'Lima COP on verge of failing people and the planet,' say activists


Lima Head Gear

Lima, Peru – The 20th Conference of the Parties (COP-20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is supposed to wrap up today. The headline is taken from a press release from the activist group, the Third World Network. They, along with other activists and envoys from developing countries, are not happy about the direction in which the negotiations are going here at the COP. Why? In a word, money.

The COP was chiefly convened to set up a formal system under which countries make pledges before March 2015 about how they plan to handle climate change, most especially their greenhouse gas emissions cuts. Secondly it supposed is to approve a draft negotiating text for the global climate change agreement that is to be adopted next year at the COP in Paris. It looks like a Paris text will be accepted since it is mostly an un-curated wish list of possible policies. Nothing is excluded, so every country can hope for a nice policy gift just before Christmas next year in Paris.  

This afternoon featured a succession of press conferences at which various activist groups and self-styled representatives of civil society got to throw the moral equivalent of temper tantrums. I have now covered nearly ten of these meetings and the endgame always, always, always comes down to a fight over money. The rich countries refuse to pony up as much as the poor countries think they deserve. So perennially disappointed activists are again furious that the rich countries are not making explicit promises to supply billions in funds to help poor countries. Here are some representative comments:

Lidy Nacpil from Jubilee South Asia Pacific: "We demand a finance roadmap—when and how much they [rich countries] will deliver on their financial obligations before 2020."

Jagoda Munic, Chairperson Friends of the Earth International: "The inaction of wealthy nations at the UN climate negotiations is outrageous. It flies in the face of the most vulnerable countries and communities suffering from the climate crisis. This is climate injustice."

Samantha Smith from the WWF's Global Climate and Energy Initiative: "We are not seeing the political will, the money, and the urgency that the climate crisis all around us demands."

John Foran from the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory at the University of California, Santa Barbara: "The problem is that the neoliberal capitalist economy is at war with the planet and its people."

Michael Dorsey from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and Sierra Club board member: "We are on a course for low ambition; we are on a course for a Paris agreement with no binding commitments."

Pascoe Sabado from Corporate Europe Observatory: "We have to accept that climate change is not about the climate; it is about the economy. Climate change is about system change."

A leaked memo from the so-called like-minded development group of countries – basically some 40 of the world's poorest countries—suggests that they may not agree with the proposals being put forth here and so COP-20 could end with no decisions on how to proceed to the negotiations in Paris. This kind of threat surfaces at every COP, so it's doubtful that they will carry through with it, but we'll see.

I will analyze whatever is decided here at the COP next week.

NEXT: Is It Possible to Build an Internet So Decentralized That It's Beyond the Government's Reach? BitTorrent is Going to Try.

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  1. “Lima COP on verge of being exposed as a gigantic boondoggle, failing to get money for activists”

    There FTFY

  2. Derp.

    That is all.

  3. Great news. Thanks for the nut massage, Ron. Since we get nutpunches every day here, the change of pace is welcome.

  4. The headline is taken from a press release from the activist group, the Third World Network.

    Third World Network? What is that exactly, like dial-up on a Courier? Token Ring? A Novell server?

  5. haha. Munygrubbers.
    When will their greed end?

  6. Is it too early to feel sorry for the activists who put their faith into international bureaucracies whose only interest is to perpetuate the “problem” so they can continue to pull a pay check to “save” them?

    1. It’s like the five p.m. drink, more of a suggestion than a rule.

  7. And of course I’m sure that money couldn’t possibly end up in the hands of, say, corrupt Third World bureaucrats.

    1. At least the Swiss get something out of it. They know how to use the money

  8. Isn’t this the conference with the biggest carbon footprint on the planet?

    1. c: Well, yes. But they neutralized it with trees.

      1. “No hybrids or electric vehicles have been seen at the event. Japan donated 121 electric and hybrid vehicles, chiefly for dignitaries.

        “Unfortunately, most didn’t arrive,” said Alvarez, blaming shipping bureaucracy.”

        Well, thank god Environmental-Justice Advocates never rely on bureaucracy to achieve their ends, or else we might end up with things like Corn Ethanol Mandates…

  9. For your amusement:

    “A Zero Emissions Manifesto for the Climate Justice Movement”
    “It may surprise you to learn that zero emissions has already been embraced as a goal by business leaders as well-known as Bill Gates, and world leaders as prominent as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon;”…

    And we’ll all ride purple unicorns with saddle-bags for the golf clubs!

  10. “Conference”

    I think of it more as a Moral-Narcissism-Fashion-Show

    Its like where Leading Leftists each test out their newest particular spin on the same-old Global-Class-War rhetoric and see which of the EnviroPanics-du-jour seems to generate the most “Buzz“….

    What’s that you say? BEE POPULATION COLLAPSE?? Just when we finished saving the Whales!? DAMN YOU, CAPITALISM!!!AND YOUR WAR ON CUTE SHIT THAT GETS US DONATIONS

  11. So, third world, mostly socialist, countries want industrialized, mostly capitalist, countries to bail them out of their bad outcomes.

    1. That seems an accurate summation.

  12. incanlinesmatter#

  13. Jack Framp No Mass said it wont happen.


  14. Are yhese groups truly upset at the results or is it the just rhetoric as that is how guilt trip based shakedowns work?

  15. Quite a gig you have going to these conferences, Ron. I strongly suspect that you spend your days on the beaches with scantily clad native girls and around noon you reach into your bag of “Climate Justice” phrases and just randomly cut and paste them into the article attributing them to an organization on an interchangeable list of climate warrior organizations. Flying spaghetti monster knows that everyone knows what they are going to say before they say it.

  16. Into the air, vegan werewolves
    Living the nightlife of Lima
    If Pablo Neruda were
    Somewhat astuter
    He woulda sued ya
    Instead Ron booed ya
    For chewing air.

  17. “I will analyze whatever is decided here at the COP next week.”

    We already know your analysis…everyone’s motives are suspect, whatever agreements that arise won’t work, it’s all about money, etc. Its pretty easy to just throw darts at everyone else. Since you have stated that man-made climate change is real, and is a problem, here is a suggestion…why don’t you tell us what you and Libertarians would do. Or should we just sit back and watch.

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