Carbon Sense: Climate crusaders conned in Copenhagen


Carbon Sense Coalition

From Viv Forbes at the Carbon Sense Coalition:

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on the Australian Parliament to repudiate the Copenhagen giveaways promised by PM Rudd to the failed states of Africa and the welfare beggars of the islands.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that the three Climate Crusaders, Obama, Brown and Rudd, had been comprehensively conned in Copenhagen by African mendicants and fakers from the islands.

“They have agreed to hand over mega-bucks of our money (anywhere from $5 billion to $100 billion) as compensation for alleged damage caused by our production of carbon dioxide – the Africans citing climate damage and the islanders claiming rising sea levels.

“Even a cursory examination of the facts would prove that both of these claims are fraudulent.

“There is no evidence that carbon dioxide has caused global warming, or causes damage to any aspect of life on earth. The vast majority of earth’s warming originates from the sun, and fluctuations there are the major cause of climate changes.

“In addition, careful recent surveys show no unusual rising of sea levels.

“Moreover, all plant and animal life on earth benefit from industry’s production of carbon dioxide. Crops, grasses, forests and fruit trees are growing more profusely, the planet is becoming greener, and the oceans can produce more algae, more plankton and more life – all because of this free bounty of aerial plant food released whenever carbon fuels are burnt.

“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant – it is a boon to all mankind. Africa and the islanders should pay us to release more valuable carbon dioxide, not the reverse.

“This giveaway is just a back door extension of the foreign aid program which has done so much harm to both donors and recipients.

“The vast majority of mendicant African nations have sterilised vast agricultural and mineral resources by their failed political systems. The foreign aid has mainly assisted their dictatorial governments to stay in power, harm their people and amass ill-gotten wealth.

“To increase the resources controlled by these dictators does nothing to improve the lot of their ordinary citizens.

“What they need is not welfare or climate compensation, but investment funds, low cost reliable energy, efficient infrastructure, sound currency, fair taxation and secure property rights.”

Source (PDF).

Copenhagen: UN appeals for calm after "bust-up"


De Boer: clearly wishing he was somewhere else

With the air thick with blame and recrimination, and with any hope of a global deal disappearing faster than a Himalayan glacier, UN climate chief Yvo de Boer has appealed to the various factions to stop bickering:

We need to work together constructively, whereas countries are in the media blaming each other for what happened, the same countries that are going to have to be back at the negotiating table next year with an open willingness to work together,” he told AFP in a phone interview from London.

“It’s bad for the atmosphere, it’s bad for the relationship among people that ultimately have a common goal to move this forward.”

De Boer did not name names but chose to give the interview after Britain and China swapped verbal blows as to who was to blame for the Copenhagen outcome, while Brazil took aim at the United States.

De Boer urged all parties not to inflate or pull down the importance of the Copenhagen Accord.

“We shouldn’t pretend it is anything more or anything less than what it is — an agreement, a sense of direction that can help us in further negotiations.”

He acknowledged, though, that what happened in Copenhagen “was a very extraordinary event.”

“The fact of the matter is a small group of countries put this accord together, there wasn’t enough time to get buy-in from the larger meeting and have it adopted in any kind of formal sense, and that’s the reality.” (source)

All a bit childish and unseemly, really.

Copenhagen: climate alliance crumbles


SS Copenhagen - doomed before she set sail

When did it finish? Last Friday? What day is it now, Wednesday? Five days later? A week is a long time in climate change negotiations:

Cracks emerged on Tuesday in the alliance on climate change formed at the Copenhagen conference last week, with leading developing countries criticising the resulting accord.

The so-called Basic countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – backed the accord in a meeting with the US on Friday night, and it was also supported by almost all other nations at the talks, including all of the biggest emitters.

But on Tuesday the Brazilian government labelled the accord “disappointing” and complained that the financial assistance it contained from rich to poor countries was insufficient.

South Africa also raised objections: Buyelwa Sonjica, the environment minister, called the failure to produce a legally binding agreement “unacceptable”. She said her government had considered leaving the meeting.

“We are not defending this, as I have indicated, for us it is not acceptable, it is definitely not acceptable,” she said.

There was even harsher criticism from Andreas Carlgren, environment minister of Sweden, current holder of the rotating European Union presidency, who proclaimed the Copenhagen accord “a disaster” and “a great failure”.

Can’t imagine Bonn or Mexico will be any different.

Read it here.

Copenhagen: China and India torpedoed the talks


Ramesh: priorities right

Probably because they’re both more interested in raising millions of their own populations out of a miserable life of poverty rather than flushing trillions of dollars down the toilet on pointless efforts to “tackle climate change”, which, as any fule kno, will change nothing about the climate.

India has confirmed it worked with China and other emerging nations to ensure there were no legally binding targets from the Copenhagen climate talks.

Facing parliament for the first time since the UN talks last weekend in the Danish capital, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said India had “come out quite well in Copenhagen”.

He listed what he said were a series of accomplishments, including the thwarting of moves to impose binding targets for global reductions in carbon emissions – something India has always rejected.

“We can be satisfied that we were able to get our way on this issue,” declared Mr Ramesh, who has consistently said India would be one of the countries hardest hit by climate change.

Well done. At least some countries have got their priorities right.

Read it here.

Copenhagen: Rudd's same old story on ETS


Did it happen?

It’s as if the disaster that was Copenhagen never happened. Kevin Rudd has vowed to press on with the ETS exactly as before, same targets, same timetable, despite the fact that Copenhagen achieved virtually nothing. Finally speaking publicly for the first time since his return from No-Hopenhagen, the rhetoric is unchanged:

KEVIN Rudd has ruled out any change in the government’s emission-reduction targets as business exploits the uncertainty following the Copenhagen conference to press for a review of Labor’s climate change strategy.

