Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lima Climate Deal: The Devil's in Details

Lima climate change summit: 'weak' UN deal could let countries dodge green pledges

Agreement reached to save Lima talks from collapse but critics say watered-down deal is too weak

Ed Davey in Lima
Ed Davey, the UK energy secretary, and Ben Lyon, negotiator, hold a press conference during the Lima climate change talks. Photo: Emily Gosden
UN climate change talks have been saved from the brink of collapse by a “weak” agreement that could let countries dodge setting clear targets to cut their emissions.
Negotiations in the Peruvian capital Lima dragged on to the early hours of Sunday morning – a day and a half after their scheduled close - amid deep disagreements between rich and poor nations over the steps they should take to tackle global warming.
The divisions had threatened to derail the talks altogether but eventually resulted in a “bare minimum” deal, thrashed out by delegates who had barely slept in three days, that left many key disputes unresolved.
The Lima deal is intended to make countries issue national pledges next year outlining the action they will take to cut their carbon emissions. The pledges are then supposed to form the basis of a binding deal at talks in Paris next year to avert dangerous levels of global warming.
Rich nations including the USA and EU members had pushed for all countries to be bound by strict rules to ensure that their pledges gave clear and measurable data – akin to the UK’s Climate Change Act.
But after objections from developing nations the eventual text was watered down so the rules are voluntary. “It’s totally up to you now whether you provide that information or not,” Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists said. “It’s the bare minimum we needed to come out of here with; it’s not what we hoped for.”
Samantha Smith, of environmental group WWF, said the rules had gone from "weak to weaker to weakest".
Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, insisted he was “completely relaxed” about the watered down rules, claiming that countries would have to provide the information anyway due to “political pressure”. He denied that the UK would be left going green further and faster than its neighbours, arguing some other European nations had already gone further.
But even if detailed pledges are forthcoming Mr Davey acknowledged they would fall well short of the level necessary to avert dangerous levels of global warming, of 2C above pre-industrial levels.
There would be “a gap between what the world is offering and what the science says we need to do,” he said.
Experts warned that the scale of divisions laid bare at Lima did not bode well for the chances of securing a strong and binding global deal in Paris.
Jonathan Grant, sustainability and climate change director at PwC, said the “trench warfare” mentality between different factions seen in Lima could result in the talks “falling off the cliff in Paris”.
A long list of fundamental issues remain to be resolved over the next year, including the legal status of any Paris deal and demands from poor countries for more cash from rich nations to help them to help poorer nations cut emissions and cope with the effects of global warming.
Rich countries have previously promised a vague goal of “mobilising” $100bn of “climate finance” a year for poor nations by 2020 but the concepts are ill-defined, leading to wrangling as poor countries say their wealthier neighbours have not done enough.
“The biggest thing that is really, really unresolved is the money,” said Michael Jacobs, visiting professor at the LSE’s Grantham climate research institute.
“The developed countries have got to find some way of showing they can provide the $100bn they promised, and at least some financial contribution post-2020. This is hard: this is a core demand of the developing countries but the hardest things for the developed countries, both because they don’t feel they have got so much money but also because it’s hard to budget ahead.”
Mr Davey admitted that the talks in Paris were likely to be "even more difficult than Lima" but said he remained confident of a deal. “I’m very excited by the prospects for a deal next year. It will be tough but for the first time, I think ever, the world can contemplate a global deal applicable to all.”

