Copenhagen: US deal may still fall apart

Still not over?

There is growing anger in Copenhagen over the “deal” agreed to by the US, China, India and South Africa, with no clear sign that it will actually get the approval of the delegates.

[H]ours after Obama and other key leaders flew home, delegates from 194 nations gathered to approve the text and met a raucous response from several developing states that resented not being part of the closed-door discussions.

Venezuela’s representative Claudia Salerno Caldera held up what appeared to be a bloody palm, saying that she had cut her hand in an effort to gain the attention of conference chair Denmark.

“You are going to endorse this coup d’etat against the United Nations,” she said as an all-night session approached dawn on its 13th day.

Ian Fry of Tuvalu, a tiny Pacific island whose very existence is threatened by climate change, said the agreement amounted to Biblical betrayal and vowed to defeat it.

“It looks like we are being offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our people and our future,” he said to applause in the chamber.

The agreement was met with dismay by campaigners, who said it was weak, non-binding and sold out the poor.

“By delaying action, rich countries have condemned millions of the world’s poorest people to hunger, suffering and loss of life as climate change accelerates,” said Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International, calling the outcome “an abject failure”.

“The blame for this disastrous outcome is squarely on the developed nations.

“It can’t even be called a deal. It has no deadline for an agreement in 2010 and there is no certainty that it will be a legally binding agreement,” Antonio Hill of Oxfam said. (source)

The BBC’s Richard Black, on the ground in Copenhagen, writes in his blog:

UPDATE 0722 CET [ 0622 hrs GMT, 1722 AEDT]: Remarkable how the great swathe of developing countries is divided by the “deal” announced last night by President Obama.

We have some small island states in favour, and others against. None of them likes a deal that they feel may consign them to a future under the waves; but some, perhaps most, are choosing to accept it, either because they know there’s nothing else on offer, or because wider political considerations have swayed their hand.

The African Union appears to be onside – presumably steered by Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi’s endorsement on Wednesday of a proposal to raise $100bn per year by 2020 for poorer countries – the sum, not co-incidentally, that Hillary Clinton said the US would work towards raising.

But a group of Latin American and Caribbean countries appears adamant in its view that the deal was done illegitimately; and for that reason, and because it will not cut emissions enough to meet the IPCC’s criteria for keeping the global temperature rise within 2C, they feel it cannot be endorsed.

The wider conference “never gave a mandate to a small group of 25 countries to draw up such a document”, the Venezuelan delegate has just said.

UPDATE: 0835 CET [0735 hrs GMT, 1835 hrs AEDT]: The session’s been adjourned now for about 45 minutes while delegates try to find a way through this impasse. (source)

Curioser and curioser.

Copenhagen: The "deal" that wasn't

The deal

The deal

As would be expected, the moonbat media all over the globe is hailing Obama’s “deal” as a triumph and “historic”, but in reality, it is paper thin and the absolute least that could possibly have been hoped for after twelve days of detailed negotiation.

Furthermore, you have to ask how Obama managed to get the US, China and India, who, only a few hours ago, were so far apart you could drive a coach and horses between them, to agree to the deal unless it was completely watered down and vague, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The agreement foresees US contributions of 3.6 billion US dollars in climate funds for the 2010-2012 period while Japan would contribute 11 billion US dollars and the European Union 10.6 billion.

It also includes a commitment to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) — well short of the demands of island nations.

But a decision on targets for reducing carbon emissions by 2020 was put off until next month, a European diplomat said.

And unlike earlier drafts, the new accord did not specify any year for emissions to peak. (source)

And of course, it isn’t legally binding either. From a domestic point of view, this failure of Copenhagen to achieve anything significant demonstrates how misguided Kevin Rudd’s desire to pass the ETS beforehand really was. We all know that the only reason was self-promotion – to be able to turn up to Copenhagen with a “trophy” as part of his job interview for UN Secretary General. Thankfully, Tony Abbott put paid to that little dream.

