Lima: weak, non-binding ‘agreement’ lays traps for Paris

Grey skies ahead in Paris…

Grey skies ahead in Paris…

As predicted in my post exposing the well-worn path taken by climate talks, we have reached steps 10, 11 and 12:

  • A hastily cobbled-together ‘agreement’ (which will have no binding effect, and which will kick any hard decisions further down the road) will be announced in order to save face;
  • The media and the Greens will publicly hail this sham agreement as a successful outcome, whilst secretly acknowledging that it is yet another embarrassing failure;
  • Everyone disappears back home (belching thousands more tonnes of CO2), and the whole thing is forgotten until the next ‘last chance’ comes around.

All to be expected. Whilst some sections of the moonbat media are celebrating the ‘last minute success’, even the Sydney Morning Herald acknowledges that there are difficult times ahead:

The main aim of the Lima conference – to agree to provide detailed information about commitments countries will make before the climate change conference in Paris in 2015 to enable others to scrutinise these pledges – was achieved. Further, a draft of elements of the Paris agreement was agreed to.

But major issues of dispute have been deferred until next year in Paris. The intractable issue of the division or differentiation between developing and developed countries and how much each should do is unresolved.

This binary division was central to the United Nations Framework Convention struck in 1992 but is no longer as relevant in 2014 ; countries now range along a spectrum of economic development.

Yet this binary division flows through to most aspects of the Lima agreement and so fundamental is this binary division to some developing countries’ view of world affairs that it cannot easily be excised.

Another problem is a competition between two rival models for what a new global climate agreement should look like. One is the old-style top-down legally binding agreement in which countries negotiate the international rules and the targets and other commitments each should meet.

The other is model in which countries determine their own commitments, targets and the scope of those pledges. Through the provision of detailed information about those pledges it is expected that there will be an incentive for countries to ensure that these voluntary contributions reflect a fair share of the international effort but also reflect differences between rich and poor countries. Whether this actually occurs remains to be seen but the existing model has not had much success.

At the end of the day, negotiators faced a problem in Lima – countries had their gaze set on the main prize in Paris but were unable or unwilling to agree on how to get there. This will only heighten the stakes and expectations for next year in France.

Until next year, then…

Lima talks teetering on brink of ignominious collapse

Congratulations, Australia!

Congratulations, Australia!

Cue the environmentalist alarm-mongers:

Frustrated climate campaigners have claimed that the world was on course for an unsustainable four-degree rise in temperatures, as two weeks of negotiations for a climate change agreement headed for an unsatisfying conclusion.

The proposals, still under discussion on Saturday, a day after the talks were scheduled to end, were too weak to keep global warming to the agreed limit of two degrees above preindustrial levels, setting the world on course to a climate disaster, according to developing countries at the summit.

“We are on a path to three or four degrees with this outcome,” said Tasneem Essop, international climate strategist for WWF [i.e. rent-seeking organisation with vested interest riding the climate bandwagon – Ed].

She said the final draft text, a five-page document put forward for approval on Saturday, offered little assurance of cutting emissions fast enough and deeply enough to curb warming. “We are really unhappy about the weakening of the text. This gives us no level of comfort that we will be able to close the emissions gap to get emissions to peak before 2020,” she said. Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development [ditto – Ed], put it even more succinctly: “It sucks. It is taking us backwards.” (source)

And there’s more good news:

This year’s Fossil of the Year Award, goes to Australia who take the Colossal Fossil award for collecting more Fossil awards than any other country here at COP20. From the get-go Australia signalled they were not coming here to make progress towards a comprehensive international climate agreement. This was pretty clear when they sent a climate sceptic Trade Minister Andrew Robb along to “chaperone” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop into a negotiating dead-end. The delegation in Lima has been dragging down loss & damage, flip-flopping on climate finance, and making bizarre comments that reveal a warped perspective on climate action. Shape up Australia, you are making Canada look good! (source)

Great sabotage from Bishop and Robb – respect!

Quote of the Day from Lima

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

No surprise that the latest climate talks are heading exactly the same way as all the rest:

“The latest text which countries are working on has been stripped down to its bare bones to accommodate the whims of the lowest common denominator,” said Christian Aid’s Mohamed Adow. “Right now we are facing the prospect of being no further forward than we were when we left last year’s meeting in Warsaw.” (source)

Oh well, never mind. Everyone had a great time in an exotic location getting pissed… all at the taxpayers’ expense.

Climate talks – where time is always running out…

The UN egg-timer that never runs out

The UN egg-timer that never runs out

But at the same time, time never runs out!

Time for a quiz, I think. Identify the source of each of the following quotes, and in relation to which UNFCCC Climate Talks they were said.

Quote 1:

“There is still a chance to stay within the internationally agreed ceiling [of warming under two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels]. But the window of opportunity is fast narrowing. We can no longer afford to burn our way to prosperity.”

Quote 2:

“The political stakes are high because the effectiveness and credibility of your intergovernmental, multilateral process are in danger. And the environmental stakes are high because we are quickly running out of time to safeguard our future.”

Quote 3:

“This is yet another call for climate action which shows the world is not getting its act together fast enough. The bad news of the report released today is that current carbon cuts are too slow to prevent dangerous climate change. But the good news is that we have options to close the gap although time is running out. And some of them are just a no-brainer: energy efficiency, renewable energy and fossil fuel subsidy reform.”

Quote 4:

“I appeal to all world leaders … to redouble efforts to find the room for compromise, to make a final push in this final stretch. Time is running out… There is no time for posturing or blaming.”

Quote 5:

Time is running out. The door is closing fast on us because the pace and the scale of action is simply not yet where it must be.”

No prizes, just for fun. Email entries to First in with the correct answer wins (in other words, who can google the quotes the quickest…).

Lima hypocrisy alert: Bianca Jagger lectures us on climate

Lecturing the little people

Lecturing the little people

I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

Here we have the familiar, nauseating sight of the rich and privileged lecturing the little people on how to behave:

Whatever her youthful reputation as the wife of a world-famous rock star and glittery jet setter, Bianca Jagger has committed much of the past 30 years of her life to advancing causes associated with human rights and environmental protection in the developing world.

On Sunday morning, during a side event connected with the annual UN climate negotiations here in Lima, Peru, the 69-year-old Jagger sounded every bit the international diplomat she’s become in recent years. Delivering an impassioned 13-minute talk during a panel discussion, she spoke bluntly about the perils of climate change and the need to restore both destroyed and degraded forests as the best strategy to reduce the ongoing damage.

“Climate change will affect everyone, everywhere, in every nation, in every echelon of society, in the developing world and the developed world,” Jagger said. “We will all suffer the catastrophic consequences of rising sea levels, ocean acidification, food scarcity and political unrest. But some of the most vulnerable communities in the world are bearing a disproportionate burden of the harm without having significantly contributed to the cost. This is a terrible injustice.”

Noting that climate experts predict that 2014 will become the hottest year on record, Jagger warned: “Time is running out. Inaction will lead to severe and irreversible damage.” (source)

Next up, Leo di Caprio, leading a conga-line of Hollywood A-listers who travel everywhere on private jets and consume enough electricity to power a small African republic, but expect everyone else to sacrifice their already inferior quality of life to ‘save the planet’.

Pass the sick bag…

Lima talks treading well-worn path to oblivion

The path towards climate oblivion is well-worn

The path towards climate oblivion is well-worn

Climate talks always follow the same, drearily predictable path:

  1. The talks are prefaced by months of building excitement from the Greens and climate headbangers;
  2. The UN and the WMO issue urgent warnings about the extreme [insert any weather phenomenon here] and the consequent need for action;
  3. The media is jammed full of Hottest Year Evah™ headlines;
  4. Ban ki-Moon and Christiana Figueres start spouting the usual ‘last chance to save the planet’ BS;
  5. The parties arrive at their luxury hotels, having emitted thousands of tonnes of CO2 getting there;
  6. Once the initial excitement has died down, the partying has finished and everyone has epic hangovers, the same tired old differences between rich and poor countries emerge;
  7. Nothing happens until a day before the scheduled end;
  8. Suddenly, there will be frantic negotiation into the early hours to ‘rescue the talks’;
  9. Barack Obama, climate messiah, will fly in at the last minute – his mere presence an almost certain guarantee of success;
  10. A hastily cobbled-together ‘agreement’ (which will have no binding effect, and which will kick any hard decisions further down the road) will be announced in order to save face;
  11. The media and the Greens will publicly hail this sham agreement as a successful outcome, whilst secretly acknowledging that it is yet another embarrassing failure;
  12. Everyone disappears back home (belching thousands more tonnes of CO2), and the whole thing is forgotten until the next ‘last chance’ comes around.

Lima appears to be following the script pretty closely:

International climate talks in Lima, Peru, are entering their final week, with few hints of whether a newfound optimism that marked the start of negotiations will translate into an agreement that would rein in climate change.

Convened by the United Nations, the talks aim to craft the framework for an international accord to curtail heat-trapping emissions and adapt to changes already occurring on the planet. The final agreement is due to be signed in Paris next December.

Despite more than 20 years of discussions about what nations must do to contend with climate change, the world’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are higher than ever, as negotiations have continued to snag on the contradictory priorities of different countries.

The latest round in the discussions began last week with fresh momentum, in large part thanks to steps the U.S. took last month, including a major deal with China to curb emissions and a $US3 billion ($3.6 billion) commitment to help developing nations fight climate change.

Yet over the days since the Lima conference began Dec. 1, clashes have flared between developed and developing countries over issues such as whether emissions cuts should be mandatory and how much money rich countries should provide to help poor nations cope with damage from climate change.

Many conflicts stem from countries hewing to familiar hard-line bargaining positions. The question remains whether the brinkmanship will give way to an agreement by the end of the week on key issues, the most pressing of which is ground rules on emission-reduction pledges that countries are to make early next year.

“It’s disappointing that countries can’t rise above these petty differences, but it’s not surprising,” Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said from Lima. “Everything always comes down to the wire. (Cabinet-level) ministers have the chance to rise above this when they arrive this week because this is their chance to create their legacy on climate change.”

The window is closing fast for countries to cut greenhouse gases enough to avert the greatest global temperature increases and natural disasters associated with them, climate scientists and organisations such as the World Bank warn. The current round of talks would shape efforts to address climate change after 2020. A 2009 agreement reached in Copenhagen delivered voluntary commitments from some nations, including the United States, to take steps before 2020. (source)

All on track for yet another failure masquerading as success, then.

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