Paris Climate Change Conference

New Paris Draft Climate Accord Unveiled: It's All About the Cash

Fourth Dispatch: Saving the climate is nice and all, but where's the money?

|

COPMenagerie
Bailey

Paris – The president of the Paris climate change conference, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, released today a new draft text of the prospective universal climate accord being negotiated here. It has been cut down from 48 to 29 pages with core agreement numbering 14 pages. While some options have been whittled down, it is still filled with bracketed texts indicating that negotiators have yet to agree on some of the biggest outstanding issues. So what's in play?

Temperature

The section dealing with the purpose of the agreement lists three options for the ultimate year 2100 temperature goal. The first would commit countries to working to keep future temperature increases below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The second would aim for keeping them "well below" 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to rapidly scale up global efforts to limit temperature increase to below 1.5°C. And the third option would set the goal at holding temperatures below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The 1.5°C limit is being championed by small island states that fear that rising seas spurred by man-made global warming will engulf their homelands sometime during this century unless the world adopts this more stringent goal. Keep in mind that the world has already warmed by about 1°C since the pre-industrial era. U.S. Special Representative Todd Stern has said that the U.S. would like to work out some language that would recognize the 1.5°C goal in the agreement. This suggests that U.S. negotiators are backing the second option.

Long-Term Goal

Activists are pushing to set a long-term goal in the accord. One option aims at setting a concrete goal such as "peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible" or reducing global emissions by 70-95 percent below 2010 levels by 2050, or achieving "net zero greenhouse gas emissions [by the end][after the middle] of the century." Option two more generally commits signatories to realizing whatever temperature goal is adopted through "a long-term global low emissions [transformation toward [climate neutrality][decarbonization]]over the course of this century informed by best available science." (I include some bracketed text to give readers an idea of what's still up for grabs.) In general the activists prefer the numerical goals. They argue that such a goal is easier to monitor and will send a strong signal to businesses and investors that the fossil fuel era is fast coming to a close.

Reporting and Accountability

The rich countries want all countries to set clear quantified emissions targets and be bound by the same system of monitoring, reporting and verification. Some poor countries favor language that says the least developed countries "may communicate" whatever they doing with regard to climate change "at their discretion." In any case, poor countries want rich countries to agree to pick up the tab for any efforts they make toward monitoring, reporting, and verifying their greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. is also arguing for establishing a regular five year review and update cycle to see how countries are doing with respect to fulfilling their pledges starting in 2020 when the new accord comes into effect. This is being resisted by some countries, say China, on the grounds that they have already set their 2030 goals.

Adaptation

The idea is that there is now no way to avoid a certain amount of future warming, so countries will have to adapt to it. Since most of the text describes various reporting and planning activities, very little of it has been bracketed. To give readers a sense of how these documents work I include this bit of text from the adaptation section:

Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional, indigenous peoples knowledge and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate.

Since this text is not bracketed, this likely to make it into final accord.

On the other hand, a whole section devoted to establishing some kind of sustainable development mechanism is bracketed. "Mechanism" is a term of art that usually means that rich country governments are committed to giving poor country governments cash for some allegedly worthy activity or other.

Money, Money, Money

The longest section of the draft accord deals with the issues of loss and damage and climate finance. The idea behind climate loss and damage is that it occurs despite emissions reductions that aim to keep temperatures low and efforts to adapt to the warming that does occur. Loss and damage can result from severe weather events like typhoons or slower changes such sea level rise.

Poor countries and activists at the conference insist that the lost and damage section does not impose liability and the obligation to compensate poor countries for climate disasters. Nevertheless rich countries are strongly resisting inclusion of this concept in the accord because they understand that such provisions have tendency to metastasize into international shakedown bureaucracies. Consequently, the whole section is bracketed.

About the section on finance, let's just say that there is still a lot to discuss and agree on. Way back in 1992, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change divided the world into two groups; rich countries that agreed to do something about their greenhouse gas emissions and poor countries, including China and India, that had no obligations to do anything at all. The world has changed since then; notably China's GDP has grown more than 20-fold. Many poor countries, nevertheless, want to maintain this distinction and make the same set of rich countries solely responsible for forking over climate financing to them after 2020. The U.S. wants to recognize the new realities by inserting language in the accord that says that "all parties" can provide climate finance to poor countries "in line with their respective and evolving responsibilities and capabilities." Here's looking at you China!

