Katowice, Poland is about to get its 15 minutes of fame, thanks to the infamous Paris Agreement on climate change scaremongering. Beginning December 2 and running through the 14th, tens of thousands of climate change alarmists will descend on this active coal mining town.
Many will be national delegates from around the world, whose goal is to “finalize the rule book” for the Paris Agreement. The US delegation is included, because America has yet to actually withdraw.
It is almost certain that this meeting will produce something and very likely it will not be much. These are, after all, professional diplomats. They can always agree on something if it is sufficiently vague.
You may need to add Katowice to your spell checker, as I did. Oh and it is pronounced “cat oh veech ah” not “cat oh weese”. Emma says it here.
If you are wondering just what 30,000 scaremongering activist diplomats can do for 12 days, fear not, as there is no lack of events and issues. After all, they are trying to take over the world’s energy supply, plus the economy if they can get it. This is busy business.
For eye glazing starters, here is a semi-official notice:
“The Katowice Climate Change Conference will include the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC, the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) and the third part of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1-3). The conference will also include the 49th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), and the seventh part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-7).”
So various high level groups are meeting. Within those big groups are smaller groups, and within those still more groups, including issue groups, contact groups, country-cluster groups, and groups that do not officially exist but still wield power. It is groups all the way down.
The basic issue is very simple in its way. After years of negotiations, the draft text implementing the Paris Agreement is still hundreds of pages of contradictory provisions. Every idea that any country’s delegation has put forward is in there and very few can be accepted in the final draft. Twelve days starts to look very short.
Here is how the Pole in charge, Vice-Minister of Environment, Michał Kurtyka, recently put it:
“As the Polish Presidency, we have built an atmosphere of constructive dialogue, testing possible solutions and building compromises. However, we are still facing an enormous challenge. We now have to work on hundreds of pages of difficult, technical text we are negotiating.”
These UN Climate Summits have been going on since 1992 and they always go the same way. They begin in a cloud of confusion, and then go into a hand-wringing fear of failure, only to be saved at the last minute by a grand compromise that says almost nothing.
This time might be a tad different because hundreds of billions of dollars are almost on the table. The developing countries, which are the vast majority of UN members, think they have been promised at least $100 billion a year from the developed countries (especially the US), beginning in 2020.
This huge wealth transfer is supposed to at least begin to pay for the developing countries doing their bit to fight climate change. Other tabs are also on the table, including what is called in UN-speak “loss and damage.” This means the developed countries pay for all the damage caused by bad weather, in the name of climate change compensation. I am not making this up. The figure of $400 billion a year has been officially mentioned.
This wealth transfer is never going to happen, but the recipient countries say they want to see some sort of assurance built into the Paris Agreement rulebook. This means there is a genuine possibility that the talks in Katowice will collapse. Push is finally coming to shove on the big bucks fantasy. However, since it is not yet 2020, the tens of thousands of assembled climate change diplomats may simply dance around the issue. Dancing around issues is what they mostly do.
Diplomacy is often about recognizing reality while never actually admitting it exists. So in may be, come December in Katowice, Poland. CFACT will be there.