Yesterday CFACT attended the opening ceremonies of COP 20, the United Nations international climate summit in Peru.
President Obama’s recent emissions deal with China has the climate crowd salivating. Obama is on board. The U.S. is bragging that it brought the largest delegation to the summit and we’re told that they’ll be rolling out the big guns – Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio are on the way.
Differences between developed nations and those with emerging economies such as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) were a major factor in scuttling the last big push for a climate pact at COP 15 in Copenhagen and has been the principle sticking point ever since.
The BRICs want to develop as quickly as they can and realize that fossil fuels are the only way to do so. If CO2 is your bag, this is where the real increase in future CO2 emissions will come from.
President Obama apparently bridged this impasse with a very simple technique, unilateral surrender. The Obama administration is waging war on American energy right now. Coal plants are shutting down and energy prices are heading way up. We expect the President to sign a climate agreement that avoids the word “treaty” and to try to use this as an excuse to bypass ratification by the Senate.
China and India are increasing their emissions as fast as they possibly can. James Inhofe, the past and apparent future Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee reports that China commissions a new coal-fired power plant every ten days. China gave Obama nothing but a vague promise to reach peak emissions by 2030, the date economists predict they would peak no matter what. No one really expects China to switch over to inefficient wind and solar come 2030. Even the Onion acknowledged that they’ll never submit to meaningful verification and quickly ran a satire entitled, “China vows to begin aggressively falsifying air pollution numbers.”
Word at COP 20 is that India is strongly considering adopting China’s path. Narendra Modi, India’s new Prime Minister, in part came to power by promising to invigorate the rest of the Indian economy the way he did the province the governed. What was the secret to his success? Electricity from coal. India may also be willing to promise to worry about its emissions 16 years from now in exchange for America and its allies throttling their energy supplies now.
In her opening remarks UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres called for the Peru talks to blaze a path towards an “indelible” climate pact and set four goals:
- Create a draft of a “universal climate change agreement” to serve as the basis for a final text at the UN talks in Paris in 2015.
- Spend more money on “adaptation to achieve political parity with mitigation,” which translated from UN speak means roughly send billions to developing nations for infrastructure projects instead of just windmills and solar panels in the west.
- “Enhance delivery of finance, in particular to the most vulnerable.” Which means plow billions into the “Green Climate Fund” and get the redistribution party really started.
- Scale up everything and speed up the process. Which in part means get this climate pact written and signed before Obama leaves office, or your may never get it.
The United States has stayed on the sidelines and refused to sign a climate agreement for years. With both his foreign and domestic policies in tatters, Obama, joined by Kerry and Gore, see giving in and signing onto a global warming agreement as their last shot at a legacy.
We can’t think of a bigger waste or more dangerous trap.
There’s much more to report. CFACT is your eyes, ears and voice at the UN climate talks in Peru.
We’ll shake things up and keep you posted.