COP15 "Deal" - Not Fair, Not Ambitious, Not Binding

Sat, 2009-12-19 04:08Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

COP15 "Deal" - Not Fair, Not Ambitious, Not Binding

COPENHAGEN - There is, finally, a Copenhagen Accord - a deal that is so unfair, so unambitious and so devoid of commitment that the countries of the world could agree only to “take note” of its existence. There was no hope whatever that everyone would actually “approve.”

As reported through the night, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a modestly celebrated accord late last evening, taking fulsome credit for having saved the day in a private negotiation with China, India, Brazil an South Africa - what Bill McKibben later described as “a league of super-polluters.”

But this back-room resolution - greeted with resignation rather than delight - was not destined to survive the night.

Lumumba Di-Aping, chief negotiator for the G77 group of 130 developing countries, snarled: “This deal will definitely result in massive devastation in Africa and small island states. It has the lowest level of ambition you can imagine. It’s nothing short of climate change scepticism in action.

“It locks countries into a cycle of poverty for ever. Obama has eliminated any difference between him and Bush.”

With Obama and his personal press corps safe on a plane back to an East Coast snow storm, the deal collapsed, leaving United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to spend the night begging, brokering and arm-twisting until, around 10:30 a.m. Central European time, the 193 assembled countries in the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed: “That COP15 takes note of the Copenhagen Accord.”

“Takes note.” They’ve heard about it. They’ve seen a draft. They understand that it happened while they were in the same, sprawling building.

If you ask, “What the hell does that mean?” Secretary-General Ban will tell you (as he told a hastily called press conference) that it’s a good thing, that it’s “an essential first step.” And German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in the night, even before the final “taking note,” that this very small step was better than nothing.

As for a way forward, Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, told the news conference that the UNFCCC will now try to design a process through which countries “can associate themselves with the agreement.” Not sign it, necessarily. Certainly not be bound by its vacuous contents, but presumably take note in a slightly more formal way.

None of this is being warmly received in the activist community. Kim Carstensen, Leader of
WWF’s Global Climate Initiative, said, “What we have after two years of negotiation is a half-baked text of
unclear substance. With the possible exceptions of US legislation and the beginnings of financial flows, none of the political obstacles to effective climate action have been solved.”

And did we mention that the U.S. legislation has not actually passed - and isn’t likely to in its current form, if at all.

More quotable than Carstensen was Guardian columnist George Monbiot who, thanks to the stunning chaos that has marked the last several days of this conference, was never even allowed through the door. He described the process like this:

“First they put the planet in square brackets, now they have deleted it from the text. At the end it was no longer about saving the biosphere: it was just a matter of saving face. As the talks melted down, everything that might have made a new treaty worthwhile was scratched out. Any deal would do, as long as the negotiators could pretend they have achieved something. A clearer and less destructive treaty than the text that emerged would be a sheaf of blank paper, which every negotiating party solemnly sits down to sign.”

There are, potentially, some glimmers of hope. The countries have committed to providing $30 billion over the next three years in financing to help the developing world reduce or contain emissions. Two-thirds of that money is already committed and, if any of this can be taken seriously, the U.S. is on record as saying that it will be a willing party to expanding that spending to $100 billion a year by 2020. It’s a start.

But “Hopenhagen” was supposed to be a finish - a triumphant culmination of a process that began in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, that took formal shape in Kyoto in 1997, that redoubled its energy in Bali in 2007 and that, this year, was to result in a fair, ambitious and binding agreement for all the world’s countries to lower their emissions.

Against that shattered expectation, close to 100,000 politicians, bureaucrats, negotiators, business lobbyists and climate activists will leave this city in the next 24 hours, most of them deeply disappointed. The largest component of that crowd was the last, the enironmentalists who came to Copenhagen to show their support for a solid deal. For their trouble, and their enthusiasm, they were banned from the building for the critical last three days.

So, as the UN might say: Take note. It’s an El Nino year. Expect temperatures - and tempers - to rise. Expect political leaders the world over the learn - the hard way - that the optimsitic notion that is “Copenhagen” is not over.

Previous Comments

Glad you think it is bad deal.
So do I, but for diametrically opposed reasons.
That there was even a conference to discuss this lunacy, never mind a “committment” to pay third World kleptocracies $billions, for non-existent climate “damage”, is one of history’s more surreal monents.

Amabo concurs wholeheartedly.

Ah, Phlogiston, how edified you must be by the concurrence of Amabo.

