COP21: Shortest Climate Agreement Honeymoon Ever?

Cop21-paris

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The initial explosion of green Euphoria at the announcement of the COP21 climate agreement, is rapidly giving way to dismay, as various environmentalists and other expectant parties realise how feeble their climate “victory” really is.

According to The Guardian;

Leaders from around the world have hailed the agreement struck in Paris on climate change, but some analysts and environmentalists are less sure about its impact.

Richard Chatterton, head of climate policy at the group, which provides analysis used by investors, said: “The deal reached in Paris is weak, containing no concrete increase in the level of ambition to address climate change, and simply urges countries to do more over time.”

He said the most notable outcome was the mechanism for five-yearly reviews of carbon targets, and agreement on the principle that countries should provide transparent accounts of how they reach those goals. But even these were “accompanied by language that could allow countries to maintain the status quo for years to come”.

Other observers were also wary. Oxfam called the deal “a mixed bag”, arguing that governments had failed to put humanity’s interests above “narrowly defined and short-term interests”, and that the lack of a pathway to keep temperature rises below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels left that goal unclear and vulnerable people in danger.

But investors should take it as a signal, he added. “Does this give investors confidence? Probably, yes. It’s all very woolly [in language and aims] but the direction of travel is clear – to low-carbon.”

Read (plenty) more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/14/paris-climate-change-deal-cop21-oxfam-actionaid

A pretty fair assessment, in my opinion, is the only real achievement of the new climate agreement, is perpetuity of employment for the climate conference class – an agreement for regular “reviews”, to ensure our jetset climate heroes don’t run short of conferences to attend.

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79 thoughts on “COP21: Shortest Climate Agreement Honeymoon Ever?

  1. The current low oil price is also a signal not to invest in energy at the moment.
    CO2 emitting or not.

    • oh I would disagree, it’s a strong buy signal. The deferral of billions of $$ in forward investment in O&G exploration and production globally is storing huge structural issues in the medium term (3-10 years) for forward petrochemical (note I did not type fossil fuel as petrochem products make up a large part of the output from hydrocarbons) production. China, India, Brazil and other developing countries energy demands will also not be going away any time soon, even with the eco-loons attempting to bribe them back to the Stone Age.
      And (sorry for starting a sentence with an And) if said eco-loons get their legal way, oil and gas price/bbl will soar when they make it illegal to produce. This is when WWIII will happen.

      • ‘This is when WWIII will happen.’
        Oh I doubt that. Limited strikes on UN facilities and targeted assassinations of their bureaucrats and the lawyers – always the lawyers, possibly some tar and feathering of Democrats and Greenies but hardly much more.

      • AleaJactaEst, I thoroughly agree with you. With at least a 20 year horizon required to recoup the capital investment in very expensive oil refining/petrochemical equipment, what board in its right mind would approve any new construction or replacement of existing equipment in this loony environemnt?

      • Petrochemical and refining profits are not based on the price of oil/natural gas, but on the margin they get when products are created from the raw materials. It’s my understanding that those margins are currently quite high.

      • I agree with you but we probably have not hit a bottom yet. I wrote this yesterday:
        Wayne Delbeke
        December 14, 2015 at 9:17 pm
        Brians356-
        Anyone notice what the price of crude was today, or the price of natural gas? Anyone notice what the amount of oil being pumped by OPEC is? And how much more will come on stream when the embargo is removed from Iran and the US starts shipping overseas again? How much oil has ISIS been shipping to Turkey? How much oil and gas is Russia producing and where is it going? Looks like a race to the bottom.
        I sort of think that CNN has it wrong if price, supply and demand are an indicator. The world seems rather awash in fossil fuels and most of the world is going to use more of it regardless of what suicidal policies North America and Europe adopt.
        There is an fossil fuel energy war going on that could make COP21 and CO2 control in the west almost trivial and meaningless.
        I think this old fossil will just put another log on the fire and hunker down.
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-14/never-mind-35-the-world-s-cheapest-oil-is-already-close-to-20
        http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/natural-gas.aspx
        http://time.com/4132346/turkey-isis-oil/
        http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Did-The-Saudis-And-The-US-Collude-In-Dropping-Oil-Prices.html