The Prime Minister declared there was no way the government would agree to a target for cuts in excess of 25 per cent, as the Greens had been urging.

“Australia will do no more and no less than the rest of the world,” he said.

Mr Rudd said the government would stick to its target of reducing emissions by a minimum of 5 per cent by 2020, with the possibility of the target being increased to between 15 and 25 per cent depending upon what action other nations take.

He blamed opposition from developing countries for the failure of the Copenhagen talks to reach a comprehensive agreement, although he declined to specifically criticise the Chinese.

He said the final deal at Copenhagen had, for the first time, set a target of reducing world temperatures by 2C, which all nations said they would aim to achieve, with an agreed system of national and international monitoring. (source)

Not only that, but AGL has labelled the administration of the other plank of the emissions reduction plan, the renewable energy target, a “fraud”:

AGL threatened not to invest in alternative energy forms until the Government addressed a collapse in the price of certificates designed to encourage investment.

The threat highlights the risks hanging over $30 billion of expected investment needed to reach a target of obtaining 20 per cent of power from renewable sources by 2020.

The managing director of AGL, Michael Fraser, said the Government’s approach was a fraud that threatened the industry’s ability to meet the target.

To encourage investment, energy companies receive renewable energy certificates in return for building green power stations. But the value of these certificates has almost halved, from near $60 to about $30 since the Government began issuing them to consumers who install solar hot water systems and other products that do not generate power.

Because of the price fall, Mr Fraser said, plans to build the $800 million Macarthur wind farm in Victoria were under enormous pressure. The project is expected to create 500 jobs during construction and Mr Fraser said up to seven other wind farms being considered were also under threat.

The only new wind farms AGL would definitely build were those required under contracts to supply power to desalination plants for the Victorian and South Australian governments.

”Beyond that, you simply won’t see us invest until this issue gets resolved,” Mr Fraser said. (source)

Ouch. And the Copenhagen blame game is really in full swing, especially in The Guardian, under the headline “How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room”:

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China’s strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world’s poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was “the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility”, said Christian Aid. “Rich countries have bullied developing nations,” fumed Friends of the Earth International.

All very predictable, but the complete opposite of the truth. (source)

Setting things up nicely for even less progress in 2010.

Copenhagen: more blame and recrimination


Blame game

I suppose it was inevitable that after the disastrous Copenhagen summit, the key players would start shifting blame around to absolve themselves from any responsibility. Such a joy to behold:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has accused a handful of countries of holding the UN climate summit to ransom as bitter recriminations swirled over the outcome of the negotiations.

While China’s Premier Wen Jiabao insisted his government had played an “important and constructive” role, Britain said the meeting had lurched into farce and pointed the finger of blame at Beijing.

And the summit host, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, rapped the lower-level negotiators for failing to make headway in nearly two weeks of talks and then leaving their masters with too much to do at the climax.

Brown said lessons must be learned.

“Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries,” he said.

While Brown refrained from naming countries, his climate change minister Ed Miliband said China had led a group of countries that “hijacked” the negotiations which had at times presented “a farcical picture to the public”.

Copenhagen has certainly provided plenty of entertainment! Long may it continue.

Read it here.

Rudd's ETS quandary


A bit like the ETS

Thanks to the weak-as-water outcome from Copenhagen, the ETS is sunk. Kevin Rudd’s desire to arrive at Copenhagen with a trophy has scuppered any possible chance of the two errors in four words “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme”. Just think about it for a minute. If Rudd had not been so stubborn and vain, and agreed to wait until after Copenhagen to try to pass the ETS, Malcolm Turnbull would still be leader of the Opposition (god help us), and there would have been bipartisan support for it. Rudd may have been able to get it through after Copenhagen with Turnbull onside.

But now? No chance. With Tony Abbott at the helm, the Coalition wouldn’t pass it in a billion years, and the only option for the government is to accede to the wishes of the Greens, who are now arguing for 25% – 40% cuts by 2020:

The federal government should start negotiating with the Australian Greens if it wants parliament to pass its plan to tackle climate change, party leader Bob Brown says.

Despite the Copenhagen summit’s failure to deliver strong cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, Labor maintains it will re-introduce legislation setting up its carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS), or emissions trading scheme, to the lower house in February.

The Greens want to see Labor’s ETS include a 25 to 40 per cent target, which Senator Brown said would help the government fulfil its international obligation.

“They have to now move to targets that would keep global warming below two degrees, and that is where the Greens have been aiming,” he said. (source)

What international obligation is that, Bob? Remember, Copenhagen resulted in no international obligations – just a wish list, that the US and China have probably already forgotten about. As Terry McCrann says, 40% is really 60% per capita by the time you get to 2020, which would send Australia’s economy back to the Dark Ages, which is what we must assume the Greens want for the Australian people. Because people are very low on the Greens’ list of priorities.

It would be suicidal for Rudd to climb into bed with the Greens on this, so he’ll just have to get used to it: the ETS is sunk.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Penny Wong has already ruled out any deal with the Greens:

“The reality is that the Greens have taken a position, in relation to targets, that the Government was not able to negotiate on,” Senator Wong said.

“They indicated they did not wish to have a negotiation unless the Government was prepared to put targets of 25 to 40 per cent on the table. That is not the Government’s policy, that is not the Government’s position.

“We don’t believe that is a responsible way forward.” (source)

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