Paris Climate Change Conference

Paris Climate Confab Preview: Culmination or Crack-Up?

The endgame in the quest for a universal climate treaty



President Barack Obama will join more than 130 other heads of state in Paris on Monday to cut the ribbon (metaphorically) at the 21st Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To avoid the sort of embarrassment they found at the bungled 2009 Copenhagen climate conference, the potentates will be long gone from Paris before this meeting concludes on December 11. In the wake of the city's November 13 terrorist atrocities, French authorities have banned the climate change protests that activists had planned.

During the two-week conference, negotiators from nearly 200 countries are supposed to hammer out the world's first-ever universal climate agreement. Climate change activists hope that the new agreement will accelerate the global transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The agreement, which is supposed to come into effect in 2020, is being built on each country's intended nationally determined contributions, or INDCs.

Basically, INDCs are what each nation promises to do about climate change. For example, the Obama administration has pledged that the United States will adopt an economy-wide target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below its 2005 level in 2025, and will attempt to reduce its emissions by 28 percent. In its INDC, China undertakes "to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early."

As the 54-page draft text of the Paris pact makes clear, climate negotiators are far from agreeing on the accord's ultimate goals, on what the responsibilities of various countries will be, on how compliance will be monitored, and on how it all will be financed. As far as those ultimate goals go, the current options range from holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 1.5 °C, to well below 2 °C, or to as far below 2°C as possible above pre-industrial levels. This is supposed to be achieved by having countries' emissions peak by 2030, or peak as soon as possible, or maybe with a 40 to 70 per cent net emission reduction below the 2010 level by 2050, or net zero emissions by 2050, or by 2100. Or maybe they'll hammer out a global carbon budget distribution based on climate justice – that is, allocating future emissions based on the recognition that because the world's richest countries have contributed most to the problem, they have a greater obligation to take action and to do so more quickly.

The current INDC pledges do not in themselves set the globe on a path toward any of the temperature goals being considered. Copenhagen Consensus Center founder Bjorn Lomborg recently calculated that "all climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century, will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100." The editors of Nature Climate Change try to put a positive spin on the Paris pledges in their November 25 issue, but they do note that the INDCs "are insufficient to meet the agreed goal of preventing global temperatures rising more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels." They then cite the excessively inflated estimates made by Climate Action Tracker, which suggest that adhering to the newly pledged INDCs could limit future temperature increases to between 2.2 to 3.4 °C by 2100.

So how deep must cuts in greenhouse gas emissions be in order to keep temperatures below the 2 °C threshold? Elsewhere in that issue of Nature Climate Change, researchers associated with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research find that "a 2030 target of 67 percent below 1990 for the [European Union], a 2025 target of 54 percent below 2005 for the USA or a 2030 target of 32 percent below 2010 for China could secure a likely chance of meeting the 2?°C target." It is worth noting that the EU has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by only 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the U.S. has promised a reduction of only 28 percent below its 2005 levels by 2025, and China promises only to peak its emissions by 2030.

Negotiators are also haggling over a compliance mechanism. It could be a permanent standing compliance committee or even an International Tribunal of Climate Justice. Reading through the various proposals, it's pretty clear that whatever the mechanism turns out to be, it will chiefly be focused on trying to make sure that rich countries cut their emissions while simultaneously shelling out tens of billions annually to finance climate-related activities in poor countries.

The agreement has not yet nailed down the language that would oblige rich countries to "mobilize" the provision of $100 billion annually after 2020 in "climate finance" for poor countries. The idea is that poor countries would use this aid to deploy low-carbon energy sources and adapt to higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and worse storms. Just how to report and monitor the fulfillment of the myriad promises made by nearly 200 countries with regard to emissions and finance goals are still wide-open questions.

Some countries want to make each country's INDC pledges "legally binding" under the agreement. This is a huge sticking point for the Obama administration. The president prefers to construe the Paris agreement as simply an elaboration of our already existing obligations to stabilize greenhouse gases under the previously ratified United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. If the Paris agreement makes INDCs and climate finance obligations legally binding, that would require Senate ratification. The Senate is very unlikely to ratify the agreement, and so the United States would probably not be a party to the new universal climate treaty.