      • AleaJactaEst
        I read a piece a day or so ago that said, inter alia, that so much production had been taken off line that available capacity (i.e that which can be turned on by ‘opening a tap’) exceeded demand by only a very small amount, 1.5 million bbl/day IIRC.
        The consequence of this is that the price is likely to be unstable. A increase in demand that is quite small compared to the size of the overall market could see all of the slack taken up and thus prices rise suddenly. That would get a lot of production that had been (semi-)mothballed brought back into use, but of course not overnight. Hence six months later the price might well drop again.

    • I would disagree. Now is the perfect time.
      For governments in countries not endowed with natural energy resources like China, now is a great chance to look into a dozen different nuclear technologies and figure out what will work. Price manipulation is primarily political (carbon tax and market share) driven. It will go back up when demand goes up and OPEC cut (kill off competition enough) production.
      For individuals it is a lot more dicey as the carnage in the fossil fuel group is just starting (IMHO). You would have to be very careful but there will be bargains to be had over the next few years.

    • When stocks are low, is the time to buy. The current glut is temporary and those stocks will rise in price in a few months to a few years.

      • check out ZERO HEDGE for some interesting items on the opil/gas supply issue
        and Russia feels its more like 7 yrs its going to be low priced
        and they are planning accordingly.
        the storages are full, the offshore tankers are brimming,
        and saudis are still madly pumping it up.
        rather funny
        theyd tried to coner mkt n screw usa..well they have to a degree
        also run emselves into the red doing it.

        • Hmmm
          Interesting timing.
          That’s when projections for MSR reactors should be making market penetration.
          10 years of continued low oil.
          Wind and solar boondoggles.
          MSRs on their white horse as fossil start to increase in price again ?
          Should be entertaining to watch unfold.

    • That would have taken too much time from golf vacations. The current record holder for a west to east Atlantic passage under sail is the Banque Populaire V, which made New York to the imaginary point linking Lizard Point, Cornwall to Ushant (5,330 km, 3,310 statutory miles, 2,880 nautical miles) in 3 days, 15 and one half hours, averaging almost 33 knots or 61.0 km/hr.
      Impressive for a sailboat, considering that back in the days when people actually travelled by sail the fastest passage was around 15 days. To this we would have to add some additional time to get to a French port, and then on to Paris by sustainable horse-drawn carriage. East to west passage takes longer due to prevailing winds. All together, it would take at least seven weeks for the round trip to Paris and two weeks of meetings if the delegates emitted no CO2 from fossil fuels.
      Maybe it’s a good idea. If we increase the travel time while reducing comfort for these COP meetings, we will get fewer of them.
      If we follow the COP21 plan, we are all taking a one-way trip back to the 18th century.

      • How come is it OK for these movers and shakers to off-set their CO2 by planting some tress, or by buying some carbon credits?
        Why can’t I plant a few trees and/or buy some credits which are trading in cents to off-set my lifetimes CO2 emissions and then no longer have to pay any of the green taxes whether on fuel, airfare or whatever.
        We could all easily become Carbon neutral in this manner. So how much is a carbon credit for say 500 tonnes of CO2 trading on the European or Chicago floor? You produce your certificate and you get your petrol (gas) at a price less the government green taxes, dittp when purchasing flights, ditto when paying your electricity bill etc.

  2. Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change for ActionAid, said the poor had been excluded: “What we needed out of Paris was a deal that put the poorest people first. What we have been presented with doesn’t go far enough to improve the fragile existence of millions around the world.”
    Think the global corruption has to be dealt with before “the poor” get a sniff of a buck. Some hope with the 190 troughers and bag carriers we saw.