In addition, poor countries want rich countries to "provide [new,][additional,] [adequate,] [predictable,][accessible,][sustained] and [scaled-up] financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation." They essentially want all of the brackets lifted from this long row of adjectives. At the failed 2009 Copenhagen climate conference, President Obama promised that the rich countries would "mobilize" $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020. Provisions in the text treat this amount as merely a "floor" above which more should be supplied in the coming years.

Those are some highlights from the current draft. There is supposed to be a clean text by tomorrow (Thursday), but nobody really believes that. It's likely to be a long weekend.

Note: I am filing daily dispatches from the Paris climate change conference, and I will keep readers apprised of who gets what out of the climate accord when (and if) it's completed.

Advertisement

NEXT: Watch Matt Welch Talk Trump and Muslims and Terrorism and Civil Liberties on Tonight's Kennedy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Note: I am filing daily dispatches from the Paris climate change conference, and I will keep readers apprised of who gets what out of the climate accord when (and if) it’s completed.

    I can answer that for you. The 1% will get the subsidies and the taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.

      1. Spoiler Alert’s ass. How about a

        TRIGGER WARNING ?

    1. Isn’t it vile?

      Hey, developing world! Tough luck you were late to the party and don’t get to build up your standard of living with the least expensive energy sources.

      But we rent seekers in the developed world have developed some fantastic green technology. And we’ll sell it to you!

      Don’t worry though. If you can’t afford it, we’ll tax our own populations and throw you some of the revenue to pay for it!

      1. Gee, Mike, you sort of left out the part where the ‘developing world’ got all the blueprints and investment to speed their efforts toward prosperity from the developed world pretty much free of charge. Not to mention that the ‘developing world’ was here the entire time, at the party and eating the snacks.
        Now why would you leave that out, Mike?

    2. The 1% ARE the taxpayers.

    1. It’s all about the money and let’s be realistic. The US is not going to pony up money for that nonsense. It is too politically toxic. We don’t spend much on foreign aid now and people hate it. They are not going to be keen on funding these yahoo’s earth worshipping religion.

      The fuck you is besides the point. They aren’t getting what they want. Savor that.

  2. “Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems”…

    What the hell does “gender-responsive” even mean? And what does it have to do with climate?

    1. Whoever wrote that should not be allowed to reproduce

      1. to be in this group, the ability to write like that is a prerequisite. But hey, fully transparent, so there’s that.

        1. “But hey, fully transparent, so there’s that.”

          This would be Obo-transparent, right?

    2. An inconvenient queef.

      1. I laughed.

    3. What the hell does “gender-responsive” even mean?

      Fat chicks need to buy carbon offsets to account for their increased CH4 footprint – that’s what.

      1. They’re not fat, they just have big bones.

        1. The new euphemism is curvy.

    4. Ahh

      Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is government planning, programming and budgeting that contributes to the advancement of gender equality and the fulfillment of women’s rights. It entails identifying and reflecting needed interventions to address gender gaps in sector and local government policies, plans and budgets. GRB also aims to analyze the gender-differentiated impact of revenue-raising policies and the allocation of domestic resources and Official Development Assistance.

      GRB initiatives seek to create enabling policy frameworks, build capacity and strengthen monitoring mechanisms to support accountability to women. This website provides governments, non-governmental organizations, parliaments and academics with resources for understanding and applying GRB.

      So it’s using climate cash to enact the UN social programs.

      1. Naomi Klein, I believe, said Climate Change is the theory that unites all over liberal policy proposals.

        1. What a waste of productivity! Just imagine if all of those scum were not parasites but actual producers!

  3. Why is it this fucking earth tech boobs is giving us hard drives, thumb this, fingernail that, and extra storage microscopic wallawalla for all our goddamn sex vids, river rafting visuals, and snappy crappy walkie talkie shit when we haven’t even begun to tap into deep brain storage on the organic fucking level. It is as if the fucking human brain is being turned into a shrimp paddling with stick arms on a digital ocean of bullshit.