The Paris climate change conference is being very carefully orchestrated, but every previous conference has fallen apart over two issues: demands by poor countries for guaranteed climate finance from rich countries, and demands from rich countries that poor countries agree to substantial cuts in future greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps the Paris conference will finally resolve these issues. But probably not.

Note: I will be publishing daily dispatches from the Paris climate conference beginning December 7.

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  1. It should definitely also be addressed that there doesn’t appear to have been any real warming in the last century if the numbers presented this past week are accurate – and consequently, this 2 degrees bullshit is just that.

    1. And what numbers would that be, hmmm?

      1. The ones they are not manipulating maybe?

    2. But that won’t lead to a massive global tax and regulatory apparatus with centralized power completely beyond the reach of voters and elected representatives. Duh.

  2. Perhaps the rich countries should impose taxes on the R&D they have done which the poor countries are so happy to steal and copy and abuse.

    No, I m not serious. Nothing in that statement is at all in accordance with liberty. But it is really galling ho these clowns are so happy to get high tech advances from other countries while blaming those same countries for all their problems, extorting charity which will go into Swiss bank accounts, and doing everything in their power to suppress liberty in their own countries and generally do everything possible to prevent their own people from helping themselves.

    Reminds me of statists right at home. Free market advances made our current high standard of living possible, so they do their best to regulate, mutilate, and constrain current society to prevent future generations from reaping the same increases in their standard of living.

    They have got to be the most selfish, greedy, arrogant, patronizing, condescending people everywhere, a fixture of life, and I wish the hell we could be rid of them, or at least get rid of coercive governments which enable them to have such unfettered power over decent people who simply want to get on with their lives and don’t have any real interest in controlling others.

    1. Perhaps the rich countries should impose taxes on the R&D they have done which the poor countries are so happy to steal and copy and abuse.

      Also, Americans should insist that Europeans pay for the massive carbon release and lack of sequestration from chopping down European forests.

  3. You are a funny guy Ronald.

    Lamborg again. And he’s your source that Climate Action Tracker is presenting inflated numbers? No, they are presenting numbers with a modicum of common sense, that nations won’t cut off goals by 2030, particularly if climate is worse off…which is what projections say will be the case. But hang on to him if you like…let’s accept that governments need to do even more in order to limit warming to two degrees. We are in agreement. Everyone knows that.

    But only “activists” are looking for action? I wonder if these CEOs from 78 companies are activists? Pepsi, Accenture, AT Kearney, etc.
    Maybe they’re not particularly calling for 100% renewables, but they have expectations that governments will take positive action. Maybe some day libertarians will join them.……x483mr9hw

    1. I wonder if these engineers at Stanford, who have created a plan to get to 100% renewable energy, in detail, are simply activists, or maybe professionals to whom Paris might draw on?…..60815.html

      1. Interesting that your Stanford engineers didn’t actually bother to put a price tag on their “reasonable” estimates for transitioning the entire US economy to “renewables”. That’s something that Lomborg has actually been working on for the past few years and if anything his numbers are optimistic compared to what it would actually cost us.

        If folks are really concerned about something like this and have a modicum of realism, they’d let us license and build a stack of pebble bed reactors (or molten salt reactors) for comparatively low costs and then restart our nuclear fuel reprocessing plant.

        1. It’s interesting? They didn’t take into account costs? You may want to read the entire study. It is over 100 pages, however, a daunting task for most libertarians.


          Get back to me.

          1. Jacobson is a joke. They just hand wave away the economics of tripling annual rare earth production and other ‘important’ materials. So no, they didn’t come close to putting a real cost on their unicorn.

        2. Oh , and nuclear power? You have a fellow advocate in climate “activist” James Hansen.


          1. A broke clock is right twice a day, doesn’t mean he’s not still a lying asshat.

            1. Yeah, so much for intelligent discourse. Couldn’t read the study, eh? Enjoy your evening.

              1. I’m about neck deep in another term paper, but I pop over here in between pages.

                1. Good luck on that.

                2. Tuan Jim.

                  Keep writing your term paper. Jackass is a know troll on this board. He is very negative, unhelpful, and more interested in politics than in actual science.

                  Just wanted to let you know before he wastes any more of your precious time.