    • Though it does look as if the poor will see some benefit from continued and increasing use of cheap fossil fuels.

      • Jeff (FL), Ex-expat Colin, you are right, and the arguments regarding economic development are obviously in favor of cheap energy to all people. The corruption moves top-down, we see from Mr. Singh, where the draw of short-term “aid” beats out that of a new, long-term infrastructure that might just catalyze the kind of life in perpetuity for many people (ideally) that the “aid” might give a few people for a short time.

  3. Attention Anthony, or MODS
    Why is that if I try to LIKE your page on Facebook, Word Press tries to change my home page ?? That is not a good thing and discourages people from LIKING your page !!

  4. Emperor’s
    New
    Clothes.
    What other explanation exists when the “planet-saving agreement” is panned by “climate guilt” activists and climate model skeptics alike?

  5. …the only real achievement of the new climate agreement, is perpetuity of employment for the climate conference class…
    Bingo! People who would otherwise not be qualified to count recycling containers now get taxpayer-funded jobs, pretend to be scientific, generally make nuisances of themselves and posture, lecture and scold non-True Believers.

  6. Do we have a number for the CO 2 molecules per ten thousand (currently about four) that will raise “global temperatures” by 1.5C and 2.0C? I have a funny feeling there’s no such answer but I could be wrong

    • Well the current altered surface record shows 1.4 degrees, so I am not certain what they consider pre industrial times to be, but we may struggle to get that .1 degree if the AMO continues to turn with a strong LaNina.

    • Coeur de Lion:
      You ask:

      Do we have a number for the CO 2 molecules per ten thousand (currently about four) that will raise “global temperatures” by 1.5C and 2.0C? I have a funny feeling there’s no such answer but I could be wrong

      That would depend on the climate sensitivity (CS) and the longer the misnamed ‘Pause’ lasts the lower CS must be.
      In the context of discussing the CoP21 Climate Agreement, the pertinent issue is the amount by which emissions of CO2 from human activities need to be reduced to stop “global temperatures” rising by more than 1.5°C or 2.0°C from pre-industrial values. And the IPCC says that is not known.
      Chapter 2 from Working Group 3 in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001) says; “no systematic analysis has published on the relationship between mitigation and baseline scenarios”, and no subsequent IPCC Report has amended that because there is still no published systematic analysis of the “relationship between mitigation and baseline scenarios”.
      So, the IPCC says that at present the likely success – if any – of any activity aimed at avoiding a 1.5°C or 2.0°C rise is not known.
      Richard

  7. Eric,
    “…. A pretty fair assessment, in my opinion, is the only real achievement of the new climate agreement, is perpetuity of employment for the climate conference class – an agreement for regular “reviews”, to ensure our jetset climate heroes don’t run short of conferences to attend.”
    I believe that is likely to be the primary goal of all the COP Circus events.

  8. “…pathway to keep temperature rises below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels left that goal unclear …”
    This always bugged me. Pre-industrial times were horrible. First, people like me lived a subsistence life in squalor. Second, the climate was incredibly harsh in England, Scotland, Canada, etc. Why on earth would we ever want to use that time as any kind of useful benchmark!

  9. I have a dream,
    That the world would sign an environment deal. A deal where all countries would agree to make every effort to minimize emissions of NOX, soot particles, sulphur, heavy metals, and try to clean all emissions from toxic elements.
    Where all would agree to help developing countries get toxic-free cooking and heating.
    To support developing countries to clean garbage-burning and agree to stop dumping plastic and garbage in the sea and clean fresh water to all.
    But we didn’t get that, did we. Instead we got the opposite, a deal where all agreed on minimizing a trace gas without any toxic effect and that plants need to flourish.

