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  • How Big A Failure Was Copenhagen?

    To fully appreciate what a step backwards the final Copenhagen accord is, one has to recall the buildup to it. For the last two years, global warming activists and UN officials had circled December 2009 on their calendars as the watershed moment for creating a new carbon-constrained global economy for decades to come. And in the nick of time, they would argue, as the existing targets in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol are scheduled to expire in 2012. Furthermore, with the Bush administration gone in 2009, many in the international community felt that the path was clear for the Obama administration to finally include America in binding, verifiable, and enforceable restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.

    Of course, none of this happened in Copenhagen. The final agreement includes no stringent new post-2012 targets — nor even weak ones for that matter. In fact, all that the Copenhagen accord contains is vague aspirational language to the effect that it would be nice if each country decided on its own to reduce emissions. Even this face-saving language had to be pared back at the behest of China and other developing nations that didn’t want any hint that they might be obligated to do something. Equally non-binding promises from developed nations to provide finance to poor countries and to move forward with international monitoring of emissions are similarly meaningless. Anyone who doubts that the Copenhagen accord is a step backwards should compare it to the stronger language in the UN’s 2007 Bali agreement.

    The lofty expectations for Copenhagen were lowered considerably in the months before the conference, but not enough to reflect the nearly empty final agreement. Those trying to spin the Copenhagen accord as a success that provides momentum for the currently-stalled Senate bill are fudging the facts even worse than the Climategate scientists.

    The biggest political surprise is how little difference the change in administrations made. It turns out that both the Bush and Obama administrations faced the same underlying realities that militate against a big new treaty. In particular, President Obama’s chief negotiator Todd Stern sounded a lot like his Bush administration predecessor in recognizing that an agreement would be worthless if it exempted China, India and other fast developing nations. But, as the two weeks in Copenhagen revealed, these nations remain adamant about retaining the free pass they secured under the Kyoto Protocol. This impasse sank Copenhagen and will very likely sink the next big UN conference in Mexico City next November.

    Developing world intransigence also impacts the domestic debate. Manufacturing state Senators fearful of losing jobs to these nations should domestic legislation unilaterally raise manufacturing costs in America can take no comfort from the Copenhagen accord that this potential disparity will be addressed.

    The reality is that ratcheting down carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels is a costly and ineffective solution to an overstated problem, and reality was the big winner that emerged from Copenhagen. The Copenhagen fiasco, along with the failure to pass domestic climate legislation this year, means that the debate gets kicked into 2010 with no momentum whatsoever. It will only get harder to push an unpopular global warming agenda in an election year — and that would be a very good thing.

    Cross-posted at The Washington Post‘s Planet Panel.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to How Big A Failure Was Copenhagen?

    1. Dave McK says:

      Lol- I understand the motive for overlooking the obvious and I also understand the nature of those whose consuming passion for lunch at my expense requires overlooking the obvious.

      Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

      I'll deck the halls – you go get dressed.

      We're going to Grandmother's house and she's going to slap you smart.

    2. scudlington, London says:

      I'd be very surprised indeed if Mexico takes place at all.

      This fraudulent farce that was set to literally cost us the earth has been soundly kicked into touch by two things.

      1 The leaked emails and computer codes from our very own and illustrious UEA, which without any doubt whatsoever prove that the whole thing has been just one great ship of lies.

      2 The weather…obviously God is in no mood for some whacko, retarded and murderous NWO…3 cheers for God!

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      So, when is the American government going to accept the truth and stop the mandates in America?

      Or isn't Obama THE PRESIDENT OF AMERICA?

    4. TonyfromOz, Coomera says:

      Really, how much hope does the Environmental crowd hold for anything meaningful to come out of the Mexico Conference.

      It's scheduled for 29 Nov to 10 Dec, barely weeks after the midterm election. In the run up to that midterm, there will be almost less than zero talk on this conference, and post election will still be negotiating policy with all the new people voted in, so the chance of a considered and worked out U.S. position will be also almost zero.

    5. Another Ford, Los An says:

      Mexico will get even tougher if this trend continues – see this chart


    6. Jim Lad says:

      Of course there was a huge elephant in the room.


      Every politician with an ounce of sense knows that the alarmist movement is about to fade into the history books.

      What I'm wondering though and I'm hoping someone will enlighten me, is "What journal is ever going to publish an honest, peer reviewed paper in support of global warming?" and "Which one of these now defamed scientists will be the first to accomplish such a feat?".

      Dr. Phil Jones?…. I don't think so.

      The science of global warming will quietly die from a simple lack of funding.

    7. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    8. jerry d. mccarty says:

      the one thing that came out of that gathering of minds, was for the first time the words "ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT" was produced on a document.