Any delay in this process is good news. The longer it takes for a binding deal to be reached, the more chance there is that the fraudulent science will be exposed for what it is. Once people start to question the untouchable status of the IPCC, relied upon so heavily by Kevin Rudd and so many governments around the world, I predict a house of cards.

Indeed, the science is falling over everywhere you look. Just today in The Australian, there are reports that alarmism over the fate of the Barrier Reef was exaggerated, under the headline “Scientists crying wolf over coral”:

A SENIOR marine researcher has accused Australian scientists of “crying wolf” over the threat of climate change to the Great Barrier Reef, exposing deep division about its vulnerability.

Peter Ridd’s rejection of the consensus position that the reef is doomed unless greenhouse emissions are checked comes as new research on the Keppel group, hugging Queensland’s central coast, reveals its resilience after coral bleaching. Professor Ridd, a physicist with Townsville’s James Cook University who has spent 25 years investigating the impact of coastal runoff and other problems for the reef, challenged the widely accepted notion that coral bleaching would wipe it out if climate change continued to increase sea surface temperatures. Instead of dying, the reef could expand south towards Brisbane as waters below it became warmer and more tolerable for corals, he said.

His suggestion is backed up by an Australian Institute of Marine Science research team headed by veteran reef scientist Ray Berkelmans, which has documented astonishing levels of recovery on the Keppel outcrops devastated by bleaching in 2006. (source)

We will see that this is just the tip of a very large (global warming resistant) iceberg.

Finally, with thanks to the SPPI Blog, just in case anyone doubted the political agenda behind Copenhagen, it’s here on show, for all to see:

UPDATE: Just one further thought, extremist environmental groups may well see this result at COP 15 as a licence to take climate change action into their own hands (even more than they do at present), with civil disobedience and a bypassing of the democratic process. As evidence of this, here is a quote from Greenpeace UK:

It is now evident that beating global warming will require a radically different model of politics than the one in Copenhagen.

I sincerely hope that the rule of law prevails and that such actions are firmly resisted. Failure to do this would lead to anarchy. You have been warned.

Copenhagen: BREAKING: US, China, India and SA "agree to deal on climate"

Breaking news

Breaking news

In the last few minutes, reports are coming in that the US, China, India and South Africa have agreed on some kind of “climate deal”:

A senior Obama administration official says the U.S., China, India and South Africa have reached a “meaningful agreement” on climate change.

The official characterized the deal as a first step, but said it was not enough to combat the threat of a warming planet.

Details of the deal with these emerging economies were not immediately clear.

The agreement was reached Friday at the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen after a meeting among President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been officially announced.

The agreement was with the smaller group of countries, but was being worked by Obama and various negotiating teams with a larger number of countries, the official said. (source)

Just listening to BBC World Service. It’s to be known as the Copenhagen Accord, which will be a statement of intent. Apparently, it includes details on a 2c temperature rise, details on a financial mechanism for transfer of funds to developing countries, and verification mechanisms. There are many countries excluded at this stage, however, the EU, for example.

There is another plenary session in about an hour…

UPDATE @ 10 pm GMT (11 pm Copenhagen): Obama: deal will serve as foundation for years to come. No country entirely satisfied, and not clear whether there is any global deal, however.

Obama: “Not a legally binding agreement. A commitment that the US are making and is very important.”

Emissions: No numbers on emissions reductions, but a process for doing that.

Finance: Agreement on the “goal” of coming up with $100 bn per year by 2020

Sounds more and more like a fudge to paper over the fact that the conference has achieved virtually nothing. As Christopher Monckton predicted, it was almost inevitable that an “eleventh-hour” deal would have been reached…

Copenhagen Day 12 – still waiting…

Day 12

Day 12

So here we are – it is just after 9 pm in Copenhagen on the last day of COP 15, and still nothing, and no sign of there being anything other than a weak, watered down, political “accord” at best. Barack Obama hath spoken, and even that didn’t do the trick. In fact, neither the US nor China budged an inch in their respective speeches.