  10. Here in Canada, our new Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for Photo Ops, Justin Zoolander, has never met a cause he didn’t belief in with all his heart and soul. A nice sentiment for a teenager, but some of us expect someone responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars to have a BIT of gravitas.
    Then again, the One that currently occupies the White House has even less of an excuse for style over substance. Nice hair, though.

    • And why do so many continue to speak as if we can actually control the world’s climate by varying the % of CO2 in the atmosphere, currently 0.04%

      • YMMV, but I chalk it up to 42+ years of (completely unscientific) propaganda inspired by the pronouncements and manipulations of the recently deceased (non-scientist), Maurice Strong. Without Strong’s initial interventions and creations via the – to this day – un-mandated, ever-growing arms, elbows, hands, fingers etc. of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) are highly unlikely to ever have seen the light of day.
        What a wonderful world it might have been without the precedence accorded to the pronouncements of these primary promulgators and purveyors of doom and gloom, if we don’t do things their way!
        Then again, Strong’s UNEP has morphed into a so-called agency of the United Nations. This is a bureaucratic body that nowadays seems to be totally dedicated to the maxim: Let’s you and him fight – and please send us more megabucks to assist you in the pursuit of our never-ending, ever-changing “noble cause”.

  11. You don’t have to be a gullible fool to be a newspaper environment correspondent, but it helps.
    The person who wrote that Guardian article on 14 December about how the Paris deal is too weak and doesn’t help the poor, tweeted this on Dec 12th:
    “I’ve never seen anything like it. #COP21 Jubilation, celebration, people hugging, weeping in hall. Real sense this is historic agreement.”

    • They are mostly Marxists and are fighting a War against the Western civilization from within. They thought this deal would destroy it economically and culturally?

    • “I’ve never seen anything like it. #COP21 Jubilation, celebration, people hugging, weeping in hall. Real sense this is historic agreement.”

      As with so much is generated by the UN’s hype and hoopla division in action, the above gives a whole new meaning to the word “historic”, does it not?!

  12. Chatterton has it wrong. Yes, 4.2 is a paen to transparency. Rendered meaningless by preamble paragraph 27, which lays out a smorgasbord of reporting options with no auditability. Which in turn renders the name and shame mechanism impotent except against those countries foolish enough to have transparent INDCs. The only way China coild be named and shamed before 2031 is if somehow they accidentally reduced emissions.

      • It’s win-win: the greens get what they want “agreement to restrict CO2 and destroy the western economy” and we sceptics get what we want: no meaningful action.
        That’s the benefit of having two groups: greens who are as gullible as you get and sceptics who don’t care at all about the PR.

  13. They cannot complain about the agreement they got since it was the only one they were going to get: a face-saving, empty bag of nothing much.
    Green politicians appear to have heard the electorate are no longer panicked by fears of “climate change” and waiting with baited breath to hear what government is going to “do” about it. So putting on a good show to claim bragging rights to neuter the nutters in their ranks is a good days work well done for lefties on the make.
    The dogs bark. The caravan moves on.

  14. Why would anyone ‘invest in low carbon’? Without a subsidy what is there to ‘invest in’? Who would build a wind farm or PV array in the absence of a contract to exploit the public purse for years to come? People in the business of manufacturing the products are interested of course, in selling as many as they can. Quelle surprise.
    An ‘investment’ is something that has a positive rate of return (or in some countries, no loss). Show me a low carbon option worth investing in. It will have splitting atoms for a state.

    • Because the politicos paying you have a gun to the head of the taxpayers to collect your loot. It’s a no-brainer, really. Right up until the time it isn’t.

  15. You think you’ve got trouble. Spare a thought for our leaders.
    World leaders stuck in Paris after summit announces end to fossil fuels

    Hundreds of world leaders and officials are urgently investigating how to return to their home countries after the climate change summit announced the end to fossil fuels.
    The French President walked the hundred yards to the Elysee Palace saying he was setting an example, and that he expected all the other world leaders to walk home too.
    President Obama told a reporter; ‘To be honest, we didn’t realise it would kick in so quickly. I’ve been offered a two up on a bike to the airport, but I don’t know what happens then. Looks like I’m stuck here. And I’ve seen the toilets.’

