The “drama” in my headline is purely facetious, because really, the tremendous impotence that unfailingly results when these globalist-minded, regulation-loving bureaucrats trying to dictate top-down international standards get together is about as anti-climactic as it gets. Who knows how many more times these delegates will have to head home from these farcically grandiose conferences with nothing to show for their pains before they will finally perhaps reevaluate their strategies, but as the Financial Times pointed out in an editorial earlier this week, all these futile conferences ever seem to produce are new ideas for mutual impoverishment pacts:
Better to break a promise than to let it break you. That is apparently the view of the Japanese government, which last week said the country’s carbon emissions in 2020 would be 3 per cent higher than in 1990, not 25 per cent lower as previously pledged. The reversal, which came as the latest round of UN climate talks began in Warsaw, was widely condemned. Yet Japan has merely conceded the inevitable. The country had no plan for delivering its promised reductions – even before the Fukushima disaster closed its nuclear power stations, forcing it to burn more gas.
Instead of berating Japan for rescinding its commitments, delegates in Warsaw should turn a critical eye towards the proceedings of which they are a part. This is the 19th meeting of its kind since the process was created at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The last visible progress came in 1997 in the shape of the Kyoto protocol. But the targets were modest and applied only to developed countries, the US (then the world’s biggest polluter) refused to join, and the resulting savings have been dwarfed by rising emissions in the developing world.
Even the Kyoto Protocol, the FT editors note, hasn’t accomplished very much of anything, and searching for the next-in-line but equally ineffectual Global Climate Treaty won’t either. As if to prove the FT’s point, the two-week UN climate conference wrapping up in Warsaw this week basically fell apart on Wednesday, with more than 130 developing countries storming out when the developed nations expressed their general disinclination to funnel money out of their own countries and into developing countries’ budgets. Via HuffPo:
With two days left, there was commotion in the Warsaw talks Wednesday after negotiators for developing nations said they walked out of a late-night meeting on compensation for the impact of global warming. …
Contrasting views on what’s been said and done in closed discussions is not unusual in the slow-moving U.N. effort to curb global warming, which has often been held back by mistrust between rich and poor countries. The talks in Warsaw on a new global climate deal in 2015 have been going on since Nov. 11.
The question of who’s to blame for global warming is central for developing countries, who say they should receive financial support from rich nations to make their economies greener, adapt to climate shifts and cover the costs of unavoidable damage caused by warming temperatures. …
In Warsaw, developing nations are coming up with fresh ways to make their point. Brazil has proposed creating a formula to calculate historical blame.
“They must know how much they are actually responsible … for the essential problem of climate change,” Brazilian negotiator Raphael Azeredo said.
Developed nations blocked that proposal, however, saying the world should look at current and future emissions when dividing up the responsibility for global warming.
Essentially, developing countries (including China, by the way — evidently a major ringleader in this fruitless exercise) want prosperous countries to pay them for “loss and damage,” i.e. assume legal liability for natural disasters and give them money to build up their so-called green energy infrastructures. Why developing nations would think developed nations would agree to such a redistributive arrangement, when they are themselves mired in massive debt/economic problems and fiscal reality is now forcing them to walk back their own impractically expensive green-energy commitments (looking at you, Europe!), I have no idea.
Alas, it looks like the dream of the Great Global Climate Treaty has been thwarted once again. Sad face.