Good news from a new report: Effective Climate Agreement Not Likely

From the Research Council of Norway

According to a group of Norwegian researchers, the prospects for achieving an effective international climate treaty are poor. The measures that are politically feasible are ineffective and the measures that would be effective are politically infeasible.


In the project “The nature, design and feasibility of robust climate agreements,” researchers from the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (Cicero) and Statistics Norway (SSB) posed the following question: What are the conditions for succeeding in achieving an international climate agreement that will substantially reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases?

The backdrop for the question is the extremely slow progress in the UN negotiations on a climate agreement. The world is actually further away from achieving an effective international climate agreement today than it was 15 years ago, when the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. Little basis for optimism exists.

Three conditions must be met

Professor Jon Hovi headed the project at Cicero in Oslo. The project was funded by the Research Council of Norway and was concluded in 2013.

Professor Hovi identifies three prerequisites for a robust international climate agreement:

  1. It must encompass all key countries, i.e., all major emitters of greenhouse gases.
  2. It must require each member country to cut its emissions substantially.
  3. The member countries must comply with their commitments.

But even with a robust system of this type in place, a number of practical problems would arise, admits Professor Hovi. And even if these problems could be solved or if compliance could somehow be enforced without such practical problems, there is little chance that such measures would be adopted.

Why? Because strict enforcement of a climate agreement is not politically feasible, according to the Norwegian researchers.

Full report

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September 5, 2014 4:03 am

Circle guilt-tripping, the jerks.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  kim
September 5, 2014 6:22 am

Guffaw, guffaw, Kim. One of your best! 😉

Reply to  Harry Passfield
September 5, 2014 8:31 am

How about just calling it a circle jerk?

Reply to  kim
September 5, 2014 6:36 am

Very adroit Kim!! Best comment ever about this subject.

Reply to  kim
September 5, 2014 7:43 am

According this:“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” — John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001
And then this:
1. It must encompass all key countries, i.e., all major emitters of greenhouse gases.
2. It must require each member country to cut its emissions substantially.
3. The member countries must comply with their commitments.
It sounds more like a strange cult that plans to make a giant collective economic mass suicide among industrial societies?

September 5, 2014 4:04 am

World governance is hard – especially when 200 nations think their governance is the best model. That in effect is what they are going for with their agreements. They all have a common goal, but they also all have egos.

Reply to  philjourdan
September 5, 2014 4:20 am

Ego is usually a good thing. Unless you are able to make every ego content – you’ll have to fix the same issue over and over again.

James Bull
September 5, 2014 4:29 am

Anyone want to go into the cat herding business, would be much easier than getting world agreement on climate policy.
Then again they could follow the EU example and say “we all agree……… but not about the same things” and make a binding agreement that only a few keep to.
James Bull

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  James Bull
September 5, 2014 7:12 am

Which is exactly the plan for Paris 2015. There WILL be an agreement.
That it will be hugely expensive for no measurable change in CO2 is beside the point.
That it will be impossible to ratify won’t stop them.
It will be toothless, as that will be a requirement for any agreement.
For the public gravy train to continue, they must produce something that looks and sounds like a agreement.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
September 5, 2014 3:53 pm

Don’t forget the part where they use this nonsense non-science as an excuse to continue chipping away at national governments (especially those that are responsive to their citizens) and keep putting bricks into the foundation of a global government. Must continue to keep the serfs and peons in their place. Must control everything. Must do it really fast before the truth catches up with us.

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  Stephen Rasey
September 5, 2014 4:41 pm

Let us also not forget WHERE this is happening. In Paris, a member of the EU. The EU might have the largest Parliament whose members are elected. (751 members – but whenever did size, power, and effectiveness go together in a political body?) But it has been argued that the power in the EU rests with the Commission whose members are appointed, not elected.