                  Keep up the good work. =)

                  1. Politics? I just posted links to businessmen and Stanford engineers. Stop crying pyrate… It’s immature.

                    1. ^ Perfect example. =)

                    2. Have fun this weekend!

                    3. I work for a living, and I like my job. You have fun.

                    4. Will do.

                    5. That was a suprisingly amicable ending to that argument. Lol

    2. Now that I think about it, you might want to listen to Stanford and CAT…they’re not pessimists full of doom and gloom… Like Lomborg.

    3. “which is what projections say will be the case.”

      Considering that none of the projections offered by believers have ever come true I wouldn’t put too much, if any, stock in these projections either.

      1. Is that right? How about as man adds CO2 to the atmosphere, the ante will warm? How is that projection?

        1. You mean the 17+ years of stagnation? How’s them models working out again?

          Something something intelligent discourse something something read something somethings

          1. Stagnation? Oh really? Let’s refer to satellites, and Christy and Spencer, as quoted here by Ronald:

            “The satellite temperature dataset shows an overall warming of about 0.39 C during the past 36 years.”

            So much for stagnation.

            1. Gosh. 36 years. I wonder why such an explicit number. Why not 37, or 35? Hmmmm?

              1. Hmmm, now why would that be… Maybe because temperature has Benin tracked by satellites since 1979. You do the math…its elementary

            2. Well, now it’s being reported (and investigated) that NASA manipulated satellite data just as NOAA manipulated surface temps. So it seems that government can’t be trusted–whoda thunk it.

              1. This should be good. Give us the link that shows satellite data has been manipulated.

            3. And what did the models project the warming would be? Hint: nowhere near that low.

            4. And virtually none of that over the last 19 years even though a third of the demon co2 has been emitted in that time.

            1. Oh, LOOK!
              3/100ths of a degree warmer than 1998! We’re all gonna DIE!
              Way to go, Jack! Fucking ignoramus….

    4. But only “activists” are looking for action? I wonder if these CEOs from 78 companies are activists? Pepsi, Accenture, AT Kearney, etc.

      CEOs from big corporations are looking for government handouts and subsidies, something Democrats are happy to provide, as usual.

      Maybe some day libertarians will join them.

      I hope not.

    5. Anthropogenic climate change is a hoax, dumbass. You’re brain is pickled in cognitive dissonance. But you are entertaining in a trainwreck kinda way.

  4. By the way, Ronald, I love this:

    “Perhaps the Paris conference will finally resolve these issues. But probably not.”

    Engaging in a little confirmation bias there, Ronald? I know you like to accuse others of that…I’ll look forward to you proving it doesn’t effect you as well.

    1. Hey, Jack! Tell us again about how fracking causes earthquakes (that no one can feel)! Or about the monster storms (that didn’t hurt anything)!
      Please, oh please tell us when the rapture is to occur! I really like that story.

    2. Totally agree. I am highly optimistic that the worlds pols will finally put limits on their excess bloviating. For far too long, we have allowed them to create far too much global heat with that and nowhere near enough light.

  5. Neither culmination nor crackup.

    Just a tax exempt avenue for the private jet crowd to both write off a French vacation while justifying their carbon output on the same and preach to hoi poiloi that they need to fall inline and behave.

    Seriously. These people have been caught falsifying data that disagreed with their bias, destroying data that didn’t agree with their assumptions, and nt one of their projections have come true.

    Not one of their predictions have come true. EVER and yet some people still treat their words like truth.

    I don’t think there has ever been a cult like this before. Even the religious doomsdayers lose followers when their “the world will end tomorrow” never comes.

    But not these guys.

    Liberalism must really be a mental disease, there is no other excuse for such insanity.

    1. “Just a tax exempt avenue for the private jet crowd to both write off a French vacation while justifying their carbon output on the same and preach to hoi poiloi that they need to fall inline and behave.”

      It goes beyond that.


      2. The ignorant always turn toward a “Religion” to solve problems.

  6. Guilt as an emotion never solves a problem.


  8. The gods are angry. Doom approaches. Sacrifices must be made to appease the gods.

    I am amazed at how many times this con has been used throughout history and how people just keep falling for it. Goddamned idiots.

  9. I see the UN calling for mandated flatulence suppressors

    1. Better still, mandate that all believers in global warming aka climate change aka climate disruption should cease exhaling that deadly (according to them) pollutant, carbon dioxide.

  10. “climate negotiators are far from agreeing on the accord’s ultimate goals,”

    Yeah, it’s always hard to hammer out who gets the splits and how to divide territory in a racket. I saw it on ‘The Godfather.’