Join the discussion…

    "“The developed countries have got to find some way of showing they can provide
    the $100bn they promised"...
    How about this?...
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    whats new.. the climate agenda in 22 years has moved from Rio to Lima . Then as now all agreements will not be becuase every one will be subject to the get out clause "unless not in the national interest". So just like Agenda 21 and the 27 objectives of the 1992 'agreement' exactly none will be achieved.. it's a joke
    What a fantastic laugh, 7000 tax payer funded troughers take a junket to Lima and reach a please yourself agreement. The whole Climate change circus is unravelling fast now. If the UK doesn't scrap its Climate Change Act, get rid of the hapless Davey and stop the ruinous dash for renewals we should want to know why. Surely the warmist trolls who infest this site should be too ashamed to show their faces. You've lost guys. There should be people sent to prison for this attempted scam.
    the "climate talks" are analagous to "climate change"...for "climate change", there is a [wealth-distributing/controlling] policy seeking an [invented, scientific] rationale..........and for the "talks", there is a confab seeking a purpose...which they are frantic to devise
    The good news is Ed Davey will be gone before the Paris meeting Dec 2015, the bad news is someone similar will replace him.
    Pretty much exactly as Booker foretold.
    Right, as far as I understand it, the purpose of this 9,000-person jamboree was to use fake science to get the world's most indebted countries to hand over $100bn a year to the rulers of the world's most corrupt countries in order to support the offshore tax-avoidance industry in the Cayman Islands. Seems reasonable to me.
    Meanwhile over at the Grauniad the commenters are wetting themselves with joy over this 'agreement'. There is much excited talk of 'limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees' and other such absurd inanities. If you are interested in watching the mentally retarded write comments to each other then pop over for a look. Beware though, it might make you want to vomit.
    Bet Davey's hand went up first for committing to the $100 billion, and very probably the only one. The rest were sniggering behind their hands, especially the Third World 'beneficiaries'.
    If science is right about climate change, I expect what is left of mankind in a 100 years to collectively piss on the graves of today's leaders.
      Which science? Or whose science?
        I guess, for you, the fact that 2014 is the hottest year ever recorded,
        or the fact that fourteen out of the fifteen warmest years on record
        occured in the last 15 years, is hippie's science.
          You mention two 'facts' - both of which are no such thing. Anyway, 2014 hasn't actually ended yet.
            ‘The year 2014 is on track to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest, on record, according to preliminary estimates by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)”
            “The provisional information for 2014 means that fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud"
            Anything else?
            Of course, you can also name WMO as hippie's organisation and be done with that.
    So after thousands of people fly thousands of miles for meetings/talks about a meeting next year, the outcome is nothing of significance, what was the point? apart for a holiday in Peru of course.
    Oh what total nonsense, is there any logic or intelligence left, surely it is obvious to even the most hopeless cretin that the whole idea that human influence on climate (sorry, global warming) is anything but miniscule, let alone the possibility that we could somehow hope to control it. If CO2, the global concentrations of which are measured in parts per million and human contributions are only 5% at most, is supposed to be responsible, why have temperatures remained static this century when emissions have soared? Think negative feedbacks, all other physical phenomena have them. QED!
    Well at least they had a good tax payers funded holiday. No wonder our once great nation has been reduced to a poor member of the EU? VOTE UKIP
    DECC should be dismantled forthwith, it serves no purpose. Global Warming / Cooling is a non problem invented by the Green Anticapitalist Marxist mob. Red Davey is doing the Greens work, dump him now Dave and you will win the next election.
      DECC certainly should be dismantled, quite possibly the most useless Gov't dep't ever in the history of Gov't!
      I have, unfortunately been there in a professional capacity, it is quite likely I was the only professional in a 100m radius!! The hottest day of the year, in a non ventilated building, they had the air con off to save energy!!!
      Absolute fcukwits, one and all, especially that uniquely untalented moron who "leads" it, Davey!!!!!
        But he's done exactly what the ('carefully selected') science says - and has a foot in the Cabinet plus all the perks, for agreeing!
        Governments love it - all those lovely taxes for windmills - and hand-outs to 'poorer' nations.
        'Scientists' love it - all those lovely consultancy fees for publishing learned (!) treatise on Global Warming.
        Davey is a typical hanger-on, seeing nothing but holidays at taxpayers expense and a future in either the EU or a 'Climate Control' body when he loses his seat next year.
        We're with you..stay calm, you might increase CO emissions if you get too hot and bothered ! Davey doesn't like that sort of thing you know. the world of science...
    Evidence continues to emerge that the CMIP5 models relied on by the IPCC are utter trash, and that ECS is likely to be well below the lower end of the range cited by the IPCC in AR5, which is 1.5 deg C per 2xCO2.
    The jig is up...governments are getting wise to the scientific charade. Developing countries will not hobble themselves. Developed countries will not hand over the money. The tide has already turned. Lima is no surprise. Paris will be worse for the True Believer.
    Dear God.