The European Commission (EC) is the executive arm of the Union. It is a body composed of one appointee from each state, currently twenty-eight, but is designed to be independent of national interests. The body is responsible for drafting all law of the European Union and has a near monopoly on proposing new laws (bills).[19] It also deals with the day-to-day running of the Union and has the duty of upholding the law and treaties (in this role it is known as the “Guardian of the Treaties”). – Wikipedia

Where better to forge our chains?

September 5, 2014 4:41 am

A robust climate agreement? I take it they want to agree on the type of climate we are supposed to have? Maybe they need to refine their words? How about an agreement to control greenhouse gas emissions?
If that´s what it´s all about then the primary requisite is to have a practical energy source alternative China and India can use. Lacking such alternatives means 1/3 of the world´s population will keep on burning fossil fuels for a fairly long time.
Some may ask, and what if the temperature increases another couple of degrees centigrade? I think those two countries will wait and see what happens. Thus far the temperature seems to be holding steady, isn´t it? That really ruins their ability to do much about the problem, even if it´s as serious as some like to claim.

September 5, 2014 4:41 am

USA/Europe agree that China/India should limit their emissions, and China/India agree that it should be USA/Europe reducing them. So they all agree, and not only that, they agree on different things 😀
Australia and Canada will be fine with anything as long as the others keep buying the coal / oil sands that they have for sale 😀

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Nylo
September 5, 2014 4:47 am

And I as a Canadian will be glad to sell the oil to them. CO2 is plant food and good for the earth.

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  Matt Bergin
September 5, 2014 7:22 am

And would it be such a bad thing if Canadian winters were a fraction of a degree warmer or planting season a day longer?
I can see why Canada would be party to a “Prevent Climate Change” accord to stave off a coming ice age. But why should a legitimate representative of Canadian citizens work to forestall “Global Warming.” Even the vary worst predictions of sea level rise will affect very few Canadians.

September 5, 2014 4:47 am

Idiots!! The reason no one wants to implement these climate agreements is because their solutions always suck. Reducing co2 is easy if you do not use such expensive alternatives instead of say nuclear power.
Nothing political about it at all in the end. Just a terrible solution to a trivial problem.

September 5, 2014 4:52 am

benfrommo September 5, 2014 at 4:47 am
“Idiots!! The reason no one wants to implement these climate agreements is because their solutions always suck….”
And because deep down inside everyone know that the whole thing is hype intended to make a few investors in alternative enregies even more wealthy. There is no concensus because there is no need.

Reply to  John The Cube
September 5, 2014 7:04 am

They also like to blame sceptics for their own failures. Let’s hope this paper makes them see the light. Even if ALL sceptics had shut their mouths and not written a single word since Kyoto they would still be failing badly.

September 5, 2014 4:52 am

Norway has oversupply of energy. Gas from fields offshore and electrical energy from water. Export of energy is one of the main income. Now they like to be environmental and electrify their platforms. So the gas , former used for electrical generation, can be exported-to be electricity. Saving the world-the Norwegian way!

Donald Mitchell
September 5, 2014 5:16 am

If someone wants to convince me to modify my normal course of action in a particular manner, they must first convince me that it is in my best interest to make that modification. In this particular situation I see three necessary steps that have been completely ignored.
1 Convince me that there is a real (as opposed to hypothetical) problem.
2 Convince me that I can take action which will help mitigate the problem.
3 Convince me that the particular course of action that they desire me to take is the one that will be most beneficial to me.
I cannot see that any of these steps have been been addressed with anything more effective than “Trust us. We know what is best for you.”.
Until those steps have been addressed in a transparent manner with full disclosure of verifiable original data and explanation of method of analysis, I have to assume that some element of fraud exists and that my most immediate danger is from those who are proposing the cure as opposed to a postulated problem.

September 5, 2014 5:20 am

The most important metric of a climate policy is to answer the question whether one is needed. There is no evidence that there is a climate problem that requires a climate agreement to solve.