  16. Even if it were possible for CO2 to raise the world’s temperature by 1.5C, why should we assume that this would be a bad thing?

    • And the hot air from Paris is still very active, driving a wedge of heat northwards from France across England Wales and Scotland, raising temperatures to 6 degrees above normal today , as it has been for the last 4 weeks in England at least .
      A difficult time for sceptics of global warming.

  17. The penny is dropping across a whole slew of media outlets that the Paris ‘deal’ is effectively a binding agreement to *not* have a binding agreement, thus it’s all-but worthless. India, China et al can emit away to their hearts content so what, pray, was the point of it all? You know all is not as it seems when even the Guardian is questioning the deal.
    ”Climate change’ is supposed to be the worlds most pressing threat, yet approving a continuation to emit CO2 as if there’s no tomorrow reveals an entirely different reality to their stated fantasy.
    Verdict: it’s already a busted flush.

  18. Has anyone noticed how the 2degC figure has now become a 1.5degC figure.
    Further, since industrialisation, which coincided with the end of the LIA, there has been about 0.7degC of warming which is not anthropogenic in origin. Even the IPCC acknowledges that manmade contribution prior to 1950 is miniscule.
    The land based thermometer anomaly record (which is a meaningless data set for many reasons often explained by Richard Courtney) shows about 0.7degC of warming from the early 1800s to the highs of the late 1930s/40s.
    So it appears that the agenda is now to try and restrict manmade warming to about 0.8degC.
    The goal posts have most definitely changed, and no one appears to be shouting foul and highlighting this. Repeated often enough by MSM it will soon pass into accepted human consciousness.
    We should try and stop this from happening (not the warming which I doubt that we can do anything about, and which is likely to be net beneficial), but rather the moving of the goal posts.

    • Yes, I noticed that baseless insertion, too. Particularly since it seems to have been touted and spouted by Canada’s “because it’s 2015” Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna – as dutifully reported by the CBC, circa December 8, with the headline “”COP21: Catherine McKenna endorses goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C”.
      But, that aside … Don’t know about you, but I’ve lost track of the number of years that we’ve been fed the line that the deliberations of the UNFCCC are “informed by” and rooted in the “science” – and/or “scientific assessments” – of the “gold standard” IPCC. Yet, if you read this latest and greatest abominable and abstruse word salad called an “Agreement” carefully, you will notice that one of the clauses was a so called “Associated Decision”, of the UNFCCC in which this oh-so-noble body:
      “invites the IPCC to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global GHG emission pathways.”
      Translation from UN-speak: “1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” does not have a scintilla of “science” – even of the IPCC- kind – to support it! So much for the IPCC “informing” the work of the UNFCCC, eh?!

  19. Eric,
    Polite rant.
    (Your comments will be most welcome of course, thank you).
    I have just read your post, having also read the “earth’s tilt” post by Anthony.
    Whilst I really do appreciate the information you (both) give us, I end up shouting “Bollocks” at the screen ! Please allow me to explain.
    “Climate Agreement” – this expression is complete “bollocks” !
    (“Bollocks” is a quaint, old, English expression, an insult, which means “nonsense” or “rubbish” or “garbage” as you might say in the North America).
    The expression itself, “Climate Agreement”, must be thrown into the NOT EVER TO BE USED VAULT. How the hell can anyone agree about or seek to control any climate system ?
    Similarly, “Climate Change” – is complete “bollocks” !
    Thread bloggers “asybot” and “richard verney” make similar objection and please know that we each have made this point several times before.
    There is no such bloody thing as climate change.
    The LANGUAGE has been hijacked enough by the EPA, the UN, a community organiser, a qualified railway engineer, pseudo-scientists at the BBC and others too many to mention. We are all so tired of it. It is time to fight back with language which is plain and true.
    I again ASK: please look at the WUWT header page and PLEASE DELETE the word “change”. It should read as follows:-
    WUWT
    Watts Up With That
    The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate.
    Regards and thanks,
    WL

