From the GWPF
Green Agenda Kicked Into UN Black Hole
The climate change conference in Cancún has ended with failure to set a target date for the reduction of carbon emissions. The Mexican hosts persuaded 192 out of 193 countries to accept the “Cancún agreement” by the simple trick of aiming for the lowest common denominator — the agreement was secured by deferring decisions on all of the most contentious issues. –Ben Webster, The Times, 13 December 2010
Under the new Cancun deal, each country will be allowed to offer whatever it wishes to pledge for emission reductions on its own volition. There shall be no cumulative target to reach. No one shall ask if the individual targets are collectively adequate or not. The new regime will only check if the pledges have been acted upon or not. Rich countries, including the US, will offer emission reduction targets and others, such as India, will offer their mitigation actions as part of a new deal which can be said to be defined by the bottoms up approach. Under the agreement India will get off easy. Because it let others off easy as well. –Nitin Sethi, The Economic Times of India, 12 December 2010
That is the big news out of Cancun; the green agenda has fallen into a UN black hole and for now at least it cannot get out. The “success” of Cancun is a best case scenario from the skeptic’s point of view. The cost of funding endless UN gabfests in exotic tourist locations (next up: South Africa in 2012) is trivial compared to the cost of any serious efforts to deal with carbon emissions on the scale current scientific theory suggests would be needed. Bureaucrats will dance, journalists will spin and carbon will spew, and the greens will be unable to escape this dysfunctional UN process for years and maybe decades to come. –Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 12 December 2010
A new “green fund” to help poor countries adapt to the effects of global warming formed the centrepiece of a small package of measures on climate change agreed at the Cancún conference, which finished on Saturday. But although governments have agreed on the form of the fund, which should eventually supply $100bn a year to developing countries, the question of how the money for it will be raised has still not been resolved. –Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, 12 December 2010
Is there anybody on planet earth who thinks that $100 billion is going to be paid? –Walter Russell Mead,The American Interest, 12 December 2010
When it comes to UN climate conferences, I am constantly flabbergasted by the breathless naivety and forced optimism of certain politicians and environmental reporters, not to mention of green activists. It is as if Voltaire’s very own Dr. Pangloss had set sail to Cancún with Candide. –Philip Stott,The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 12 December 2010
UK businesses are facing a “perfect storm” from 2012 when they will be hit by a doubling in their energy bills at the same time as the UK government’s controversial “carbon tax”. —Nathalie Thomas,Scotland on Sunday, 12 December 2010
Powerfuel, which is developing the UK’s first commercial scale clean coal power plant, has gone into administration because of the crippling cost of the project. The administration is a blow for CCS technology, which the UK and EU see as vital to meeting targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions. –Andrew Bounds,Financial Times, 11 December 2010
Cancun Has Solidified Deadlock Over Post-Kyoto Treaty
The UN climate summit shows that there is no prospect whatever for a global and legally binding climate treaty.
All that the Cancun summit has done is to bless, formally, the Copenhagen accord, and roll it forward for another year.
Despite all the usual rhetoric by politicians and campaigners, the fact remains that yet another attempt has failed to reach a legally binding agreement.
The summit has postponed, once again, all real decisions and has solidified the international deadlock. What little that was agreed was without substance and is not binding in any case.
No other country has been as foolish as Britain to enact extremely aggressive and completely unrealistic climate targets. For the UK, to keep going it alone is not merely suicidal but pointless.
Nor does it make sense to make British industry – and manufacturing in particular – even more uncompetitive, or to drive it overseas, by gratuitously driving up energy costs.
The Government should now suspend its unilateral and extremely costly climate targets until such time as all other major nations have signed up to the same course.
Dr Benny Peiser
Director, The Global Warming Policy Foundation