United Nations should change course on climate
By David Wojick |March 18th, 2020 Climate The UN’s climate action machinery is on the verge to collapse, beginning this November in Glasgow, Scotland. This time the annual climate summit, called COP 26, is most likely to end in complete disarray, even more than COP 25 did last year in Madrid, Spain.
The failure of COP 25 was widely noted with sadness, but Madrid was a minor COP, with little of substance on the table. In contrast COP 26 is hugely important. When it fails, the UN has to rethink its entire approach to climate action.
One of the six principles stated in CLINTEL’s World Climate Declaration captures the situation very succinctly. It says “Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.” If it does not, such a policy must fail. See https://clintel.org/world-climate-declaration/.
The scientific reality is that, as CLINTEL emphasizes, there is no climate emergency. The radicals insist that there is, but their claim has no basis, not even in alarmist science. The so-called Climate Crisis is an emperor without clothes. It exists in computer models only.
The major economies, developed and developing, are simply not going to announce drastic new actions at COP 26, which is what the radicals are demanding. But in reality the reason is economic, which means political. Drastic action is both expensive and intrusive, requiring huge new taxes and unpleasant regulations, both imposing on how people live. No major government is in a position to do these things without showing its citizens clear benefits. Instead they are setting token targets decades away.
Aside: the U.S. Democrat presidential candidates are promising various drastic actions but it is not in the President’s power to take them. That is up to Congress and they are not that naive. Congress often ignores the President’s agenda.
There are several big issues that make COP 26 a super-COP, which is why it will fail. First, it is being hyped that the major economies will table bold new plans for cutting emissions under the Paris Accord. The EU might do this but that is all, and even that is uncertain if we take into account the fierce protests in their member states.
China and India have said they will not do it. The U.S. will have quit the Accord by then. Russia has no interest and Japan is busy building coal fired power plants to replace its mothballed nukes. Boris Johnson has said nothing about new immediate UK actions. He is fixated on 2050. Brazil has a populist president like Trump. And so it goes down the list of majors. There is no one there.
This lack of bold new actions is sure to enrage the radicals, just as it did in Madrid, only more so because Glasgow is being falsely billed as decisive. The radicals are likely to react by paralyzingly the process. It’s their way or no way.
But there is more, much more actually. The Paris Accord was adopted globally based on the promise of riches for the developing world. Specifically, a whopping one hundred billion dollars a year was supposed to start flowing in 2020, paid by the developed countries (especially America) to the developing ones.
It ain’t going to happen. America is out and nobody else has that kind of money. Obama promised it and he is long gone.
This failure makes a huge difference, because all of the present developing country plans for cutting emissions under the Paris Accord are specifically contingent on this money coming. If the developing countries cancel their plans, due to non-payment, then the Paris Accord is sunk. Instead of more ambition there will actually be a lot less. The climate machine collapses.
If this collapse occurs, which seems likely at this point, then the UN-led alarmist establishment may be forced to rethink its direction.
Cutting emissions is called “mitigation” in UN-speak. There are three potential “tions” in climate policy — mitigation, compensation and adaptation. When compensation goes, mitigation goes with it.
CLINTEL’s stated position is that the climate science is far from settled and that climate change policy should focus on adaptation not mitigation. Adaptation always works, whatever the causes of change are. This is where the UN should go.
We all agree that there will always be floods, droughts, wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes, so the moderate sceptics can join with the moderate alarmists on this policy. It does not matter what causes the extreme weather, let’s just get ready for it. Same for modest sea-level rise.
All things considered the collapse of COP 26 could be a wake-up call for alarmism. The solution is already there: Think adaptation!
Time will tell. Stay tuned to CFACT.
- David Wojick David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/ Available for confidential research and consulting.