Cancun Climate Agreement

Originally posted by me on 12/12/2010 

cancun.pngI personally remain unconvinced that man-made global warning will have catastrophic consequences for mankind unless we take drastic action now. So I do not support the UN-sponsored efforts to forge an international action plan to control carbon emissions. Due to the UN’s history of corruption, I don’t regard them as a particularly trustworthy organization. And I am suspicious that the global ruling class is more enamored by the prospects of redistributing wealth from developed countries to developing countries (and making loads of money themselves) than it is in trying to engineer global climate. As the image to the right suggests, I view efforts at reducing carbon emissions to be more or less the same as throwing money away.

With that said, I am always interested in what the UN is trying to do with respect to combating global warming. The most recent climate conference in Cancun looked like it wasn’t going to produce any sort of agreement, but the climate czars managed to produce an agreement (over Bolivia’s objections) at the final hour. From my perspective, the best part about the agreement is that it sets no legally binding limits on carbon emissions for the nations in the world. But here is what they managed to accomplish:

  • Developed nations who are Kyoto signatories have not agreed in a legally binding fashion to reduce carbon emissions beyond 2012 when the Kyoto requirements expire. In particular Japan and Russia resisted further emissions requirements while China and the U.S. were under no compulsion to reduce their emissions because they did not agree to the Kyoto Treaty.
  • As I understand it, suggestions were made that signatories of the Kyoto protocol attempt to reduce carbon emissions to a level that is 15% below 1990 levels by 2020. But these are just suggestions. The Kyoto requirements for reducing carbon emissions will expire in 2012, and the global community is trying to lay the ground work for a phase 2 of the Kyoto treaty. (Interestingly, I read elsewhere that the target was to reduce carbon emissions 25 to 40 percent by 2020 over 1990 levels.)
  • China agreed to consider making its pledge on emissions reduction binding in a separate document.
  • We are getting ready to do a big money transfer from developed to developing countries. Personally I think this this is more motivated by an anti-colonialist philosophy than concerns about global warming, but here are the details
    • A Green Climate Fund has been established to be managed by 24 directors, half from developed countries and the other half from developing countries.
    • There is a rapid assistance fund of $30 billion. This money is coming from the U.S., the EU and Japan.
    • There’s also a pledge (by the same three entities?) to provide $100 billion a year to the fund starting in 2020.
  • Participants at the conference (mostly the developing nations) also agreed to try to slow the rate of deforestation while respecting the rights of indigenous people.
  • There is a $20 billion market in carbon offsets that’s in play and that was depending on the signatories of the Kyoto treaty staying on board. The way this works is that industrial nations buy carbon offsets from the developing countries because its cheaper for them to have trees planted in the third world than it is to simply decrease their own carbon emissions.

So there you have it. As I understand it, Britain is expected to have the coldest December this year than it has since such records have been kept (about 100 years). But then whenever there is record-setting cold temperatures, it’s just weather. But whenever the temperature is warmer than usual, it is climate change. Michelle Malkin has also published a post on the “global warming hypocrites”: Selling Global Warming: Timing is Everything.

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