  11. The guy who demanded everyone else leave “50% of the oil” in the ground is arriving to tell the world how to “Whip Inflation Now” (ooops; wrong slogan)

    “Gov. Jerry Brown marches California climate agenda to Paris”
    “When Gov. Jerry Brown lands in Paris next week for international talks on climate, he’ll be preaching the need for action ? and not to solve a hypothetical or future problem but something immediate.”…..ate-result
    (paywalled, but you get the idea)

    And, he’s not doing enough, either!
    “Jerry Brown’s Moment Arrives with the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris”
    “On the eve of a critical UN global climate summit in Paris in December, Governor Jerry Brown, a self-described environmentalist and green economy advocate, needs to bring California’s economic policies into alignment with his strong climate change statements.”…..-in-paris/
    Yeah, he’s a lefty hypocrite; surprise!

    1. Oh give Jerry Brown a break! Isn’t he building high speed rail, single handedly, with his very own money? Isn’t he doing more than doing his part for preventing climate change?

      1. Well, that and getting state employees to test his land for oil…because hey, it’s in their job description right? No privilege or anything.

        1. And if they found any, he was gonna leave half of it in the ground.

    2. I always thought it was NIM. I must have been wearing the button upside down.

  12. Lots of countries will make promises, but few will live up to them. But King Barry the Demonic will insist on doing so for the US no matter how much harm it does to the economy. Indeed, the more harm it does the happier the Obamacrats are, since it increases government control over people’s lives (partly by increasing their dependence on government largesse).

    1. …the more harm it does the happier the Obamacrats are, since it increases government control over people’s lives…

      Crises are essential to political progress because it makes the voters desperate for a government solution. If it weren’t Global Warming?, it’d be something else.

      The push now is renewable energy which is not yet economically viable. So, the only way for green energy companies to get going is through government largesse (as you pointed out). The Global Warming scare forces progressive action and justifies cronyism.

      It’s just a Crony Crisis.

    2. Please understand people, to rich Progressives the price of energy is irrelevant.
      Gasoline could be $100 per gallon and it won’t affect them.
      The people who can afford to fly around the world protesting or donating millions of dollars to environmental causes have disposable cash and no real job to tie them down.
      We, The Great Unwashed Masses, are the real object to be controlled in their eyes.
      Who benefits from government controls on every aspect of your lives? The Government.
      Who controls the government? Academia? Hollywood? The big Urban areas? Rich Progressives.
      We the People are not partners, rather an obstacle to be controlled.

  13. If you take your car to a mechanic, you expect a promise of results. If your plumbing has a leak, you expect a plumber to fix it, not make excuses for why it still leaks.
    Think real hard about the decades worth of constant BS about climate change, and try to think of one time that anyone ever claimed they had the ability to do anything about it. We have been given no promises on results, whatsoever. We’ve heard the same crap about, “we must act now, before it’s too late”, but too late for what, and what can they do to change it? Obama has us reducing CO2 emissions in the US by 30%. And what will that accomplish? He promises absolutely nothing, not even vague assurances.
    This is not about science, folks; this is about politics. My prediction is that ever increasing political stupidity will destroy us long before CO2 does.

    1. Power.
      Societal Control.

      Remember the Great Global Cooling Scare of 1975?
      Acid Rain? The Ozone Hole? AGW scam of 1998?

      Every hysterical bawling of the eviro’mental’ movement demands money (taxes) the power to control what you are allowed to do, how you live, where you live and soon, how long you live.

      The terrorists I worry about wrap themselves in Green.

  14. International Tribunal of Climate Justice

    Bad band name.

  15. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ??????

  16. I hope it fails to come to any agreement, but it hardly matters. Other countries don’t have to keep their promises, whereas Obama and his fellow liberals (and useful idiots) will insist that the US do so. But any agreement would probably involve the West cravenly agreeing to buy off the Third World countries, and I don’t want to see how the Man Who Would Be Dictator justifies making such payments without congressional authorization.

  17. I want a warmer world.
    I want a longer growing season.
    I want to use less energy heating my home against sub-zero temperatures.
    Anyone who tries to tell you it is possible to control the weather is lying, and you a fool to believe it is even possible.

    1. No shit man. Agricultural production would expand by orders of magnitude if the average temp increased just 1 or 2 degrees.

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