    What a marvelous deal we ended with in Lima. Ed Davey did a splendid job and I do hope he is around for the Paris meeting next year. With him in charge of DECC, the UK has a safe pair of hands steering this critically important task on behalf of the world. With the progress we have made, Ed has ensured that we are not exposed to the volatility of fossil fuel prices - with our increasing dependence on renewables we will have consistently very high energy prices going forward. It's that certainty that customers value. They would rather pay a lot more knowing that their bills will be much higher than they otherwise might be - it allows them to plan their expenditures.
      I shall, initially, assume you were being ironic, however, just in case:-
      "What a marvelous deal we ended with in Lima" Bolleaux! Another £200,000,000,000 wasted!
      "Ed Davey did a splendid job" Utterly impossible, this cretin couldn't spell job, splendid or otherwise!
      "I do hope he is around for the Paris meeting next year". I hope the exact opposite and hope that the people of Kingston and Surbiton have learned their lesson for voting this pillock in last time!
      "With him in charge of DECC" We have no hope!
      "very high energy prices going forward Guaranteed!
      If you were being ironic, then I aplologise, if you weren't, then you must be Ed Davey!!!!!
      Always remember, Green Energy = Idiocy, every time!!!
      The certainty of high prices is certainly nice.
      As a bonus, it comes with matching uncertainty of supply availability.
      The best of all possible worlds.
    Dear Daily Telegraph (and all),
    May I suggest that henceforth you refer to the countries being asked for more free handouts by the more accurate term "indebted" rather than the politically loaded term "rich".
    Anyone can give the temporary appearance of being wealthy by simply borrowing money - but it dosn't make you any richer to have $16Trillion or £1.5 Trillion in debt that you have to service.
    But.... They set a new record for carbon footprint for a boondoggle global warming/global cooling/climate change summit. 29,000 tonnes of more carbon in the air.
    Just so you know though I have a pledge of my own.
    I pledge to never attend one of these conferences and help the alarmists destroy the planet (their thought).
    Any world leaders that push this agenda on their own country will suffer the same crushing defeat as the former leaders of Australia when they attempted to shove "climate change" policy down the throats of working Australians. What a typical UN blowhard agreement. Nothing will happen, nothing will change, and the entire thing will have been an impressive waste of time alongside the giant carbon footprint this summit left on the planet. Then, all of these 'brilliant' people will fly home on their private jets and take a nice swim in their heated swimming pools.
    It's a joke. This changes nothing. It's either get creative with unique, scientific solutions or write 'climate change' legislation off completely. But summit after summit, meeting after meeting, agreement after agreement.......... Nothing changes. Nothing happens. Doing the same thing over and over and over solves absolutely nothing. But I guess it makes these folks feel better about themselves. Good for them.
    Personally, I'll keep recycling and driving my hybrid automobile. I can't stop exhaling carbon dioxide, so I guess I'm doing everything I am able to do. I'll try to live what I believe instead of attempting to shove it down everyone else's throat in an attempt to feel pious and happy about myself.
    The UN is so incredibly worthless.
      Sadly we do not have any red-blooded Australians here to chuck Ed Davey out, and as for two faced, flip-flop Cameron....words fail me ( and I used to be a Conservative)
      You are correct in your cynicism (I have been to many UN meetings: The intention is good, the technical knowledge is sound - but if you think politics is pathetic in Britain - imagine trying to get an agreement from every country on Earth - all with their own different agenda and selfish objectives. - I gave up in despair after a few years and transferred by work to national and European level - which is bad enough).
      Nevertheless. It is sadly, the only show in town.
      We have no other choice but for the UN to keep slogging away at it as the alternative is to pretty much accept climate change likely to kill billions and destroy societies. While they are doing that , painfully slowly, we all need to do what we can at the personal (as you are doing), national and regional (without succumbing to simply naively handing over competitiveness instead) levels too.
        The climate change/global warming crowd love to scare us with their doomsday hyperbole but describing billions of deaths and societies destroyed is barmy even by their standards.It's just this sort of nonsense that has made so many people sceptical on this whole issue.
        Hopefully we will continue to develop more fuel and energy efficiency. When people can save money by buying less fuel or by being able to purchase or even create their own renewables, their pocketbook will speak volumes to them. The whole reason I bought a hybrid car initially was because I hate buying gas. In all honesty, motive doesn't matter, as long as we head the right direction. My neighbor installed solar panels to cut his electricity costs. Plus he gets a tax break for having them. People respond when it hits them personally. Lots of technological advances are on their way. Let's hope they help us make major changes without involving politics.
          I completely agree.
          What's not to like about free energy and no pollution?
          Leading a population with incentive is always preferable to driving it with legislation - which is rarely a good fit for everyone and tends to foster resentment of the cause in general.
          We need technologies that are BETTER for people - not diktats that we must return to the cave.
          So LEDs instead of CFLs. Solar that grants cheaper bills etc. etc. And If we are to achieve anything before catastrophic harm is done that will necessitate kickstarting technologies with appropriate development funding.