  4. Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional, indigenous peoples knowledge and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate.

    So that settles that: when you give a thousand monkeys a thousand typewriters, you don’t end up with Hamlet.

    1. But what if you gave ten thousand monkeys typewriters? A million?

      $100bln a year buys a lot of monkeys and typewriters – which is what they actually want to spend the money on. Fitting.

      1. If we took $100 billion dollares and distributed it directly to the people reputed to have their lives disrupted by global warming would that solve more of their problems than giving it to the assorted rent seekers on their behalf ?

        Just wondering ?

        1. Stop. Wondering. Start. Paying.

          -97% Consensus

    2. indigenous peoples knowledge and local knowledge systems,

      I’m trying to square that with global warming.

      1. They’re going to save the planet holistically.. using cash, because.. indigenous people.. Shut up!

      2. Well, it just means we have to keep all of our options on the table. I mean, science and rational thought might work, but on the other hand, there wasn’t any global warming back when the Aztecs were making human sacrifices to appease the Sun God, so perhaps we should take their indigenous knowledge into account and throw some virgins into a volcano, just to be on the safe side.

        1. And the other one said she’s not marching alone.

      3. It’s a way of creating a double standard.

  5. Suggesting that the sole motivation behind climate agreements is anything other than a cash grab from the usual rent-seeking parasites is almost as asinine as suggesting those parasites actually have the power to control the climate..

    1. The Great Khan killed all the Venetian traders’ competitors in exchange for tribute and info on his enemies. The horde will always horde.

    2. Dear sir, you are giving goddamn parasites a bad name. Parasites are organic existentialists utterly in love with their hosts and mucking about with innocent abandon as the internal organs of their host sweetly turn into pudding in the guts of the kind parasite. The travail of the host is obviously difficult for a time and the parasite sits contented completely unaware of the mashing thrashing abouts of its screaming bleating bloodlet abode because nature has made this exchange not so entirely different than humans chomping on the tongues, tails, and balls of bulls gainfully prepared for harvest. We don’t eat the bull alive but who would do this. A horn jammed through the occipital lobe isn’t fun over BBQ.

      The Climate Catatonics exist to ravage those who live in grand houses. Nothing more. Animals, whales, clouds, the earth, and ‘good satisfied living’ (according to my brain lover Bertrand) have nothing to do with the zealotified angst of the Catatonics whose shrill voices punch the ether of… Those who are gainfully employed above the nominal. The brisk walkers through flashy alleys and tall signs above thick rich leathers. They are hated by the Catatonics who have been mentally rearranged into using broad festivals to harm those who host garden wallets.

      1. This isn’t to say that the rich are without guile. Corruption is a brisk business when the clouds lie low. It is just that when corruption meets corruption the Catatonic Climatologist can be found in the midst much like the NYC sturgeons and D.C. coke sniffers in the velvety suits. The exchanges of evil are filled with those mounting angels and gods.

    3. Suggesting that the sole motivation behind climate agreements is anything other than a cash grab…

      There’s more to it than that. How will governments control CO2? They’re going to have to control the use of fossil fuels. This means making them more expensive. Could be through taxes, or by forcing down supply. But either way, the price of energy is going to go up. And the price of anything that requires energy to produce (as in everything) will also go up. Now some people with connections aren’t going to like this, so they’re going to go to politicians to get exceptions made for them. This means politically connected companies will get a lower price than those without connections. More government assholes deciding winners and losers in anything related to the economy.

      So it’s more than a money grab. It’s a big-time power grab.

      1. Exactamundo.

      2. Outer. Limits.

  6. Pay 2 Pollute. Sounds like a fucking plan, whores.

  7. Why didn’t you get a shot of COP21s unicorns?

  8. It’s All About the Cash

    You’re just now figuring this out?

    1. He’s certainly no P. Diddy.

  9. Those are some highlights from the current draft.

    Ron, you should have bracketed “highlights”.

