• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Guest Blogger Roger Helmer MEP: Climate Conference Set to Crash and Burn?

    I’m here at the UN’s Cancun Climate Conference—or COP16 (Conference of the Parties) in the jargon.  The last two COPs in Poznan (2008) and Copenhagen (2009) were (ironically) characterized by exceptionally cold weather.  I can’t say that there’s December snow in Cancun, but locals tell me it’s exceptionally cool for the time of year.  But then again, that’s Climate Change for you!

    This is the world’s travelling circus; the moveable feast; the great eco-love-in.  We have some 15,000 delegates (including me — I’m accredited for the EU which is a great irony since I am hugely skeptical of the EU as well as the myth of man-made climate change).  Of course 99% of the delegates are paid-up true believers in Al Gore’s Great Climate Myth, so everyone here agrees with each other, reinforcing their opinion that Al Gore’s view is the only sane view to have.  I take a profoundly different view though.

    Copenhagen carried huge hopes and optimism, and ended in failure and recrimination.  Cancun is the mirror image.  Expectations have been managed down to zero though, so any tiny nugget of success will be hugely overhyped.  And there will be nuggets—probably on forestry, on technology transfer, and on a “Cancun Fund” to combat climate change (watch out for that one, because you know who’ll be paying – you, the taxpayer).  But the Holy Grail, of a legally binding emissions agreement, looks as far off as ever, and they’re already whistling in the wind and talking of “laying the stepping stones for COP17 in Durban in 2011”.

    No fewer than 215 organizations took exhibition space here at the Cancun Messe (aptly named).  There are government agencies, trade organizations, charities, lobbyists, campaign groups, miscellaneous small countries and groups of countries, like the Association of Small Island States, and a couple of big countries or proto-countries like the USA and the EU.  And despite the 15,000 delegates (down by 10,000 on Copenhagen in 2009, by the way), there is an air or emptiness and waiting in the Exhibition Hall – some stands not manned at all, others with a few desultory staff chatting to each other or working their lap-tops.

    I took a look around.  The diversity of organizations was fascinating.  We had WEDO, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, allied with the “Global Gender and Climate Alliance” (of course).  The Woods Hole Research Centre, from Massachusetts.  The WFP (World Food Programme).  Even the WAGGGS — the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

    Two exhibitors deserve to share the prize for the most bare-faced impudence in showing up at all.  We had the University of East Anglia from the UK (remember the scandal of the leaked e-mails from their Climatic Research Unit?), and railway engineer Rajendra Pacuari’s TERI (The Energy & Research Institute).  Remember that Pachauri is also Chairman of the IPCC, while earning a great deal of money from various advisory posts in the climate change industry.  Given that they’ve both been wholly discredited in the last twelve months, it must have taken courage to show up — although they faced a less than hostile audience.

    I have heard a couple of briefings from the EU’s Climate Change Commissioner (yes, I’m afraid we have one), Connie Hedegaard (who presided over the failed Copenhagen Conference last year).  She reported that the EU had taken the high moral ground in the debate (unlike recalcitrant countries like the USA or China), and that at least the EU had a united position.  But later in the day I met Czech Deputy Environment Minister Ivo Hlavac, who assured me that he and his government took a skeptical position (only to be expected from a country where the redoubtable Vaclav Klaus was President).

    Tellingly, I also heard a reported comment from UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.  At a dinner for national delegations, he commended the EU for its strong commitment to climate mitigation, in a way that rather suggested that no one else quite felt the same.

    I almost feel sorry for Todd Stern (no relative of the UK’s Lord Stern of Stern Report fame) who leads the American team at the event.  So far as I can tell, he wants (however misguidedly) a binding set of emissions targets, as (I suspect) does President Obama.  But Todd knows perfectly well that if he initials any agreement acceptable to the EU, Congress will chuck it out, while if he tries to put forward a compromise that Congress might just accept, his fellow negotiators in Cancun will have an apoplexy.  I think he’s on a hiding to nothing.

    Reports from the negotiating table confirm that agreement is a long way off.  They simply can’t agree Kyoto 2.  In a desperate attempt to stave off total failure, there’s talk of a two year extension on the existing Kyoto deal, but several countries look unlikely to accept that either.  It also raises complex technical legal problems with the so-called Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and the uncertainty in the industry would be disastrous for that project.

    At the end of the day, despite small nuggets of agreement, Cancun looks likely to end in disappointment just as Copenhagen did.  But a successful, legally-binding emissions treaty would be a disaster for the world economy and would do huge damage to America’s interests (and to Europe’s, though they don’t seem to have noticed).  So let me make an appeal to America’s climate realists and conservatives: if against all expectation a deal is agreed in Cancun, use any means you can to pressure Congress to reject it.  That may not be too tough a task.

    Roger Helmer Conservative Party Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands region.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Guest Blogger Roger Helmer MEP: Climate Conference Set to Crash and Burn?

