Rising levels of ‘frustration’ at UN climate stalemate

From the BBC:


Rising levels of ‘frustration’ at UN climate stalemate

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

drought Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Poorer nations are concerned that action on climate change is not fast enough to limit the impacts

Old divisions between rich and poor over money and ambition are again threatening to limit progress in UN climate negotiations.

Discussions between negotiators from nearly 200 countries have resumed in Germany, aiming to flesh out the rules on the Paris climate pact.

But developing countries say they are “frustrated” with the lack of leadership from the developed world.

Commitments to cut carbon are still “woefully inadequate” they said.

2018 marks a critical stage in the global climate negotiations process. By the end of this year, governments will meet in Poland to finalise the so-called “rulebook” of the Paris deal, agreed in the French capital in December 2015.

This is seen as a key test.

The rules will define the ways in which every country reports on their emissions and on their carbon-cutting actions and, importantly, how they will increase these actions in the years ahead.

But while rich and poor countries united in Paris to push through the deal, significant ruptures have re-appeared in wrangles over key technical details.

The developed nations want almost all countries to share the same set of rules on how carbon emissions are measured, reported and verified. This issue, called “transparency” in the negotiations, has run into difficulties with many emerging economies arguing for more “flexibility”.

According to some observers, the richer countries believe that some in the talks are trying to turn the clock back to the time when only wealthier countries had any commitments to cut carbon, while developing countries including India and China had no obligations.

floods Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scientists predict that sea level rise caused by climate change will cause more floods such as these in Bangkok

“The EU, US, and other developed countries are worried about the slow pace of negotiations on transparency and other elements of the Paris rulebook,” said Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“And what they see as the efforts of some developing countries to reintroduce bifurcation into the climate regime – an argument they thought had been settled in Paris.”

The developing nations are, in turn, incensed that enthusiasm for the $100bn per year in climate finance support from the rich, due to start in 2020, has started to wane.

“It has been frustrating to hear some developed countries celebrate their climate leadership even as they fall well short of the modest commitments they have made over the years,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, environment minister for the Maldives and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States, one of the key groups of poorer nations in the talks.

“If we spent as much time working on this problem as we do congratulating ourselves for caring so deeply about it, we would be closer to an outcome worthy of a celebration.

“As it stands, we haven’t mobilised nearly enough resources to tackle this problem and until developed countries match their rhetoric with action our survival will continue to hang in the balance.”



Poor Matt McGrath is still under the delusion that the Paris Agreement was anything other than virtue signalling. Perhaps I can help to make things a bit clearer for him:

1) Most developing countries are not interested in developed ones cutting emissions. If they were, they would be calling for the likes of China and India to do the same.

2) The UCS is worried about developing countries trying to reintroduce bifurcation.

Yet this was specifically written into the Paris Agreement, and countries like China and India would not have signed it otherwise.

3) As far as the developing countries were concerned, Paris was really just about money. But the chances of $100bn a year materialising any time soon is remote.

Even the first tranche of $100bn by 2020 is a long way off. In the UK for instance, most climate aid, small though it is, is not even new money, but simply recycled from within the existing aid budget.

The reality is that western governments never had the slightest intention of handing over such huge sums, which is why the Paris Agreement was so vague on the whole idea, with nothing binding.

4) The only really concrete thing to come out of Paris was the issue of regular stocktaking, ie monitoring of emissions. Yet China was adamant that it would not accept independent verification. Nobody should be surprised now about “a lack of transparency”.

Nothing it seems has changed since.


The simple reality is that Paris moved things on very little from Copenhagen. The same fault lines still apply:


1) The developing world, led by China and India, but incongruously including the massively wealthy Arab states, still refuse point blank to even consider reducing emissions.

2) Western governments, in the thrall of global warming madness, still cannot understand why the rest of the world is not prepared to take them seriously.

3) The same Western governments, who thought that a bit of financial aid might do the trick, are now realising that they are being blackmailed, and simply do not have the money to pay.


Of course, if Matt McGrath had bothered to actually read the Paris Agreement, instead of believing the BBC groupthink, he would not have needed me to tell him.





May 2, 2018 at 04:30PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: