Yet another UN climate gabfest

What the ABC thinks CO2 looks like…

It’s a whirling carousel of junkets for UN climate negotiators, as the latest talks kick off in Bonn. The UN knows that the climate game is almost up, so at the same time as lining up the next fabricated crisis via which to tax, regulate and generally get up the noses of ordinary people (that would be biodiversity, by the way), will no doubt throw everything at getting a deal locked in before the whole AGW edifice collapses:

Six months after the Copenhagen climate talks, delegates from more than 190 nations were starting a fresh round of talks in Germany on Monday night.

The United Nations is attempting to revive talks for a legally binding international climate treaty. [Sorry, the patient died on the operating table]

The UN says the mandate for all nations is to agree on a long-term global solution to climate change. [How about “Do nothing and adapt where necessary for a thousandth of the cost of CO2 reductions”?]

Copenhagen did not deliver a treaty with mandatory targets or a deadline to reduce the planet’s emissions.

The UN will table a new text at the Bonn meeting to integrate the Copenhagen Accord into a stronger climate deal.

Yeah, good luck with that. Nobody’s really watching any more. Wonder how many Australia is sending at taxpayers’ expense?

Read it here.

New UN climate chief appointed

New UN climate chief

You can hardly blame Yvo de Boer for stepping down after the unmitigated disaster that was Copenhagen (see here). So the hospital pass has been handed to Costa Rican Christiana Figueres:

Figueres, 53, the choice of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is the first leader of the U.N. climate change secretariat to come from a developing country. She will take over from Dutchman Yvo de Boer from July 1.

She beat fellow short-listed candidate Marthinus van Schalkwyk, a former South African environment minister, for a position meant to rally global accord on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol after a disappointing summit in Copenhagen last December.

Announcing the appointment, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Figueres “brings to this position a passion for the issue, deep knowledge of the stakeholders and valuable hands-on experience with the public sector, non-profit sector and private sector.”

The scale of Figueres’ task is underscored by a Copenhagen summit where 120 world leaders failed to reach a binding deal, pledging instead to mobilize $30 billion from 2010-2012 to help poor countries deal with droughts and floods, and to try to limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

In an interview with Reuters after her appointment, Figueres said the world can salvage a new deal to combat global warming but this was not a priority for 2010. Rich countries must first fulfill their pledges on climate aid, she said.

“Parties need to prove to themselves that issues already on the table, such as fast-tracking financing, that’s not just on paper but can also be delivered. That’s the focus of Cancun,” she said. (source)

New face, same old story.

Copenhagen Accord: only 20 countries out of 192 sign up to declare AGW strategies

Waste of space

And with only 10 days to go until the deadline expires… But you can bet Australia will be one of them, being the school swot at the UN (something to do with Rudd’s job application for Secretary General in 2012):

The UN has dropped the 31 January deadline by which time all countries were expected to officially state their emission reduction targets or list the actions they planned to take to counter climate change.

Yvo de Boer, UN climate change chief, today changed the original date set at last month’s fractious Copenhagen climate summit, saying that it was now a “soft” deadline, which countries could sign up to when they chose [or maybe never – Ed]. “I do not expect everyone to meet the deadline. Countries are not being asked if they want to adhere… but to indicate if they want to be associated [with the Copenhagen accord].

“I see the accord as a living document that tracks actions that countries want to take,” he told journalists in Bonn.

“It’s a soft deadline. Countries are not being asked to sign the accord to take on legally binding targets, only to indicate their intention,” he said. [But they haven’t even done that! – Ed]

The deadline was intended to be the first test of the “Copenhagen accord”, the weak, three-page document that emerged at the end of the summit, and which fell far short of original expectations. It seeks to bind all countries to a goal of limiting warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial times and proposes that $100bn a year be provided for poor countries to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change after 2020.

But with just 10 days to go, only 20 countries out of 192 have signed up, with many clearly unready or unwilling to put their name to the document. Countries which have signed so far include India, Russia, Mexico, Australia, France and Norway.

You can just feel the enthusiasm!

Read it here. (h/t WUWT)

Tom Switzer: The Climate is Changing

WSJ Online

Another excellent article from Tom on the changing attitudes to cap-and-trade:

Nowhere is the changing climate more evident than in Australia. Last month, the Senate voted down the Labor Government’s legislation to implement an emissions-trading scheme. Polls show most Aussies oppose the complicated cap-and-trade system if China and India continue to chug along the smoky path to prosperity. The center-right Liberal-led opposition, moreover, is now led by Tony Abbott, a culture warrior who has described man-made global warming in language unfit to print in a family newspaper and cap-and-trade as “a great big tax to create a great big slush fund to provide politicized handouts, run by a giant bureaucracy.”