  20. 2.0 degrees? 1.5 degrees?
    Decisions.. decisions..
    “There’s no sense in being precise
    when you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
    J von Neumann

  21. Forget the atmospheric physics arguments, along with the Paris Climate Agreement climate change has suddenly ended now and forever. No more global warming, extreme weather events, or rising sea levels. Those are all in the past so we do not have to worry about climate any more nor do we need to waste money studying the now non problem. We are a poor nation with a huge national debt, huge annual deficits, huge trade deficit, and huge unfunded liabilities. Our President’s economic “plan” has failed. Obama once said that that deficit spending showed ” a lack of leadership” so “a lack of leadership” is the Hallmark of the Obama administration so our status of being a poor nation is not going to change. As part of the Paris agreement, everything is going to be paid for by “rich” nations so our poor nation does not need to pay anything for the climate solution. I expect that in the very near future we will all be receiving electric cars and solar powered changing stations all paid for by “rich” nations. Now we can concentrate on more pressing problems such as Man’s out of control population. We need to gradually reduce our human population so we can turn farm, urban, and suburban areas back into wilderness areas and forests.

  22. The ABC in Australia and the Green activists (same thing) are claiming the new agreement will keep temperature rise ‘well below’ 2 degrees. If they could not agree on 1.5 degrees what does well below mean?

  23. In Isaac Asimov’s novel “Foundation,” a group of nervous Encyclopediaists welcome a sub-vice-consul-whatever from the Empire to assure them that the Galactic Empire hasn’t forgotten about them and will protect them from their increasingly agressive neighbors. The Mayor isn’t so impressed, and secretly records every statement the visitor makes during his stay. After the official has left Terminus, the Mayor admits his transgression, and then provides them a semantic analysis of all the official’s remarks. The committee is dumfounded to discover then when all the contradictory statements have been eliminated, THE MAN HAD SAID NOTHING AT ALL.
    Sounds like the same thing happened in Paris.

  24. The reality is that the worlds best chance to keep temperatures to 1.5 degrees will be to do nothing . If one extrapolates the trend for the last 18 years they should be there in 2100 with room to spare.
    How can any deal that allows the worlds two largest emitters in the world to do nothing for fifteen years to slow their emissions be serious. Not only is the honeymoon over hopefully so will be the party that warmists have been having at our expense.

  25. A comment on Paris doing the rounds ( from Notrickszone I think)
    “Rich people from rich countries met in Paris with rich people from poor countries and decided to transfer money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries and screw poor people everywhere

  26. “A pretty fair assessment, in my opinion, is the only real achievement of the new climate agreement, is perpetuity of employment for the climate conference class – an agreement for regular “reviews”, to ensure our jetset climate heroes don’t run short of conferences to attend.”
    Correct, the only aim of the COP21 was to ensure that the perpetual Party continues, year after year. The participants are not interested in Science, Economics, Welfare or the Poor, they just want another big Party next year.

    • I recently read Past Climates by Leona Marshall Libby
      It’s an old book published in 1983, but I liked it for its simple writing style and experimental rigor.
      Ms Libby must have been quite the pistol in her day.
      Sorry I never knew her.
      I know there are some old timers on this webpage.
      Is there anyone who knew her ?

  27. Not an Ice Core
    http://www.globalpetrolprices.com/common_images/articles/20150622011731.png
    You can fill in the current prices with your favorite reason for price movement.
    After reading WUWT and the wacky world of reconstructions, I have found new admiration for financial price charts. I have far less concern about their reliability.
    Unless you think the world has no real use for fossils anymore, then we are getting into the range where sovereign wealth investors start backing up the truck.

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