  10. I foresee a whole lot of new Swiss bank accounts.

  11. Some say the best way to curb gas emissions is through beano or a flatulence suppressor.

  12. Obviously we need Climate Neutrality.

  13. I note nothing on Unicorn reduction. This is a serious oversight. What if we get flooded with Unicorns in 2100 because we did nothing now?

    1. Expanded unicorn supply implies more rainbows implies more rain implies global wetting of pants.

  14. […] poor countries want rich countries to “provide [new,][additional,] [adequate,] [predictable,][accessible,][sustained] and [scaled-up] financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation.”

    Of course, by “poor countries” one must understand the governments. And by “rich countries” one must understand the dumb suckers who stupidly pay their taxes to the governments who represent the so-called “rich countries.”

    Everybody got that? Good.

    1. Foreign aid: forcing poor people in rich countries to give money to rich people in poor countries.

      1. That’s a perfect definition sarc

  15. Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive […],

    There will be male adaptation actions and female adaptation actions, depending on who does the screwing and who gets screwed.

    […]should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional, indigenous peoples knowledge and local knowledge systems

    Especially in those cases where the knowledge held by indigenous people’s proves superior to the White Man’s Science. I’m guessing.

    These bureaucratic documents are always fun to read, if one has the patience to pass their bombastic and convoluted language. The platitudes pretty much hold the paragraphs together, like cobwebs hold the walls of an old house from falling outwards.

    1. I need to go befriend some “indigenous people’s” so I can tell them how much fun it is to troll these studid fucks. I’m sure they probably figured that out pretty quickly on their own though.

    2. I need to go befriend some “indigenous people’s” so I can tell them how much fun it is to troll these studid fucks. I’m sure they probably figured that out pretty quickly on their own though.

    3. I need to go befriend some “indigenous people’s” so I can tell them how much fun it is to troll these studid fucks. I’m sure they probably figured that out pretty quickly on their own though.

      1. Looks like you got the squirrels on your side.

    4. Holy crap – the party of evidence-based policymaking, ladies and gentlemen!

  16. Of course has to report this stuff as if he believed in CO2 caused global warming. Such belief – even if half hearted – is a prerequisite for the junket.

    On that that basis there are more than a few things that I believe are possible. What am I offered?

  17. The most depressing thing about this is knowing that a fair number of these confrerees are living high on the hog on the taxpayers dime and still feeling oh-so-sanctimonious about how much Good they’re doing for the poor benighted schlubs they’re allowing to tote their sedans. Not a damn one of them in a free-market economy meets the qualifications for a job as a crack whore but in the UN/NGO world they’re all platinum-plated jewel-encrusted caviar-fed little tin gods. They don’t give a damn about global warming as long as the Dom Perignon in the Baccarat crystal is properly chilled.

  18. The most depressing thing about this is knowing that a fair number of these confrerees are living high on the hog on the taxpayers dime and still feeling oh-so-sanctimonious about how much Good they’re doing for the poor benighted schlubs they’re allowing to tote their sedans. Not a damn one of them in a free-market economy meets the qualifications for a job as a crack whore but in the UN/NGO world they’re all platinum-plated jewel-encrusted caviar-fed little tin gods. They don’t give a damn about global warming as long as the Dom Perignon in the Baccarat crystal is properly chilled.

    1. J: In re “living high on the hog” – I am staying at a friend’s apartment, riding public transport, and buying sandwiches from the local patisserie for dinner (they’re half-priced after 4:30 pm). Just saying.

      1. And what do you do with the money you save, after the conference gets out and you’re off the sample the Paris night life?

        You don’t have to answer that.

      2. Ron, are you claiming that reason doesn’t pay you to go to Paris? Footing the bill for your own expenses with no compensation? OR, as Eddie suggested above, are you receiving compensation?

        The main reason I am curious is because they should advertise during the webathon. “Give money now so we can send AGW believer Ron Bailey to Paris” It would probably draw some donations from outside the normal giving demographics. You could even advertise it on Salon!

  19. Well Canada got a climate “fossil” award again… so there’s that! Suck it justin

    1. Was this in the T-ball event?

  20. Sepp Blatter and Bernie Ecclestone couldn’t have come up with a scam this good if they did a mind meld. It’s incredible in its size and scope.