Until Mr. Abbott’s election as opposition leader last month, the climate debate in Australia had been conducted in a heretic-hunting, anti-intellectual atmosphere. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd claimed that climate change is the “greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.” In clear breach of the great liberal anti-communist Sidney Hook’s rule of controversy—”Before impugning an opponent’s motives, answer his arguments”—Mr. Rudd linked “world government conspiracy theorists” and “climate-change deniers” to “vested interests.” Much of the media, business and scientific establishment deemed it blasphemy that anyone dare question his Labor Party’s grand ambitions.

Australians had heard a lot of science, much of it poorly explained. But the “dismal science” had been conspicuously absent from the climate debate. There was very little serious analysis of the economic consequences of climate change: What choices did we have to mitigate its effects, and how much would these choices cost us? Labor ministers had emitted a lot of hot air about global warming and the urgency with which resource-rich Australia (which accounts for only 1.4% of global emissions) must act.

All of this has now utterly changed: Australia’s debate has entered a new phase, one that goes beyond the religious fervor and feel-good gestures that had held sway all too often. Suddenly, political strategists are thinking the unthinkable: far from presaging an electoral debacle that was inevitable under Mr. Abbott’s green predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, the issue could be a godsend for conservatives Down Under.

Read it here.

Rudd's New Year delusion on climate

More spin than a launderette

Spinning is what Labor does best, and Kevin Rudd is a master of the art. Copenhagen was a disaster – only rescued from achieving absolutely nothing by the presence of the Obamessiah himself, who cobbled together a flimsy, eleventh-hour non-agreement in order to have something to announce to the waiting media. But not according to our Kevin, speaking in a typically patronising New Year address, who actually divined some kind of outcome:

We saw more than 90 per cent of world leaders supporting the Copenhagen Accord on climate change.

It was by no means a perfect agreement, as Australia wanted much more, but it was an agreement nonetheless, where the alternative was complete collapse and total inaction.

Globally, we’ve agreed for the first time that temperature increases must be kept within two degrees Celsius [Just like that – world leaders agree, and the earth’s climate meekly follows – Ed] and that rich and poor countries alike will bring down their carbon emissions to limit increases in global temperatures.

As one of the hottest and driest continents, Australia is experiencing the impact of climate change first, and hardest [No it isn’t. See here – Ed]. We therefore have a deep national interest in global and national action on climate change.

If we do not act at home and abroad, we betray both our children’s future [“and our grandchildren’s future” – Ed], and their ability to enjoy our natural wonders, including the Barrier Reef.

Pious nonsense.

Read it here.

Read it here.

Brazil legislates nearly 40% CO2 cuts by 2020

Let's see you cut those emissions by 40%

Oops! Somebody forgot to tell the Brazilian delegation that the Copenhagen Accord isn’t binding! Just as the world is moving away from carbon taxes and cap ‘n’ trade, the nutty Brazilians have followed through with their half-baked promises and actually enacted carbon cutting legislation that will kill their economy stone dead, and send even more of their desperately poor population into even deeper poverty. Anyway, when you read the fine print, it’s all hot air and exclusions:

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has signed a law requiring that Brazil cut greenhouse gas emissions by 39 per cent by 2020, meeting a commitment made at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

Brazil announced at the summit a “voluntary commitment” to reduce CO2 emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 per cent in the next 10 years.

The new law, however, is subject to several decrees setting out responsibilities and regulations for the farming, industrial, energy and environmental sectors.

Lula is expected to sign the decrees in January after consulting scientists and other experts, officials said.

Despite its ambitious targets, Greenpeace’s top representative in Brazil, Sergio Leitao, called it merely a list of good intentions and accused Lula of using double standards in environmental issues.

“Brazil usually makes good speeches on the international stage, as in Copenhagen, but in practice it doesn’t keep its word,” he told reporters. (source)

Those crazy Brazilians…

US: Democrats' threat to cap and trade bill

On the way out?

Democrats in the US are “lining up” to argue against Obama’s Cap ‘n’ Trade bill in the wake of the non-existent outcome at Copenhagen. If the US bill is sunk, or watered down significantly, the whole face of global climate action will change radically.

Less than ten days after claiming a breakthrough on climate change in Copenhagen President Obama is facing a mutiny from senior Democrats who are imploring him to postpone or even abandon his cap-and-trade Bill.

Democratic Senators, fearful of a drubbing in the mid-term elections next year, are lining up to argue for alternatives to the scheme that is the centrepiece of the carbon reduction proposals that Mr Obama hopes to sign into law. With the Congressional battles over Mr Obama’s healthcare reforms fresh in their memory senior Democrats are asking the Administration to postpone the next big climate change push until at least 2011.

Senators from Louisiana, Indiana, Nebraska and North Dakota, some with powerful energy companies among their constituents, are falling out of love with the idea of a large-scale cap-and-trade scheme — which seeks to allocate tradeable permits to major polluters — in favour of less ambitious proposals that put jobs and the economy first.

Each of their Senate votes is vital for any climate change Bill to have a chance of being passed, and a firm American commitment to cap and trade is essential for similar carbon reduction mechanisms to be effective on a global scale.

Interesting times.

Read it here.

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.

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