    1. Roger Helmer MEP, Ca says:

      A post script. I discovered today that amongst the 215 exhibitors at the Cancun thrash is one climate-skeptic organization, CFACT. Good guys. They'd organised a meeting with Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Huntsville, Alabama, and the ubiquitous Lord (Christopher) Monckton, whom I'd last seen a few weeks back when we visited the University of East Anglia together. If Pachendra and UEA/CRU deserve a prize for impudence, then CFACT get a prize for courage, and for taking the fight to the enemy.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Another slap in the face from Mother Nature, eh boys? No such thing as man made global warming, there is such a thing as man made major fraud! End the debate and lift the government made mandates.

    3. Pingback: » Financial News Update – 12/9/10 NoisyRoom.net: The Progressive Hunter

    4. Roger Baxter. Batavi says:

      Perhaps you should read Moncton's commentary on this event. It is an entirely different read on the situation.
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/09/moncktons-m
      Your thinking might just expand a little bit.

    5. Michael, Perth Austr says:

      Roger, You're very sure of your position. I can see this from your linked opinion piece. Which, I might add, links to quite a few other opinion pieces. Pity about the way you've cherry picked data points from other people's datasets, and the woeful lack of actual scientific research conducted by which supports your position.

      Here's an experiment you could do to support your hypothesis that CO2 doesn't matter: Two greenhouses, one at 380ppm CO2, one at 6000ppm CO2 (from your linked piece). Take temperature measurements. Not a hard one to do really – surely with all the money you contrarians have you could set that one up. Small problem is that the data might actually support the consensus, and you couldn't have that…

    6. Satish Chandra, Buff says:

      INDIA PROPOSING LEGALLY BINDING EMISSION CURBS AT CANCUN:

      What these buggers agree to is what their C.I.A. masters dictate and how many hundreds of millions of dollars bribe the C.I.A. gives them. India cannot "enforce"anything on the U.S. but this will give the U.S. another pretext to invade and subjugate India. Until the per capita emissions of the U.S. come down to India's level, India should not make any commitments of any kind. India must demand, for example, that SUV's be banned in the U.S. and India should reserve the right to invade the U.S. to enforce the ban. I am India's expert in strategic defence and the father of India's strategic program including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. In my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy for India Over U.S.', which can be found by a Yahoo search with the title, I have shown how India can have the military and economic strength to start doing this to the U.S. immediately, not just in environmental issues but in all areas. This move on the part of the U.S. is meant to throttle India's economic and military strength. As I have shown in my blog, this will not be allowed and nor will numerous other things these buggers have agreed to which grievously injure India. It will require the nuclear destruction of New Delhi followed by the coast-to-coast destruction of the U.S. by India with 10,000 thermonuclear warheads and extermination of its population. This is the only thing — extermination of the United States' population by India — whose environmental effects matter. For one thing, it will end all emissions generated now by the U.S. population. This so-called conference takes no account of this all-important factor and is, therefore, worthless.

      As I have shown in my blog, after British rule, India has been under C.I.A. rule. This government has no legitimacy and no agreements it makes will bind India in any way.

      This 'legally-binding' commitment by India regarding emissions has been pushed by the U.S. in support of the nuclear deal which fatally injures India's defence and economically loots it in numerous ways; see my blog. The U.S. is saying that if you use coal to generate electricity instead of buying nuclear reactors from us — which, besides looting India, cripple its nuclear weapons program, we will invade you and enforce this. As I have said (see my blog), this requires the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States by India.

      This 'legally-binding commitment' offer from India was pre-arranged by the United States with Jairam Ramesh and Manmohan Singh (several days before the conference, after I wrote that the combined population of the 28 white countries in NATO, which assert a right to invade and occupy the Indian subcontinent — that is, India — at will, does not equal India's and India must refrain from touching them or sitting near them or at the same level with them militarily or economically and my blog above shows how India can start doing this immediately, the United States said India can play a very important role at the Cancun conference, that is, propose this 'legally binding' commitment as a proxy for the United States because, first and foremost, it cuts India's own throat and gives the United States a pretext to invade India if it does not accept the slavery of the nuclear deal) but was kept secret even from the Indian delegation to pre-empt any opposition to it in India and spring it as a surprise and a fait accompli. This is treason of the most brazen kind. Satish Chandra

    7. Vince Causey says:

      I fear that you are downplaying the significance of possible deals on forests and finance and technology transfer. An agreement on REDD would enable advocacy groups like WWF to leverage the rain forest to there own considerable enrichment. To have advocacy groups controlling vast revenues is worrying for the democratic process, to the say the least. Even more worrying are these proposals of technology transfer. What happens to intellectual property rights, like patents? Such proposals strike a chord with Marxist ideologies and should be resisted as robustly as possible.

      From an East Midlands resident.

    8. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    9. Pingback: Morning Bell: There is No Tax Deal | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    10. Dan Detroit Michigan says:

      The COP meetings and those who attend them remind me of Star Trek conventions and those pathetic losers who attend them. There is as much truth about Global Warming as there is the possibility that Spock is a real Vulcan!

      Why the EU or USA would waist the money to send a delegation to COP16 is beyond rational thinking. The Carbon deposited by the jets that take them there and the CO2 that comes from the "Hot Air" the discussions generate are the only possible contributions to Global Warming if there were such a thing.

      There only purpose in life is to get the next UN, US or EU grant so they can continue to pay their travel expences. You don't have to be an Oxford or UC Berkley PHD to understand that they are all NUTS!

    11. Pingback: World Spinner

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×