Being on a UN committee to discuss climate change must be a lot of fun; you get to fly to exotic locations and no one ever expects you to get anything done. I guess that applies to the UN overall.
Bangkok held the latest meeting that accomplished nothing and everyone is gearing up now for the annual UN summit in Doha later this year, where the exciting news will be that they will take no further action on climate change this decade. Countries of the world, witness your tax dollars at work.
Sure, "Long-term Cooperative Action" will be discussed - there has to be a reason to fly to exotic countries and eat well while caring about poor people - but it won't mean anything. Activists will blame President Obama (1), of course, and the irrational belief held by Americans that Chinese cars also cause global warming, but Europe cannot escape unscathed and they are being criticized because they refused to take on deep emission cuts and feel proper guilt that their organic farming industry caused flooding in the Philippines.
"The Kyoto Protocol the European Union wants here is one that is not legal, but merely a "political decision." It would also not include a science-based determination of countries' targets. And the EU is now trying to negotiate an out where it doesn't have to talk about what it's really going to do until 2016. It's a sham of what was agreed in Durban and it would be a suicide pill for the world to swallow this." said Asad Rehman, Head of International Climate at Friends of the Earth EWNI. "The EU is using cynical politics to suggest it might increase its target at some future date, for some future agreement. It's turned the climate into a trading chip and the world's most vulnerable communities into hostages. The 20% target the EU is offering is "business as usual", business as usual is killing the climate - it is criminal."
"No cuts by rich industrialized countries now means stopping that disaster is not possible and won't happen," said Harjeet Singh, of Action Aid International.
No cuts? America has done its part. Thanks to its support of fracking and deft handling of the economy, the Obama administration has us back at 1992 levels of energy emissions - and we were at 1995 levels overall a year ago. Coal is back at early 1980s levels of emissions in America because energy companies have embraced cleaner natural gas. Emissions are almost at what Kyoto wanted anyway.
There have been declines in CO2 emissions of OECD countries across the board but worldwide emissions are still rising - which means it isn't the rich countries ignoring the science. It just turns out poor countries want to have air conditioning and food too.
(1) Who will blame George W. Bush.
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