As I commented yesterday at another DeSmogBlog posting, may I repeat: “Why not view this wishy-washy outcome at Copenhagen 2009, not as a defeat, but as an opportunity to see whether or not (1) CO2 concentrations really will continue to increase (2) the Earth really will get warmer (3) sea levels really will rise, and whether or not all other calamitous predictions, such as those made by Al Gore, and others of his ilk, will come to pass. Take the apparent failure of negotiations at Copenhagen as a golden opportunity to really do some good, unbiased science, without “cooking the books”.”

Besides, COP15 “failure” might just turn out to be a win for the world. For starters is it not a good thing that crooked leaders of suspect regimes, like those of Hugo Chavez’s, and of Mugabe’s, will be deprived of “Carbon offset”, or of “re-distribution of wealth”, dollars and Euros, from the more developed countries just a little longer? As one who was born in Eastern Europe, but who escaped to the West just before the Iron Curtain settled along what became the western borders of the Soviet Union, I know, first-hand, that worldwide socialism is NOT good for anyone, and really, in case you have not yet noticed, GW or AGW, and vilification of CO2 has become a vehicle used by socialists to redistribute wealth! So, so-called “failure” of COP15 has given all of us some “breathing room” – a little more time – to wise-up and to see what the “global warming” struggle is really about… to give leaders of democratic governments, and their citizens a little more time to wise up.

There is no way any of these countries are going to risk their economies on this nonsense. This “deal” was already decided long before they met at Copenhagen. All we saw there was a performance for the faithful. Obama should get another award, an Oscar for his performance at fooling the faithful.

Copenhagen has failed. The UN has failed to address the most important crisis in human history. This is now the time for sanctions, boycotts and embargoes. A new alliance is needed. An alliance of hope and peace and justice must be built to oppose the axis of pollution, extinction and self destruction. http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/12/beyond-copenhagen.html

“The UN has failed to address the most important crisis in human history.”

You mean “The UN has failed to address the BIGGEST FRAUD in human history.”

Real governments have, that’s why COP15 was all smoke and mirrors.

Shame on you Richard. Such little faith. The deal is “meaningful”. It is the word of The One. In The One we trust, no?

Which is exactly what COP-15 and the theory of AGW is.

As explained by Jeff Id over at “The Air Vent”

The disconnect between the gaseous halations of various grandstanding “world leaders” about the supposedly urgent need to “Save The Planet Now” and the puny outcome of the Copenhagen Non-Event is dazzling. And it is welcome.

For all the rhetoric – or the flatulence that passes for rhetoric these days – it has begun to dawn on the “leaders” of those nations that subject them to regular recall and re-election that the people no longer believe the mad scientists are telling them the truth. And the people are right.

What is more, after the failure of the mainstream news media to report what the malevolent and unpleasant scientists involved in the Climategate affair had written to one another about those with whom they disagreed, or about what they had done to invent, fabricate, contrive, fiddle, tweak, alter, massage, conceal, hide or even destroy scientific data for the sake of protecting and peddling the pseudo-science in which environment correspondents had so readily and so ignorantly believed, the people no longer trust the media.

And that is bad news for a governing class that has come to develop a far-too-cosy relationship with the mainstream media. It is also very bad news for the mainstream media themselves, which are now rapidly losing circulation and ad revenue as the people rightly desert them for the Internet, where – notwithstanding various expensive attempts by the over-funded international Left to interfere with Google and Yahoo searches – the truth is still available if you know where to look.

Copenhagen was the last-chance saloon not for the planet, which does not need saving, but for the UN’s world-government wannabes. They blew it, big-time, by believing their own overspun propaganda about planetary peril and thinking they had “world leaders” where they wanted them. They overreached themselves, and have paid the price.

Even though next year is an el Nino year accompanied by fast-recovering solar activity, 2010 may not, after all, set a new global-temperature record to overtop that which was set in 1998, the year of the Great el Nino. By the time the next yackfest takes place in Mexico City in December 2010, the steam will have gone out of the “global warming” scare. We should not let our guard down, but Copenhagen is more than the end of the beginning for Green fascism: it is the beginning of the end. The eco-Nazis’ attempt at global bureaucratic coup d’etat has failed, and no such attempt is likely to succeed again. Too many of you are watching.

Then it must be true.

“notwithstanding various expensive attempts by the over-funded international Left to interfere with Google and Yahoo searches”

And here I was thinking I had read every extreme-right tin-foil-hat talking-point. I will have to add this one to the list. Those fiendish Watermelons! Is there anything they don’t have their grubby fingers in!
McCarthyism is alive and well.

