty on climate change for the first time after agreement was reached at talks in Durban in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Negotiators agreed to start work on a new climate deal that would have legal force and, crucially, require both developed and developing countries to cut their carbon emissions. The terms now need to be agreed by 2015 and come into effect from 2020. (Guardian)
A new deal to “save the planet” will force the world’s three biggest emitters the US, China and India to cut carbon emissions for the first time, although scientists fear it will come too late to stop global warming. (Telegraph)
THE world’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and the US, have forged a plan to unite all major nations under a legally binding pact to slow climate change.
The last-ditch deal, reached yesterday at the end of the United Nations climate conference in South Africa, is the first time developing nations such as China and India have agreed to work towards emissions reduction targets that have ”legal force”.
Australia’s Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, called the agreement ”a significant breakthrough in tackling global warming”. (Sydney Morning Herald)
The excitement is clearly too much, as, in a throwback to an earlier era, both the Telegraph and Greg Combet oddly refer to the issue as “global warming” again – a full two revisions back from the phrase du jour, “climate disruption”. How last decade.
Notice how nothing is binding, just that the world is “on track”, or “forging a plan”, or “working towards” something which we will put off until later because it’s too hard right now. I wonder what will change to make it so much easier in 2015? A few years of global cooling or another few thousand Climategate emails would make it interesting…
Naturally this is the kind of vague wording that keeps everyone happy. The developing countries and the rent seekers (stand up, Maldives: “Our islands are sinking!! But we’re building multiple new airports for all the tourists anyway…”) believe they have a deal, and China, India and the US know full well it’s worth less than the paper it’s written on. An awful lot can change in the world before 2015, and even more before 2020.
Once again, and as always with the UN, it’s more about the appearance of progress than something tangible – and an excuse for more taxpayer funded jollies to luxury resort destinations in future years. Which is clearly good for those of us that believe that any global treaty on climate change will do precisely nothing, exactly like Kyoto has done precisely nothing.
Chris Horner, writing at Watts Up With That, summarises:
The annual “historic agreement” to meet again later — wait, sorry, that’s “to save the planet” — has been agreed, to the also-annual teary-eyed hugging and standing ovations by EU delegates, at “COP-17”, the negotiations to replace the expiring (after 2012) Kyoto Protocol.
On its face, the summary is that the rest of the world agreed to let Europe continue binding itself until some later date. Yesterday, ClimateWire reported that a fund was established to administer the fund agreed in Copenhagen two years ago. Oh.
AP tells us that “a separate document obliges major developing nations like China and India, excluded under Kyoto, to accept legally binding emissions targets in the future”, meaning in a separate document China et al bound themselves to bind themselves later. [So....uh, they bound themselves for later? No. They bound themselves to bind themselves later. THIRD BASE!]
Oddly, no one seems too proud of this latest “breakthrough”, described as countries binding themselves to bind themselves later. The UN isn’t providing what the Telegraph tells us is a whopping two-page text. Takes awhile, you see.
The State Department doesn’t seem too keen on trumpeting their latest “historic agreement”, either, but the home page’s Daily Press Briefing does offer “New Photovoltaic Project Inaugurated At U.S. Embassy in Athens” and “Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Receives South-South Cooperation Award for Partnership”.
So whatever it was it was less historic than these advances. Or no one wants to draw too much attention.
As Chris mentions, the document isn’t available on the UN website yet, so we don’t know exactly what it says, but (again thanks to WUWT), it looks even less of a breakthrough than we thought, as Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director, explains:
“The grim news is that the blockers lead by the US have succeeded in inserting a vital get-out clause that could easily prevent the next big climate deal being legally binding. If that loophole is exploited it could be a disaster. And the deal is due to be implemented ‘from 2020′ leaving almost no room for increasing the depth of carbon cuts in this decade when scientists say we need emissions to peak.”
Phew, planet saved, then. From climate lunacy, that is.