Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

The CFACT team hit the ground running at the United Nations’ 27th Climate Summit (“COP27”) this week. The delegates from scores of nations conducted the plenary session and more than 120 heads of state or governments are expected to attend, along with 40,000 participants. CFACT engaged with attendees from several diverse nations.

Not participating (again) in this year’s conference is China, the world’s largest emitter of CO2, and Russia, the largest producer of oil. Their absence should be taken as scorn for the whole process of trying to reign in emissions, which becomes a charade.

President Biden will be attending the climate summit on Friday, and in a much-weakened political position, post U.S. midterm election. That means he’s much less likely to deliver the funding demanded by the rest of the world to “fight” climate change with the opposition party in control of at least one house of Congress, which controls most of the government’s purse-strings.

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry was named the president of this year’s conference and his opening speech contained the usual climate alarmism to set the tone. The theme this year is “Together for Implementation, which suggests past climate events have been mostly talk, little action.

Among leaders of nations showing up is the newly-minted British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who otherwise has his hands full dealing with Britain’s economic troubles, which are similar to the U.S.  They include reckless government deficit spending and limits on oil and gas production, which have sharply increased inflation. The PM was inclined to pass on the summit, but got shamed into changing his mind, so he’s off to a craven start to his tenure.

UN Secretary General botches the science

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, also spoke on the first day and warned, like he does annually, that the world must limit temperature increase by 1.5 degrees by achieving “global net zero emissions” by 2050. “But that 1.5 degrees is on life support,” he warned, as he claimed, “the science is clear.” Except it’s not.

Indeed, reducing carbon emissions is on “life support” because China and Russia don’t care and are not playing, which renders futile every other nation’s effort. Ignored by the Secretary and everyone else are the numerous other factors that impact climate far more than carbon emissions, which are only 400 parts per million of the planet’s atmospheric gases. The Earth’s orbit, varying distance from the sun, sunspot activity, ocean currents, and volcanic activity didn’t make the conference agenda, perhaps since mankind can no more affect those realities any more than it can carbon emissions, beyond a trace. In other words, lowering carbon emissions, if possible, hardly ensures global temperature would be impacted.

Show us the money!

The big news, such as it was, from the plenary session was that “Loss And Damage” funding would be added to the conference agenda, after more than three decades of trying. This long-sought funding has been the goal of 16 island nations seeking money from developed nations to subsidize their economies at risk from climate change that purportedly is leading to rising sea levels. Being added to the conference agenda was seen by some as a significant victory, yet it hardly guarantees billions of First World dollars will flow. Hope springs eternal.

Make that trillions of dollars. A UN-backed report released last week asserts that developing nations (excluding China) need investments beyond $2 trillion annually by 2030 to meet the UN’s climate goals established by the Paris Agreement.

This is astronomical fantasy, and more so especially with U.S. and European economies experiencing the worst inflation in 40 years and at or near recession in large part due their own imposition of climate policies that raised energy costs on consumers and businesses.

Call it “Sharm el Sheikh-down” of the U.S., which is sure to continue. It is the whole point of climate politics – the money.  It’s always about the money.

Author

  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: https://www.petermurphylgs.com/