A Whole Stable of Trojans

Given the complexity of the draft documents available ahead of the Copenhagen meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 15, starting 7th December 2009, I’m not going to probe it in detail at this point.

What I am going to do is outline a few of the Trojan horses, and, if I get the time, unpack them further closer to the conference season.

TROJAN PONY : This one looks like an innocent, good idea until you really analyse it in detail : REDD : Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries – as known as “Stop Cutting Down The Rainforest” :-

http://unfccc.int/methods_science/redd/items/4531.php

My summary is : it’s not the people in the rainforest nations that need to stop logging, it’s the large companies that need to be stopped from logging. And that means that somehow the construction industry and the markets in wood products such as : toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, newspapers, junk mail, office stationery and wood pulp and so on need to be addressed.

My other opinion is : if you “permit” people to carry on logging to get some wealth from the rainforests in order to justify stopping logging the rainforest…well, pretty soon there will be no rainforest left.

Who wins ? Transnational wood products companies.

TROJAN DONKEY : Carbon Trading, based on something that looks like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that is currently not working. Basically, the idea is that you pay people to plant Carbon Negative plantations, and then give them Carbon Credits for it that they can trade with those in regulated Carbon Markets, such as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. Many of the Carbon “negative” projects have been shown to be faulty.

Carbon Trading will only ever work for those administering the trade, in my view. That’ll be the banks, then.

Who wins ? The bankers.

TROJAN CARTHORSE : The global M&A Fund (Mitigation and Adaptation). This week, Europe has been chinwagging to agree a form of words regarding how much money they will pay to developing countries to go green. This kind of direct funding will allow more immedate remediation in countries which are already suffering the impacts of Climate Change. Theoretically, the “mitigation” part of it will allow countries to set up Carbon negative projects for which they could receive Carbon Credits to trade to the developed countries. This kind of scheme hasn’t worked so far, though (see “Carbon Trading” above).

The M&A Fund would have to be administered neutrally, globally, by an enormous financial structure, probably a newly created one. It will then be open to the usual international fudges and the ridiculous kind of actions that we have seen from the World Bank.

Who wins ? The bankers.

TROJAN HIPPO : We will continue to see industrial and governmental support for failed and wasteful technologies : principally Carbon Capture and Storage and new Nuclear Power.

Who wins ? The large mining, construction and Energy companies, who will continue to pollute and make their customers pay the Carbon costs.

Remember : your Governments believe that all of these things are useful in the struggle/fight/combat against Climate Change.

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