I think questions will now circle about what the value of the UN process is - a large part of the blame (not all) for the catastrophic failure at Copenhagen must fall on the basic fact that the majority of the votes (the developing bloc) are asked to deliver nothing and yet can obstruct a meaningful abatement deal with their demands. Losing days of negotiation time to parties that insist as a point of principle that they bring nothing to the table is now an unaffordable luxury. It is hard enough to structure a treaty that includes the raw self interest of the big emitters.

The UN may well be an inappropriate forum to deal with this issue. Each summit simply turns into a bigger circus.

Giving Obama what little credit he deserves, his siting down with only the major emitters and trying to work something out may well be a more productive venue. No need to listen to the likes of Chavez or Mugabe.

Copenhagen was worth it, after all – if only for the sphincter-bursting rage its supposed failure has caused among our libtard watermelon chums. (That’s watermelon, as in: green on the outside, red on the inside).

As Damian reports, on Twitter they’re all planning to cleanse Mother Gaia of their polluting presence Jonestown-style.

The Great Moonbat is sounding more unhinged than ever:
Goodbye Africa, goodbye south Asia; goodbye glaciers and sea ice, coral reefs and rainforest. It was nice knowing you. Not that we really cared. The governments which moved so swiftly to save the banks have bickered and filibustered while the biosphere burns.

And Polly Toynbee is blaming the whole fiasco on false consciousness.
Most leaders in Copenhagen were out ahead of their people. Most understand the crisis better than those they represent, promising more sacrifice than their citizens are yet ready to accept – while no doubt praying for some miraculous technological escape. Sometimes we’re inclined to dismiss Polly as a loveable comedy figure, what with her lovely house in Tuscany contrasting so amusingly with her prolier-than-thou politics, and the never ending japesomeness of her deft, lighter-than-air prose.
But you know what? When she reveals her true colours, as she does here, I think she’s really, really scary. Her whole article teeters on the brink of demanding an eco-fascist world government to save us all from ourselves. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100020337/copenhagen-the-sweet-sound-of-exploding-watermelons/

I see the climate deniers are out in force cheering on the failure of the world leader from saving the planet.

I can’t believe the amount of garbage from these people.

Unfortunately, no action will take place as long as the denial machine continues to be well funded. Look how long it took for people to believe smoking is bad for you (some are still denying it).

Our only hope is for some catastrophic phenomena to turn the North American opinion around. Considering that Katrina didn’t do it, what is required? Unfortunately, by the time the develop countries turn around, it will be too late to save many poor countries. Develop countries will have the resource to survive the world population collapse and protect themselves from any resulting war. How sad.

Yes, who does fund the so-called “deniers”. To date, I’ve done this for free as a public service, and I suppose to agitate and make some CO2- bashing socialists hot under the collar, now and then. But really, if you know of any person, corporation or organization which would pay me for doing this, let me know. That would be a wonderful Christmas bonus!

You haven’t read much here, have you.

Fraser Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Marshall Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Chamber of Commerce, Heartland Institute, just for starters. They all love your brand of “public service”. Good luck. “Hope” you’ll still have time to come back and visit when you’re an official lackey.

p.s. No need to suppose, you definitely agitate.

Are you saying that Katrina was because of AGW? How do you know that?

Sigh, isn’t this understood already? No single weather event can be blamed on global warming. But the increase in the frequency and severity of these events can be. Clear enough?

That is at least defensible, unfortunately the rest of the AGW religion do not follow you tenets and are willing to dishonestly link any natural event to global warming. As a result they lose credibility.

A serious blow against the AGW movement now is that natural disaster are at a 30 year low. How can that be if global warming is creating ever hotter years? Obviously we don’t know everything their is to know about the planet.

there has been a DECREASE in frequency and severity.

Just because you expect storm intensification doesn’t make it a fact. Back up on that.

This is over decades, not individual years. No one can predict storms from year to year, despite what you might see on the Weather Channel. Weather and climate are separate things.

If you want data on increases over the long term see here: http://www.pewclimate.org/hurricanes.cfm#freq

We keep track of open ocean storms a lot better than we did 100 years ago. Thats the thing with modern climate record keeping. It’s new.

I actually have to agree with you. Climate modelling on storms is *hard*. We’ve only had satellite data for 2 or 3 decades at best. This stuff is hard to predict, and there’s a lot we just don’t know right now.