Now there is last minute frantic activity to try and salvage something from the wreckage:

US President Barack Obama has launched intense after-hours diplomacy with China, hoping to salvage a new world climate pact after warning that an imperfect deal would be better than no pact at all.

The language in the latest draft being negotiated has been described as weak and failing to commit nations to binding emissions reduction targets.

As the meeting deadline passed, different texts, and drafts were being distributed, but all failed to match the level of ambition scientists say is needed for comprehensive action to tackle climate change.

In the latest text, there are no binding commitments for individual countries to commit to a global fund for mitigation.

While there was recognition of the science that says a two-degree temperature rise is likely, it failed to commit nations to reducing emissions under 2020 targets.

Instead it acknowledged that “deep cuts were required”.

It also declared that countries would “enhance their long term cooperative action to climate change”.

But the language failed to include a legal framework. (source)

Sounds like political waffle. Obama couldn’t save the day, and even the Guardian is critical:

Barack Obama stepped into the chaotic final hours of the Copenhagen summit today saying he was convinced the world could act “boldly and decisively” on climate change.

But his speech offered no indication America was ready to embrace bold measures, after world leaders had been working desperately against the clock to try to paper over an agreement to prevent two years of wasted effort — and a 10-day meeting — from ending in total collapse.

Obama, who had been skittish about coming to Copenhagen at all unless it could be cast as a foreign policy success, looked visibly frustrated as he appeared before world leaders.

He offered no further commitments on reducing emissions or on finance to poor countries beyond Hillary Clinton’s announcement yesterday that America would support a $100bn global fund to help developing nations adapt to climate change.

He did not even press the Senate to move ahead on climate change legislation, which environmental organisations have been urging for months. (source)

More to come, if and when…

Copenhagen: "High level" climate agreement reached?

Heads in the clouds

Heads in the clouds

In fact it’s so “high level” it’s virtually stratospheric. A political wish list that is probably the absolute minimum that could have been expected from nearly two weeks of intensive negotiations. As you would expect, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting this like it’s some kind of triumph:

Leaders and ministers from about 30 countries hammered out an outline climate accord early on Friday morning, hours before some 130 world leaders were to gather in a summit.

The three-hour session ended at about 2.30am, leaving top advisers to work out the final language of the draft agreement on how to tame global warming and help poor countries cope with its impacts.

Advisers resumed work almost immediately to craft a document that could be presented to heads of state and government at 8am.

“We tried to find an umbrella political accord, if you like,” said Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who also holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

As Andrew Bolt puts it:

Hot air, no fixed targets, promises of a vast transfer of wealth from the West and everyone flies back home thinking they’ve been warriors for mankind.

If the report is true, it’s almost as much as a sceptic could hope for. (source)

Read it here.

US offers $100 bn bribe to developing countries

In a desperate last minute bit to salve something from the wreckage of COP 15, Hillary Clinton has sinalled that the US will back a climate change fund to transfer $100 bn to developing countries, provided that nations like China permit independent verification of emissions:

Ms. Clinton, in essence, offered a bribe. The United States would support (though only partly pay for) a $100-billion (U.S.) fund to fight climate change in the developing world if developing countries – she singled out China – were to allow the independent verification of their emissions.

Vice-foreign minister He Yafei said China is ready for “dialogue and co-operation that is not intrusive, that would not infringe on China’s sovereignty,” The Associated Press reported. And the White House said Mr. Obama will hold talks Friday with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Funding for the developing world was one of the key issues still dividing climate-change negotiators and environment ministers Thursday night, only hours before the heads of state and government of 119 countries were due to sign a sweeping emissions agreement to limit the planet’s average temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees. A leaked United Nations document suggested that dangerously higher temperatures were likely, based on the reductions pledged so far.