Tom J
September 5, 2014 5:30 am

‘Professor Hovi identifies three prerequisites for a robust international climate agreement:’
I thought the word ‘robust’ was only used as a scientific adjective intended to cover up certain scientific inadequacies in methods, calculations, or experiments. I guess its meaning has now been expanded for use beyond the scientific community which had fallen so very much in love with the word.

Village Idiot
September 5, 2014 5:32 am

This is old news to those familiar with the CICERO website:
And for those of us whose skeptisism centers around the World community actually doing what the science says needs to be done about the Climate Problem, further confirmation that, well, we are right.
It’s the height of naivety to beleive that governments could come up with anything other than “too little, too late” when we take into account human nature. Big businesses vested interests, unfocused and uninterested populations, politicians obsession with popularity to win the next election, ‘experts’ getting their snouts in the climate sceptic trough (being controversial draws attention = money), those dim enough to beleive conspiracy theories, etc., etc., etc..
Time has shown that ‘the sun did it with cosmic rays’ was rubbish. We’re definitely going to get the chance to see if mainstream climate science is right…

Billy Liar
Reply to  Village Idiot
September 5, 2014 12:23 pm

You certainly live up to your name.

James the Elder
Reply to  Village Idiot
September 5, 2014 5:39 pm

[snip – off topic]

September 5, 2014 5:34 am

Well – quel surpris….

Owen in GA
September 5, 2014 5:42 am

They have a problem – there is no policy that can be implemented (feasible or not) that will make one bit of difference in “Global Climate Change” . The one constant in the history of this lump of rock circling that ball of gas is change, and there is nothing those politicians can do to make it stable!

September 5, 2014 5:50 am

Leaders of 100 of the countries just want us to send cash for a promise not to develop and increase their emmissions. This will allow the dictators of these countries to keep their people oppressed and poor

September 5, 2014 5:54 am

When there isn’t a problem you don’t need a solution.

September 5, 2014 6:00 am

So who needs an agreement? We all get a great o/s holiday for free. If we solve this we’re stuck behind computers again, so get with the program: draw it out and keep it going.

Ralph Knapp
September 5, 2014 6:01 am

Hopefully, this climate change charade finally sinks quickly into the depths of the nether regions never to be heard from again.

September 5, 2014 6:02 am

‘the prospects for achieving an effective international climate treaty are poor. ‘
Still it is not all good news , that means yet another very well funded 5 star meeting of the ‘great and good’ to give it other go some time in the future.
If nothing else all these meetings have certainly been a boost for high-end hotel and hospitality market. Not to mention all the landing fess the various airport have been marking , the maintenance for all the private jets , limo drivers , high-end ‘personal services’ , and range of rather nice and expensive restaurants.
The only real loser has be sucker Joe public.

September 5, 2014 6:08 am

The warming from unhindered and growing manmade CO2 (however much it might be) has barely managed to keep the global temperature flat over most of the last two decades. We’re supposedly leaving the current interglacial (give or take a thousand years) and the sun seems to be entering a phase similar to other periods associated with lower global temperatures. Does anyone see a potential problem with curbing the growth of manmade CO2 at this point however right the warmists might be?

Mark Bofill
September 5, 2014 6:48 am

This is never going to make sense to the AGW activists. There’s way too much common sense involved.

September 5, 2014 7:19 am

Here’s more from the report:

A system based on deposits
Hovi and his associates recommend a system based on deposits
At ratification, each country deposits a significant amount of money.
The deposits are administered by an international secretariat. Each party continues to make yearly deposits during the preparation stage prior to the commitment period. The total amount deposited by each country should correspond to the abatement costs associated with its commitments.
At the end of the commitment period, those countries that meet their emissions limitation targets receive a full refund of their deposit (plus interest), while those that fail to do so forfeit part or all of it.
But even with a robust system of this type in place, a number of practical problems would arise, admits Professor Hovi. And even if these problems could be solved or if compliance could somehow be enforced without such practical problems, there is little chance that such measures would be adopted.
Why? Because strict enforcement of a climate agreement is not politically feasible, according to the Norwegian researchers.
“For example, China opposes mechanisms that entail international intervention in domestic affairs as a matter of principle. China is not even prepared to accept international monitoring of its own emissions. The UN principle of full consensus allows countries opposed to enforcement measures to prevail by using their veto right during negotiations,” Professor Hovi says in conclusion.