    9. Peter Erickson, Rock says:

      This winter has produced hundreds of world wide record snow storms and record cold tempertures. The "King" (Al Gore) has no clothes and that is not a pretty sight.

    10. Dale, Cincinnati says:

      Another few years of winters such a this and the global warming crowd (aka Goreophites) will be tarred and feathered. For an objective view of the science behind global warming reference the work of Dr. Roy Spencer at http://www.drroyspencer.com/

      Contrary to Mr. Gore's claims, there are scores of "scientists" who contest the issue that global warming is man made. A key issue is that scientists don't state or publish their opinions out of fear.

    11. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      Where are all the "Global Warmers" when our temperatures have been in the below freezing w/ wind chill factor,So.Fla. has been in the 30's, the citrus and strawberry crops in danger? I lived in So. Fla. (Palm Beach County) when it's like this about every 25 yrs or so, it's COLD brrrrrr, I've even seen snow in Fla, back in the late 70's, when will these idiots admit weather comes in cycles and stop scamming us?.

    12. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      The Copenhagen event was a disaster for the climate changers for several reasons.

      First, the event was overshadowed by the emails disclosing the fraud behind the climate change science.

      Secondly, the people representing the third world countries at the event clearly showed that they were really after money and not a solution to "fix" the climate.

      Finally, the event was an organizational disaster.

      The conference center was only large enough to accomodate half of the attendees, the sreet riots were out of control, people there were hostile, angry and yelling at the top of their lungs, and they left left a huge mess for someone else to clean up.

      …and these people expect Americans to hand over 15% of our annual pay checks to them.

      Not going to happen.

    13. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      How much longer and in what language does the truth about "man made global warming" be exposed as the lie it is? As a matter of fact, how much longer before we all realize the entire "green,

      environmental movement" is based on a lie that is

      designed to destroy our capitalist ecomony? Yet at the same time, certain groups and indivesionals (Al Gore) are becomming rich on the fools that support this farce.

    14. Hugo, Europe says:

      This is all very nice and positive, but to be honest at this stage I am smelling blood.

      The cherry on the cake would be to see those, who have tried to swindle us for billions using billions of our tax money to set up the scam, being exposed discredited and humiliated.

      It would also serve as a deterrent and a way to pay back some of the damages already done.

    15. Fred Reichert, Detro says:

      My question is, why does Mr. Gore get to keep his non-deserved Nobel Prize for his dishonest misleading of the world into believing that Global Warming is a real problem? Talk about a crook of the highest order. There were many others who actually deserved but didn't get consideration for this award because the honorable (?) Mr. Gore stole it from them. He should be ashamed.

    16. Judy, cape cod says:

      Fred, great comment. Look who handed Gore the Nobel Prize. They are pushing for the One World Order. Plus they are socialists. It seems to me that there is more behind this Global Warming farce. They want us to be a third world nation and Obama is working on that mission. His progressive friends, his appointed staff & his Administration are diligently working very hard, very fast in pushing us to a Statist Country. We need to flip the house this year. Our life in this free Country depends on it. God Bless America.

    17. Scott Green Bay says:

      It looks like the Politicians do listen afterall. Climategate, The Tea Party people and Independant voters hammered their Congress Thives and this had a huge effect on the outcome of Copenhagen. Communist Dems, Liberal Repubs out in 2010, Independants and Libertarians in!

    18. Btok, Windsor says:

      The Copenhagen Summit really emphasized just how fraudulent , illegal and corrupt the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and it’s organizations as well as CRU – East Anglia University with it’s Fraudulent Manipulated Climate Change Science Data!
      This thing was supposed to be about climate and environment however, the world found and witnessed the fact, that this was just smoke and mirrors, and an excuse to try to slip a fast one past and over the public’s head!
      It turns out all the United Nations and International Monetary Fund were mainly interested in free Countries signing away their Sovereignty and Freedom in order for them to set up a One World Communist Government and charge the world Fraudulent Carbon Emissions Tax! Nobody in their right mind in the world would deal with these Rogue Global Elitist Tyrants! This whole organization should be in jail for the criminals they truly are! THis is what they proved to the world at the Copenhagen Treaty Summit Dec 07 to Dec. 18, 2009! I am watching to see if justice is served and arrests and jail time is dealt out!

    19. Bill, Denver CO says:

      Not surprisingly, "One World Government" document does not mention voting rights. But, of course, they are not socialists.

    20. Pingback: New Climate Chief Won’t Change UN’s Problems with Addressing Climate Change | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    21. Pingback: Good news: Obama to install solar panels on White House « Hot Air

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