Health & Science

Climate deal eked out in Lima advances talks as diplomats eye global pact next year

December 14 at 10:54 AM
Efforts to forge a comprehensive climate treaty advanced early Sunday as diplomats eked out an agreement that commits all countries to addressing the causes of climate change but leaves many of the particulars unresolved.
Negotiators who gathered in Lima, Peru, announced an accord at 1 :30 a.m., after 11 days of often rancorous talks that ran more than 24 hours into overtime. The agreement builds on recent momentum for a global treaty, to be finalized in Paris late next year. And in a key breakthrough, it requires action from developing countries as well as the industrialized world.
“The road to Paris has begun in Lima,” Felipe Calderón, former president of Mexico and chairman of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, said after the agreement was gaveled through in a large tent packed with weary delegates. “There is still considerable work to be done. But I am encouraged that countries, all around the world, are beginning to see that it is in their economic interest to take action now.”The gains were modest — the requirements to be borne by individual countries were repeatedly watered down to ensure buy-in from more than 190 countries, ranging from established industrial powers of the West, to rising powerhouses such as China and India, to tiny island states such as Samoa and Nauru.
Under the agreement, each country will have to submit early next year a detailed plan for addressing carbon emissions. But a series of compromises Friday and Saturday stripped away specific requirements for cutting pollution and left no provisions for outside verification to ensure that the plans are carried out. The softened language was denounced by environmental groups as unacceptably weak.
“The foot-dragging in Lima is out of step with the urgent signs of climate change that are already apparent,” said Nathaniel Keohane, vice president for international climate at the Environment Defense Fund.
Western participants in the talks and independent experts said the compromises were necessary to keep the negotiations on track for next year in Paris. They noted that major industrial countries that produce most of the world’s greenhouse gases — including the United States, the nations of the European Union and China — already have committed to substantial curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, cuts that will be probably be incorporated into any pact that is approved in Paris.

The Obama administration promised last month to reduce U.S. emissions by 2025 to a level 26 to 28 percent below where they were in 2005.
“The major virtue of this agreement is that it applies to both developed and developing nations, outlines the commitment terms and keeps everyone at the table,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser. “But the pressure ahead of Paris will be profound because all the thorniest issues have been left unresolved.”
The Lima meeting, which began on Dec. 1, offered an opportunity to settle technical issues underpinning next year’s global agreement, including how costs and obligations will be divided among poorer and wealthier countries. In the past, developing countries, including major emitters such as China and India, were exempted from mandatory cuts in greenhouse-gas pollution.The talks went into overtime Saturday as delegations clashed over demands by developing countries for compensation from industrialized countries for damage from climate change as well as demands for more financial assistance to pay for a transition to climate-friendly energy sources.
The slow progress prompted U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry to fly to Lima on Thursday to urge negotiators along.
“If we continue down the same path we are on today, the world as we know it will profoundly change, and it will change dramatically for the worse,” Kerry told a gathering of diplomats at the talks, which were sponsored by the United Nations.
Pope Francis also intervened, warning diplomats in a statement that “the time to find global solutions is running out.”
“We can find solutions only if we act together and agree,” the pontiff said in a message sent to environment minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal, the Peruvian official chairing the talks.

Source: Washington Post

...and I am Sid Harth

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