The United States of America have launched their secret bearded missile at the United Nations – Jonathan Pershing – in a direct strike on the international Climate Change negotiations.
“America sees a diminished role for the United Nations in trying to stop global warming after the “chaotic” Copenhagen climate change summit, an Obama administration official said today. Jonathan Pershing, who helped lead talks at Copenhagen, instead sketched out a future path for negotiations dominated by the world’s largest polluters such as China, the US, India, Brazil and South Africa, who signed up to a deal in the final hours of the summit. That would represent a realignment of the way the international community has dealt with climate change over the last two decades…Pershing said… “But it is also impossible to imagine a negotiation of enormous complexity where you have a table of 192 countries involved in all the detail.”…The lack of confidence in the UN extends to the $30bn (£18.5bn) global fund, which will be mobilised over the next three years to help poor countries adapt to climate change. “The UN didn’t manage the conference that well,” Pershing said. “I am not sure that any of us are particularly confident that the UN managing the near-term financing is the right way to go.”…”
Climate Change has a new axis. When it comes to “us” versus “them”, the royal “we” now excludes every nation except the approximately 30 nations that signed up to the Copanhagen Accord :-
The Copenhagen Accord signatories may well constitute those “major emitters” that account for more than 90% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions, and it is important to get serious commitment from this group; but dismissing the United Nations process could well mean the adoption of world policy that is unsuited to many nations, expensive or just plain ineffective in putting a halt to Global Warming.
The United Nations is following more lines of enquiry than the widely promoted strategies of : Carbon Trading (through the Clean Development Mechanism), Carbon Capture and Storage, New Nuclear Power, Logging Rainforest to “protect” it (REDD), Geoengineering, a large Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, plus an element of Carbon Taxation thrown in for good measure.
For a start, the Majority World should retain the right to object to the inadequate levels of commitment shown by the major emitters in whatever global treaty is adopted. America and its Axis of Major Emitters may well get some kind of decision about the shape and scale of national commitments to emissions reductions from its members – but this may not be good enough to satisfy the Science – thus condemning many poorer nations.
Despite being notably weak to the point of floppiness on numbers and targets generally, the Copenhagen Accord does mention that it could be tightened up, after more Science has been done, in 2015, but this could be way too late to get things changing :-
“12. We call for an assessment of the implementation of this Accord to be completed by 2015, including in light of the Conventions ultimate objective. This would include consideration of strengthening the long-term goal referencing various matters presented by the science, including in relation to temperature rises of 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
We shall see, at the end of January 2010, whether the Copenhagen Accord can give the world the 2 degrees Celsius cap on global temperatures, projecting major emitters’ national commitments on Carbon Emissions Reductions out to the resulting Global Warming.
It’s no good having a target if you’re not prepared to hit it.
It’s no good saying we need a global treaty when more than half the nations have not signed up to join the elite clique.
This has the appearance of a “divide and rule” scenario set up. Exclude voices who call for 350 ppm atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, even if their Science is the basis for the next IPCC Report on Climate Change. Exclude demands for a global Carbon Quota system, yet refuse to put mandatory numbers on Carbon Reductions commitments. Make your policy proposals sound like driving forces, even when they have no basis in reality.
For example, what the Accord calls “opportunities to use markets” means Carbon Trading. But Carbon Trading is an “neutrality” device – offsetting omissions of emissions in one place with permissions for emissions in another. What we actually need is firm Carbon Emissions Reductions commitments, not Carbon Trading.
In addition, nobody has demonstrated in figures that Carbon Trading can deliver the functional outcomes proposed, at the scale imagined.
It is ridiculous to propose the Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, the “Copenhagen Green Climate Fund”, of the order of $10 billion a year, or up to $100 billion in total, when there is no recognised means of moving that kind of value around effectively without attrition from debt and poor trade conditions.
Who would administer any large fund set up ? Would nations contribute any more devotedly than they have to the Millenium Development Goals Aid commitment of 0.7% GDP/GNP per year ?
People who disagree with the broad agenda put forward by Nicholas Stern and others British and American, are often dismissed as being hostile, blocking or belligerent. This is a great way to rule your opposition out of order. It doesn’t make a country wrong to be opposed to the measures proposed in the Copenhagen Accord. It doesn’t make analysts or commentators wrong to criticise the confidence that the major emitters seem to be placing in the Copenhagen Accord.