Category Archives: Cancun

Cablegate: governments aware of COP15 failure before talks

Hat tip to Th!nkaboutit.com who’ve dug up Copenhagen related cables: 

Benno Hansen and myself, as bloggers about Cancun for Th!nk4: Climate Change,  are working together on climate change revelations in Wikileaks’ Cablegate. Benno also has an introductory blog in Danish: Hvad Wikileaks lægger til COP15-skandalen

We are now getting a clear picture of US climate change policy over the last decade.  

COP15 was bound to fail based on these cables:

2009-11-05 16:04

FOR SECRETARY CLINTON FROM AMBASSADOR MURPHY, BERLIN EMBASSY

11. (C) As the Chancellor’s remarks underline, German officials want strong U.S. leadership going into the Copenhagen Summit. They are advocating for a unified US/EU position towards the major emerging economies, particularly China and India, to urge them to commit to ambitious national actions at Copenhagen. They are looking for signals of our commitment to domestic and international actions that will allow us to collectively meet science-based targets. German leaders recognize the challenge of passing climate change legislation in the U.S. and have lowered their expectations for the possibility of reaching a legally binding agreement next month at Copenhagen. They have begun to describe the Summit as one step in a larger process — a politically binding framework — and may be preparing the German public for a less ambitious outcome.

The Germans were looking for US leadership… and where was it?

While the world mobilised to support efforts at COP15 – just think of the work of activists and groups such as 350.org – the world’s governments were already planning for its failure.

And what does that say about talks in Cancun (COP16)?

Time for the sceptics to wake up! Climategate was a storm in a tea-cup, Cablegate is the real story.

The scientists have told us what to expect but the world’s politicians are dragging their feet. Their complacency is in stark contrast to the urgency of mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The climate sceptics are intellectual cowards, preferring to hide themselves in a bubble of denial:

“No, no! I won’t believe it! It’s all too much for me, I’m scared!”

They don’t have the courage or energy to accept the challenge climate change presents our civilisation.

Climate sceptics?

More like climate cowards. [1] 

They hide behind the disinformation of right-wing think tanks, con-men like “Lord” Monckton and bloggers like Anthony Watts and Jo Nova.

We need people brave enough to challenge the complacency of politicians.

Time to act; time to make our voices heard.

[1] Yes, I’m calling climate sceptics cowards and for good reason! Don’t like the name? Too bad! Cablegate reveals the acceptance of the science and the failure of governments such as the US, Saudi Arabia and Australia to act.

OECD slaps down America for lack of action on climate

Concern about climate change is not the preserve of green extremists, but is fast becoming a concern of business. As noted, the CEO of BHP has called for a price on carbon.

Now it seems the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has called upon the US to lift its game:

The United States this week received a lesson in climate change policy 101 from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

As the American political class struggles with the issue of climate change and the need to act – none of the Republican Senate candidates support action, and most do not believe the science – the OECD, in its regular economic survey of the world’s largest economy, has called for the US to take action on the domestic front and take a pivotal role internationally.

“The cost-effective way to reduce these emissions is to price them and to support the development and deployment of emission-reducing technologies, which will reduce future abatement costs,” the OECD writes in the report released this week.

As the OECD notes, Congress may well have passed legislation along these lines in 2009, but the Senate has not. And so the task of reducing emissions – firstly in motor vehicles and then in other sectors – will fall to the US Environmental Protection Agency, at a greater cost to the economy, and probably to no great effect.

So the miners want a price on carbon and the pro-market OECD wants action. Who does this leave the anti-science zealots to attack?

The deniers are fast degenerating into mish-mash of conspiratorial fantasists angry at anyone who disagrees with them. Everyone else is on the conspiracy!

There’s a word for people like that: cranks.

Time to “act-act”?

Of course, as the world heads into the next round of negotiations for a binding agreement to reduce emissions at Cancun, the US is playing down expectations:

The top US climate negotiator warned Tuesday against expectations of any binding deals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions at the next UN conference on the issue in Mexico later this year.

Climate change special envoy Todd Stern also insisted the United States still had a major role to play in the battle against global warming, despite its failure to get a bill cutting greenhouse gas emissions through Congress.

Stern said after a high-level international meeting on climate change here that nations would seek progress on non-binding “decisions” at the talks in Cancun, Mexico, which some experts believe will produce another stalemate.

“No one is anticipating or expecting in any way a legal treaty to be done in Cancun this year,” he said.

“The focus at this point is on a set of decisions on the core issues,” Stern said after talks among 17 nations responsible for 80 percent of carbon emissions.

Churchill famously said it was better to “jaw-jaw” than to “war-war”, sentiments I agree with.

However on climate it would seem we’ve had enough “jaw-jaw”.

We need governments to “act-act”.

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