This is important to recognize. Science doesn’t have all the answers, there are many things we don’t know. We know much more than we did 100 years ago, or 20, or 10, but it’s an ongoing process. None of this disproves global warming, it just means predictions about specific events are hard. Things like feedback cycles can throw predictions off. This is why predictions from just a couple years ago now seem conservative. Glaciers are melting a lot faster than scientists predicted.

We know global warming is going to raise global temperatures, cause extinctions and wreak general havoc with weather patterns around the world. We know some of the specifics, other we are just learning about, and others are an open question. It’s important not to present science as being all knowing. This is why, by the way, science is not a religion. It’s about evidence, and we change our theories and models as new data comes in.

If anything, this should tell us we need to invest more money and resources into science so we can better prepare (and better prevent.) The last thing we want is to be caught by surprise by a major secondary impact no one predicted.

Yet you claimed increase in frequences of storms (which is not happening) can be connected to AGW.

“None of this disproves global warming, it just means predictions about specific events are hard. ”

Flawed logic. You do cannot disprove a theory, you have to prove it. However, if as you claimed more frequent and more violent storms is PREDICTED by the theory and that proves NOT to be the case, what does that mean for the theory?

“Glaciers are melting a lot faster than scientists predicted.” That just proves these guys didn’t understand what’s going on. That DOES NOT mean anything unusual is happening.

“We know global warming is going to raise global temperatures, cause extinctions and wreak general havoc with weather patterns around the world. ”

How do you KNOW this? You some kind of god? No, you do not know this at all. This is just speculative predictions. That’s all. You claim that evidence is what counts, then what evidence is there that a warmer climate is going to product these things you “know” about?

JR, You commented:
“We know global warming is going to raise global temperatures, cause extinctions and wreak general havoc with weather patterns around the world. ”

How do you KNOW this? You some kind of god? No, you do not know this at all. This is just speculative predictions. That’s all. You claim that evidence is what counts, then what evidence is there that a warmer climate is going to product these things you “know” about?”

It is clear you have not researched findings of the past 5 years. From ice core sampling in Antartica to sediment analysis of the coast of Greanland and northern lakes, a clearer picture of how climate changes has emerged. It points to:
1) Rapid and sudent changes (less than 100 years)” have occurred in the past.
2) Mass extinctions generally follow such rapid changes.
3) The Earth ability to support mammal life is at its lowest when it is warmest.

Just scientific findings, nothing to do with god.

Please provide your references to back up your claims.

“The Earth ability to support mammal life is at its lowest when it is warmest.” Actually I had to laugh out loud about that one. All the major Mammalian clads evolved in a very short time frame some 55 myo when the world was as much as 8C warmer than today. So how you come to that conclusion is beyond me. But maybe you have references to back up that claim?

Oh, and “Mass extinctions generally follow such rapid changes” also means all new speciation takes place. Extinctions are actually very rare events. It’s very rare that all the members of a species completely die off. Most “extinctions” are actually problems with the definsion of species. If enough members survive, and rebound changed by natural selection, then the “species” did not go extinct except taxonomically. The genetic line previals, just in a new species.

My point was not so much that Katrina was caused by AGW. But it was known for a long time that New Orlean was exposed and that the levies could be breached. The politicians did not have the courage to address the problem, just like they don’t have the courage to address GHG increases. Then when Katrina hit, they stood there arguing as to who should help while people were dying.

Yes, Clinton knew just how structurally weak and compromised the old levies were, but he chose to do almost nothing to prevent breaching of those levies by the Gulf waters during an even a moderately severe hurricane.

Really, Clinton couldn’t get the Republican dominated houses to do anything about social programs. The US right has become so selfish that it’s ready to destroy the planet for profit.

Since China and India are now the biggest emitters, and they are rapidly increasing their standard of living, are they too included with the US at destroying the planet for profit? Or are you just a US hater?

If the US and Canada simply ceased to exist tomorrow, China and India would quickly make up our emissions within a few short years.

It’s weird how China gets such a pass all the time. The fact is China’s emissions will skyrocket - no matter what - for the next 50 years.

CO2 is their baby.

Actually, if the US and Canada ceased to exist, China and India economies would collapse and their pollution would probably go down.

That is not to say we should give them a free pass. An hefty carbon tax on everything imported from them would be a good starting point.

“Unfortunately, no action will take place as long as the denial machine continues to be well funded.”

If it’s funding that interests you, then denying AGW is not smart. You would support it. That’s where the big bucks are.

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