William Astley
Reply to  rogerknights
September 5, 2014 8:33 am

The developed countries have reached the limit of deficit spending and quantitative easing. When the money runs out political and internal infighting begins. Politicians get elected by making promises to spend more, not to cut services and reduce living standards by raising taxes. Public spending will be forced to be reduce. Delaying the inevitable does not change the inevitable.
The public is not going to support further cuts in health care, education, road maintenance, defense, public sector wages and benefits, and so on, to provide money to spend on idiotic green scams which make almost no difference in CO2 emissions.
The public certainly is not going to support sending money to developing countries to be wasted on idiotic green scams that do not work.
When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence. By Stephen King. Yale University Press

September 5, 2014 7:37 am

I love the way it’s those living like Kings/ Queens dictating how the hard working should lead their lives.
The good news is they would have to live like Ghandi for the world to take them seriously and that is never going to happen.

Berényi Péter
September 5, 2014 7:44 am

Make nuclear energy cheaper than coal and synthesis of hydrocarbon fluids using said energy source cheaper than oil. It should be possible, for one ton of ordinary granite, the default stuff continents are made of contains as much useful energy as fifty tons of coal (+133 tons of atmospheric oxygen).
As soon as this technological (and regulatory!) breakthrough is brought to the market, no further agreement is needed.

September 5, 2014 8:02 am

Could this be really a power play of the more ‘developed’ nations? I truly hate the whole conspiration idea but, with the access to mass spread of information and good campaigns I think it plausible.
Would be a way to hamper development of potential competitors in the economic and military fronts.
The ‘science’ makes so little sense and so much none-sense that I am at a loss on how they can keep pushing it. It has to be more than a few people making a handsome amount of money…

September 5, 2014 8:17 am

“Good news from a new report: Effective Climate Agreement Not Likely”
Unfortunately, the current ineffective climate agreements are costing us all a lot of money and, arguably, lost lives.

michael hart
September 5, 2014 8:25 am

People such as James Watt, with his steam engine, actually saw a way of meeting the unmet needs of human beings. He improved people’s lives because they wanted to use his invention. These climate people still haven’t grasped the significance of that fact.
I also question whether they have any real interest in the welfare of their fellow humans, or just want to feel good about themselves by telling others what to do. I could tell them what to do, but the language might be a bit too “robust” to get past moderation.

September 5, 2014 10:40 am

Reaching an agreement is the relatively easy part, especially given the propensity of many countries and politicians to sign up to anything.
* Next comes fulfilling the agreement (fat chance)
* Next comes the effect of the fulfilling (will the CO2 actually notice what we puny humans are doing?)
* Next, will the altered atmosphere (if at all) result in a different climate?
* Finally, will the new climate be better than before?

September 5, 2014 3:51 pm

“The measures that are politically feasible are ineffective and the measures that would be effective are politically infeasible.” presupposes the existence of ‘effective measures’.
Effective to reduce global atmospheric CO2? Or to reduce global temperature?
Because we know reducing food plant is tough medicine, we must be sure this reduces global temperatures, and that reducing global temperatures is good for a great majority of the people, plants and other animals.
Do we want to loose those 0.6°C and go back 1975?

September 5, 2014 8:38 pm

CO2 is the exhaust of Capitalism. Isn’t it our duty to destroy it? Maurice Strong writing in Our Common Future, the book that was the precursor to Agenda 21.

September 5, 2014 9:07 pm

I’m confused as to what Australia’s role should be, Are we a large emitter or are we a large sequesterer of CO2, as per IBUKI satellite?

September 6, 2014 3:16 pm

This what happens when people dishonestly exploit emotional blackmail. NIMBY

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