A range of other issues remained unresolved. They included precise emissions-reduction pledges by 2020; the launch of a three-year, $30-billion (U.S.) Fast Start fund that would precede the larger fund; and whether the Kyoto Protocol, the existing, and only, legally binding international climate treaty, would disappear in a cloud of carbon dioxide, be extended beyond its 2012 expiry date or be replaced by an agreement that covers all countries, not just the industrialized world.

Read it here.

Copenhagen Day 11 – "brink of collapse"

Day 11

Day 11

The Copenhagen talks are verging on collapse, as the last official day nears, and there has been hardly an inch of movement towards any agreement.

Despite two years of build-up and almost a fortnight of intense negotiations, there is now widespread pessimism about whether the talks can come up with a binding deal.

Mr Rudd said that those who carry the responsibility for historical emissions of greenhouse gases cannot absolve themselves from responsibility for future actions.

But he said developing nations needed to acknowledge that if they did not act to bring down their own emissions they would soon be responsible for 50 per cent of all carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

With all the talk about whether leaders should work on strengthening the Kyoto protocol or whether they should draft a new agreement, Mr Rudd said there was a fear that arguments over the form of an agreement would triumph over decisions on the substance of it. (source)

And in the same article, there’s some cognitive dissonance from the UN:

UN chief negotiator Yvo de Boer says negotiations are progressing and he is optimistic.

Happy pills at work again. Dennis Shanahan, in The Australian points out that Kevin Rudd’s, and Labor’s (and, we should point out, Malcolm Turnbull’s), position on the ETS, that it should have been passed before Copenhagen, now looks like “hollow self-aggrandisement”:

If there is no real agreement and it’s all put off to Mexico next July, there will be no vindication for Rudd’s pressure on passing the CPRS before Copenhagen and Abbott will be able to say he’s saved Australia from racing ahead of the rest of the world and committing to targets other nations have baulked at.

Rudd’s rhetoric on this issue, the whole need for urgency, the need for moral leadership from Australia for the rest of the world and the need to have an ETS as a bargaining chip will be seen as hollow self aggrandisement.

The developing nations have also attacked Australia for talking the talk but failing to deliver, as Rudd’s emphasis on his arrival in Copenhagen has shifted to avoiding the Kyoto Protocol – the real climate-change difference and debate at the last election – to protecting Australia’s economic interests.

The small nations – and some of the largest – think Australia has been talking about taking great strides for international acclaim and domestic advantage but intending, all along, to avoid the progress Rudd defined as “real targets against real timelines”. (source)

What makes me smile (and despair) at the same time, it the UN view that the climate is like an electric heater, with just one dial. Set the dial, in this case CO2, and you set the temperature. This is picked up everywhere in all the media, like this article in The Telegraph (UK):

A leaked UN document emerged last night that shows the current proposals for a deal at Copenhagen will ‘put at risk the very viability of our civilisation on Earth’.

The document is an internal briefing paper drawn up by the UN Framework Committee on Climate Change that is in charge of the talks.

It says that even the most ambitious emission reduction targets currently offered by developed and developing countries, including the EU and US, would set the world on course for warming of around 5.4F (3C).

This could cause a rise in sea levels, droughts, floods and mass extinction of species. (source)

To call this simplistic doesn’t even come close. I know politicians generally have trouble walking and chewing gum, but it is nothing short of delusional to believe that the CO2 dial is the only dial on the climate system! They really believe that adjusting the concentration of a harmless trace gas by a few parts per million will determine the climatic fate of the planet? Their problem is they have no perspective. Politicians, and UN wonks, live in ivory towers, and have no concept of anything beyond their offices, let alone beyond the surface of the planet. They have no concept of the vastness of the forces at work here. They have no concept that the earth is a tiny speck of dirt in the universal scale, and that it is subject to so many powerful influences that they do not even know exist.

That they genuinely believe there is a direct relationship between the CO2 dial and temperature tells you all you need to know about Copenhagen.

Copenhagen: Rudd's nauseating, sycophantic speech



Something about Kevin Rudd’s speeches makes my flesh creep. Tedious to the point of rigor mortis (he is, of course, the “toxic bore” – thank you, Tony Abbott, for that gem!), yet at the same time patronising and condescending – and nauseating – and pompous. How one man can be offensive in so many ways is a wonder to behold. Yet is a hugely popular prime minister back here in Australia. What gives? Anyway, let’s sample some of the best [worst – Ed] bits:

History is calling us at this great conference to frame a grand bargain on climate change,” Mr Rudd told summit delegates on Thursday night, Australian time.”

History will record (the summit) as either a time when the peoples of the world, mindful of a common threat to us all, decided to act in concert against that threat, and so decided to turn the tide of history.

“Or else history will record this conference as a time when once again we became so consumed with the petty nationalisms of the past that we turned instead against each other and failed to act on this great common challenge of the future.” [Trying to sound like Churchill, are we? – Ed]

Mr Rudd quoted from a handwritten note he’d received from Gracie, a six-year-old from Canberra. [Uh oh – time to reach for that sick bag… – Ed]

“Hi, my name is Gracie. How old are you?” he read out. [Please, please stop – Ed]

“I am writing to you because I want you all to be strong in Copenhagen, please listen to us as it is our future.” [It’s coming, it’s coming… – Ed]

Mr Rudd added, “I fear that at this conference, we are on the verge of letting little Gracie down”.


Read it here (you have been warned).

Copenhagen: Open letter to R Pachauri from Viscount Monckton and Steve Fielding

Lots of porkies

Economical with it

Rajendra Pachauri, the Nobel prize-winning climate expert, er, economist, er, railway engineer who heads up the politically motivated and corrupt IPCC, was spouting his usual brand of “truth” at Copenhagen, but Christopher Monckton and our own Steve Fielding weren’t going to let him get away with it, and take his spin to pieces in this 14 page open letter, and they don’t pull any punches!

We should be grateful for your response within 48 hours, failing which we shall be entitled to presume that you, the IPCC and the EPA – to whose administrator we are copying this letter – intend to conspire, and are conspiring, to obtain a pecuniary advantage by deceiving the public as to the nature, degree, and significance of the global surface temperature trend. In that event, conspiracy to defraud taxpayers would be evident, and we should be compelled to place this letter in the hands of the relevant investigating and prosecuting authorities.

In any event, errors and exaggerations such as that which is evidenced in the IPCC’s defective graph do not inspire confidence in the reliability of the IPCC’s scientific case. Given this and other mistakes that an international body of this nature ought not to have made, and given your numerous and direct conflicts of interest that have, in our opinion, been insufficiently disclosed, we are also copying this letter to the delegations of the states parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change with a request that you be stripped of office forthwith.

Download it here (PDF – 1 MB)

Copenhagen: Nation with 0.0002% of global population brings negotiations to a halt


Perilously close to water…

All the talk has been of the tiny island nation of Tuvalu, most famous until this week for the .tv top level domain so favoured by TV stations across the globe. It has a population of just over 12,000 (in other words, two ten thousandths of one percent of the global population). But because it is less than 4.5 m above sea level, somehow it has become the poster child for climate change, because “rising sea levels caused by global warming” will flood the islands sooner than anywhere else.

Ironic, then, that sea levels have been rising at about 3 mm per year since the end of the last Ice Age, with no perceptible acceleration due to “global warming” – in fact possibly a slight slowing:

Clearly not accelerating…

Clearly not accelerating…

So at current rates, it will take about 1,500 years for the sea to rise 4.5 metres, so hardly a climate emergency that requires urgent action today at Copenhagen rather than in 100 or 200 or even 500 years time, when the costs of adaptation will be far less.

And furthermore, the islands are all coral atolls and reefs, notoriously unstable and most of which are known to be sinking into the sea anyway – that kind of sounds like a problem for them to deal with, rather than blackmailing the rest of the world.

%d bloggers like this: