Climate Change

23rd U.N. Climate Change Conference Opens in Bonn

The Trump administration sends low-level bureaucrats as delegates to the climate negotiations.

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The 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opened on Monday. Although the island nation of Fiji is presiding over the meeting, the conference itself is being held in Bonn, Germany. Some 25,000 participants, including delegates from 190 countries, activists, and journalists, are expected to attend.

It is also the second meeting after the Paris Agreement on climate change came into effect. Although President Donald Trump announced in June that the United States will be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, under the accord it takes four years to complete the formal withdrawal process. So until 2020, the U.S. still officially has a seat at the climate negotiations table. The Trump administration is not sending high-level officials to Bonn; the small U.S. delegation will instead be led by career diplomat Thomas Shannon.

As has become traditional, various think tanks and activist groups have issued reports arguing that we face a dire climate situation. The World Meteorological Organization released a statement declaring that 2017 is on track to be the second or third warmest year in the instrumental temperature record. The University of Alabama in Huntsville reported that last month was the warmest October in the 39-year satellite global temperature record.

The medical journal The Lancet published a report warning that man-made climate change is already affecting human health around the globe. The study reported that millions more people are exposed to prolonged heat waves, that rising temperatures have reduced outdoor labor productivity by 3 to 5 percent in some regions, and that some mosquito-borne illnesses are spreading.

In the United States, the U.S. Climate Change Assessment program published last week its Climate Science Special Report, which declared it "extremely likely" that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (chiefly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels) is the "dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century." That report also noted that the "annual average temperature over the contiguous United States has increased by 1.8°F (1.0°C) for the period 1901–2016."

The main business of the conference will be negotiations over the standards for how to measure and compare each country's greenhouse gas emissions over time. The benchmarks will enable each country to monitor others' efforts to reduce their emissions in line with their nationally determined contribution pledges under the Paris Agreement. For example, the Obama administration pledged that the U.S. would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26–28 percent below its 2005 level in 2025.

In addition, the Bonn climate negotiators will be haggling over what happens after 2020, when the Paris Agreement parties are supposed to significantly deepen their greenhouse gas reduction targets. By some estimates, humanity may have to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2065 to keep average global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

As always, money is a hugely contentious issue. Under the Paris Agreement, richer countries are supposed to supply $100 billion a year in climate aid to the poorer countries by 2020. Those funds are meant to help the poorer places shift from fossil fuels toward low-carbon technologies and to help them adapt to the consequences of ongoing man-made climate change. The promise of massive amounts of climate aid is essentially a bribe to poor countries to get them to sign on to the new climate change agreement. Sadly, climate aid is likely to be as ineffective in helping poor countries as conventional foreign aid has been.

Over the next two weeks, I will be keeping an eye out for any interesting developments at the conference. Stay tuned.

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62 responses to “23rd U.N. Climate Change Conference Opens in Bonn

  1. By some estimates, humanity may have to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2065 to keep average global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

    Good to hear. Sounds like a completely reasonable and likely outcome.

    1. WOAH- if true.

      Even Nick Sarwark isn’t buying it.

      1. NO YOURE NICK SARWARK. HOW DOES IT FEEL?!

        1. Of course the real Nick Sarwark would never admit to being Nick Sarwark, because that’s just embarrassing.

          1. Sorry, BestUsedCarSales. No one deserves to be called Nick Sarwark. It’s just mean

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    2. All we have to do is stop breathing… it’s not that difficult.

      1. We can stop breathing when one, just one, of their insane predictions actually comes true.

        ACC is the biggest cult ever foisted on humans since Catholicism.

        1. Oh… so you hate the earf AND the pope.

        2. Nice anti-Catholic dig at the end, bigot. So brave

          1. I don’t think I am a bigot. I was raised catholic. It’s a huge religion that thinks they are eating someone’s flesh and drinking someone’s blood.

            Sounds cultish is all. no need to get upset.

        3. ACC is the biggest cult ever foisted on humans since Catholicism.

          Catholics are waaaay less obnoxiously devoted than the Tarheels fans I’ve spent time around.

  2. I note you say “attend”, not “video conference”.

    Yup, I take them seriously.

    Hmm, and they go to a beautiful place again. The sacrifices they make for us!!!

  3. The University of Alabama in Huntsville reported that last month was the warmest October in the 39-year satellite global temperature record.

    The warmest year in a record that constitutes .0000000000000078 of the planet’s history. Sounds pretty dire.

    The medical journal The Lancet published a report warning that man-made climate change is already affecting human health around the globe.

    Let’s hope this is better researched than their piece on autism being caused by vaccines. What with increasing life spans and all…global warming seems overrated as a negative impact.

    some mosquito-borne illnesses are spreading.

    Hey, we once had a quite effective treatment for mosquitoes. Greenies didn’t like that so we stopped.

    humanity may have to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2065 to keep average global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. *rimshot*

    1. Damn capitalist humans and their extending life expectancies and eradicating vast swaths of mosquito born illness plagues.

      I suppose next they’ll develop cheap forms of communication and cheap energy that poor people can use to make their lives better.

  4. Perhaps they will celebrate the imminent re-growth of the forest belt with all of this CO2.

    What hurts one has to help another right?

    Why can’t marxists central planners ever find a silver lining?

    1. Because acknowledging any potential benefit of CO2 is counterrevolutionary agitation. The proles can’t have the message diluted with facts. They must recognize plant food as the new antichrist.

  5. That report also noted that the “annual average temperature over the contiguous United States has increased by 1.8?F (1.0?C) for the period 1901?2016.”

    And that means nothing, Ron. It means absolutely nothing. Temperatures rise and fall. We already knew that.

    The World Meteorological Organization released a statement declaring that 2017 is on track to be the second or third warmest year in the instrumental temperature record. The University of Alabama in Huntsville reported that last month was the warmest October in the 39-year satellite global temperature record.

    That is because we had a very large El Nino this year. Next year is going to be a La Nina and temps are likely to be much cooler. In fact, the ocean temperatures are continuing to cool.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/201…..e-to-cool/

    1. This “El Nino / La Nina” thing has waaaay too much power. Something ought to be done about it.

      1. We should get a bunch of politicians and despots in a room and let them solve some problems.

      2. Hopefully, Congress will get to that right after they finally repeal those damned laws of supply and demand.

      3. Gender fluidity has consequences.

      4. “This “El Nino / La Nina” thing has waaaay too much power. Something ought to be done about it”

        Taken care of. We’ve just elected El Jefe.

  6. Although the island nation of Fiji is presiding over the meeting, the conference itself is being held in Bonn, Germany.

    I trust Fiji is shipping to Bonn enough of its bottled water to properly hydrate every conference attendee.

    1. You got that straight.

    1. You mean that mother earth is more powerful than humans and we might just be a spec.

      perhaps all of this alarmism is silly.

  7. The Paris Agreement is literally one of the worst and most imaginably ineffective agreements possible.

    1. Yeah-but it makes lots of folks feel important.

    2. That’s what annoying about all this. When it the agreement was reached, all the real environmentalists were pissed because it basically amounted to nothing. Why else would every single country agree to it, if it wasn’t basically toothless? Now, without the Paris Agreement, the world is literally going to end.

      Keep in mind that, due to fracking and the Europeans’ incredibly idiotic plan to shut down nuke plants, the USA is reducing emissions faster than many progressive European countries.

      1. Under Kyoto, we ALSO reduced emissions more than Europe did.

  8. Over the next two weeks, I will be keeping an eye out for any interesting developments at the conference. Stay tuned.

    Okay, enjoy your vacation, talk to you in two weeks then. Bye-bye.

    1. Ron deserves it. He’s a good guy and actually answers questions in the comments section. He is good people.

      1. I’ll second that. I think he probably has one of the most difficult beats to cover also, just from a criticism standpoint. No matter how objective he tries to be, he’s still going to be called a partisan hack by members of both sides.


        1. I think he probably has one of the most difficult beats to cover also, just from a criticism standpoint. No matter how objective he tries to be, he’s still going to be called a partisan hack by members of both sides.

          True enough, he’s definitely staked out one of the more divisive issues around these here parts. He’s one of the few Reason writers that I actually enjoy reading, even while he often times writes about things that drive me nuts.

          Maybe that’s why I love his stuff.

    2. “Over the next two weeks, I will be keeping an eye out for any interesting developments at the conference. Stay tuned”

      Ron, you’re smart enough to write the summary now.

      1. Bazinga.

  9. Some 25,000 participants, including delegates from 190 countries, activists, and journalists, are expected to attend.

    But what about the “climate scientists”? I thought they were the guests of honor at this circle jerk.

  10. I like how their logo is basically the same thing I would expect from a travel destination for vacations.

    I like it because it’s the most honest thing about their entire organization.

  11. The Trump administration is not sending high-level officials to Bonn
    I bet the high-level officials are pissed they don’t get luxury vacation in Germany.

  12. Some 25,000 participants, including delegates from 190 countries, activists, and journalists, are expected to attend.

    That’s a lotta carbon output.


  13. By some estimates, humanity may have to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2065 to keep average global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

    That is actually impossible unless you, say, kill off all the humans. That’s the plan, isn’t it Ron?

    1. The important thing is we’re talking about it.

      1. Ironically, having a conversation is major CO2 contributor.

    2. Without expending the effort to read the article, I would imagine they’re talking about a net-zero carbon footprint. I, for one, carry a house plant around with me everywhere and only exhale on the leaves. That way I can support the cause without having to kill myself, win-win.

      1. Also impossible, though, as we’re unable to accurately measure CO2 outputs from the environment for us to counter balance.

        Checkmate?

        1. That’s ok, they’ve got models for these things. I mean… they are scientists.

        2. CO2 outputs from the environment don’t count. Read better

  14. Donald Trump announced in June that the United States will be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, under the accord it takes four years to complete the formal withdrawal process.

    That’s not how the system works, Ron. Obama didn’t have the power to unilaterally enter us into a treaty. Or is Paris not a treaty-treaty?

    1. And we can simply decide to not do anything.

      What are they going to do? Kick us out?

      And, yes, Designate is completely right — if we didn’t agree to a Treaty at all, then the country cannot be held to these ridiculous demands.

  15. Those funds are meant to help the poorer places shift from fossil fuels toward low-carbon technologies and to help them adapt to the consequences of ongoing man-made climate change.

    LOL!

    1. Then they turn around and tell us how the 3rd world is ‘suffering most’ from climate change, and we hear tons of sob stories from those nations about how they’re ‘decimated’ by climate change when in reality they’re sniffing around for more payments.

      It’s more or less international welfare. We pay them not to produce and become an emerging economy because emerging economies are now considered a bad thing. We want them to be subsistence farmers and nothing else, and frankly they probably don’t even want them growing their own food.

      1. Subsistence farming is more charming on a post card.

  16. some mosquito-borne illnesses are spreading.

    By warmth. The carbon emitted by mankind is causing mosquito-borne illnesses to spread via atmospheric warmth. Any other setting aside of the fact that people are increasingly living in the interstitial regions between mosquito habitats or that people can freely travel to the Olympics in Brazil, contract Zika, and travel back to their varying countries of origin is idiotic pseudo-science somewhere between Lamarckism and Lysenkoism and should be portrayed as such.

    Remember, it’s just a simple science based around the fact that a greenhouse gets warm when you shine light on it.

  17. “The Trump administration sends low-level bureaucrats as delegates to the climate negotiations.”

    Let’s face it, he’s STILL doing them far too much honor. He SHOULD have sent a deputation of lawyers to tell them “we want that part of Manhattan back, please.”

  18. Tell me again how an executive order/agreement from Barry requires 4 years withdrawal time. Because I don’t see anywhere in the constitution (living or not) which actually supports that. Trump should simply declare it null and void immediately. Treaties require Senate approval.

    1. ^This

  19. As has become traditional, various think tanks and activist groups have issued reports arguing that we face a dire climate situation.

    Religion spurs traditions.

  20. Under the Paris Agreement, richer countries are supposed to supply $100 billion a year in climate aid to the poorer countries by 2020
    Always check the motives as they are usually money.

    If this agreement is like NATO, the USA would be paying the larger portion.

    Get out of this agreement too.

  21. The climate is warming, therefore…higher taxes???

  22. Just once I would love to see these Climate Change Conferences held in Fargo ND or some place like that. It amuses might that these people will fly from all over the world to meet usually at some 5 Star resort in some plush vacation destination to tackle climate change. Can’t they just all meet via the internet and save on all that travel. LOL

  23. Under the Paris Agreement, richer countries are supposed to supply $100 billion a year in climate aid to the poorer countries a slush fund for unaccountable international apparatchiks by 2020.

    FTFY

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