    1. So, you’re saying there might be some financial irregularities?

  21. “The section dealing with the purpose of the agreement lists three options for the ultimate year 2100 temperature goal. The first would commit countries to working to keep future temperature increases below 2?C above pre-industrial levels.”

    They act as if this can be done like we keep temp in our fridges. Fuck can they be this stupid and arrogant? This, I’m just gonna take a wild guess, ain’t gonna happen.

    1. And after the sun goes into it’s recently predicted minimum and global temps start a cooling trend, which they seem to have begun, the global warmists alarmists will take all the credit.

      See. we told you if you would give us $100 billion dollars a year to start we could solve this problem.

      1. “Now let’s make it $200 billion so we can keep up the great work.”

  22. As far as I’m concerned the only time the world would ever unite with little fuss is when the aliens attack – and even then we’d probably have a few PC useful idiots collaborating with them thus making any agreement that much more difficult.

    What? It could happen.

    1. It not only can but will happen.

      There were plenty of oth Communist and Nai collaborators before and during the early part of the 20th century.

      I don’t see how we can defeat the modern day equivelent of those ideologies without adopting some of the same tactics that we used back then.

      The first article of business is to rid the oval office of someone who identifies more with the enemy than he does with the citizenry.

  23. Is it any wonder that governments cannot solve real problems when they are always so busy fucking around with new ways to screw people over over fake issues?

    1. In CA (and quite a bit of the west), we have recurring droughts. The last ‘big’ one happened the last time moonbeam was guv.; 30+ years.
      Given he was in office during a drought, and that he’s held various offices since then and has had the ability to affect gov’t activities even if not in office, (IOWs, he’s been a representative of CA gov’t), and given that he wants and trusts the gov’t to ‘fix things’ for the people and given that CA population has just about doubled since then, why of course ‘the government’ in ‘fixing things for the people’ has doubled the water storage capacity, right? I mean, we’re to trust the government to fix things for us!
      In that 30 years, there has been exactly *zero* increase in water storage for the state of California. We’re told to ‘conserve’ and offered various hair shirt solutions.
      I rest my case.

      1. Why build water infrastructure when high speed rail offers better parties and personal incentives ?

  24. I call dibs on the giant gummy treats!

  25. It recently occurred to me that progs have a weirdly conservative mindset on the issue of climate change. They are like a crazy religious nut on the corner screaming at people to repent, yet they always claim to be so free and optimistic about human potential. Why does it even matter whether climate change is real? We won’t go to climate Hell if it gets a few degrees warmer. We’ll adapt.

    1. It’s crazy just how eschatological this whole scheme is. A 1 ?C to 2 ?C rise in temperature and a 1 inch rise in ocean levels over a century is not worthy of significant concern from anybody but Chicken Little. But concerned they are of impending doom if humankind does not repent of its fossil fuel burning sins.

      1. To be fair, sea level rise is projected to be about a foot, possibly even two feet, not an inch. That’s still not a lot, though.

  26. “…it’s all about the cash.”

    No shit. That is all it ever was about. It is a scam, plain and simple. All sound and fury leading to you writing them a check. That is what every scam looks like. This looks like a scam because it is one.

  27. Green UN money for poor nations?

    Climate money being spent on coal power plants

    About $1 billion in loans under a U.N. initiative for poor countries to tackle global warming is going toward the construction of power plants fired by coal.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/na…..er-plants/

  28. The 1.5?C limit is being championed by small island states that fear that rising seas spurred by man-made global warming will engulf their homelands sometime during this century unless the world adopts this more stringent goal.

    The total number of people living on such small island states are probably less than 1.5 million, and they are already impoverished and emigrating at a rapid pace. The cheapest and best thing for all concerned would be to relocate them to the US and Europe as soon as possible, regardless of sea level rise.

    (Also, these small island states are smaller than the kind of neighborhoods US politicians have no problem erasing from the face of the earth through eminent domain, so why the sudden hand wringing?)

  29. And all based on funny money fiat currency.

    We are being enslaved.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.