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Copenhagen Bust - A Retrospective

by Nomad Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 05:24:09 AM EST

A PDF of the Copenhagen accord is to be found here. There is also a wikipedia page with the agreed text.

Exactly two months ago, I posted excerpts of a draft text from this pdf that was the result of the 2009 June meeting in Bonn. Comparing the present accord with the draft from less than six months ago, underlines the sheer magnitude of the Copenhagen bust.

I'll do a quick comparison.

Front-paged by afew


In the story two months ago, I specifically picked at two key elements. Firstly, the long-term goal for emission reductions:

European Tribune - Climate Change Conference: Doomed

12. The long-term global goal for emission reductions {shall}{should} be set

Option 1
as a stabilization of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at {400}{450 or lower}{not more than 450}{450} ppm carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq) and a temperature increase limited to 2 oC above the pre-industrial level. For this purpose, the Parties {shall}{should} collectively reduce global emissions by at least 50 per cent {from 1990} levels by 2050.

Option 2
as a stabilization of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere well below 350 ppm CO2 eq and a temperature increase limited to below 1.5 oC above the pre-industrial level. For this purpose, the Parties {shall}{should} collectively reduce global emissions by {81-71}{more than 85} per centfrom 1990 levels by 2050.

Option 3
as a global temperature increase limited to 2 oC above the pre-industrial level.

Option 4
as a reduction in global average GHG emissions per capita to about 2 t CO2.

Option 5
on the basis of
Option 5.1
historical responsibility.
Option 5.2
emissions debt.
Option 5.3
per capita accumulative emission convergence.
Option 5.4
an equitable allocation of the global atmospheric resources.

One can note here that the Copenhagen accord chose to focus on global temperatures alone, meaning option 3, in the draft text. There is not a single number on acceptable atmospheric concentrations of green house gasses in the Copenhagen accord.

In an aside, I have a bad feeling that this may exacerbate the Climate Wars on global temperature measurements, and there will be even more demands for transparency, and more focus on institutions such as the plagued Climate Research Unit (CRU) under official investigation as a result of the notoriously leaked emails.

Secondly, tied to option 3 was the following paragraph in the draft text:

17. Option 2 (in the case of a long-term global goal as defined in para. 12, option 3, above)
The long-term global goal for emission reductions {shall}{should} be updated to reflect progress in scientific knowledge. To allow for these updates, the 2 oC goal {shall}{should} be broken down into partial targets: initially, a 0.2 oC temperature increase per decade over 10 decades. Every 10 years, the partial target {shall}{should} be evaluated, with a view to possibly redefining it, taking into account advances in scientific knowledge and the reduction of uncertainties.

Yet as Migeru pointed out two months ago, nothing was tied to emission reductions or a time-line. From a science point of view, I actually doubt whether the correlation between temperatures and emission reduction can be done soundly - because the relationship between atmospheric concentrations and global temperature is established on very tentative grounds, at best. The IPCC AR4 admits this with a tiny paragraph, and I've recently pointed this out in a comment which I now struggle to locate. So tying science into goals for a temperature reduction gets more controversial.

But ultimately it won't matter. Nothing of the quoted paragraph has even remotely survived the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

From my point of view, the two quoted paragraphs were outlining principal aims that do matter. The rest of the draft text was more on methodology, and money fixing. But only the vaguest bare bones of these two paragraphs have been preserved in the Copenhagen accord.

Still, it was crystal clear two months ago Copenhagen would not, could not, be a success. Despite that, during the run-up global leaders and most of the press have continued to present a picture that the COP15 was an event of now or never - until the very opening of the conference. Even when this stiff upper lip could be part of the diplomatic code, it results in a disconnect with people not familiar to the world in political circles.

More realistically, nanne argued, also two months ago, that Copenhagen would result in either:

nanne:

minor changes to the Bali roadmap (e.g. a continuation of negotiations on the same basis) which might sooner go in the direction of making the roadmap weaker, or a total breakdown.

So recapping: considered from a public relations point of view, I have the impression Copenhagen was an on-going catastrophe, as the diplomatic chaos was widely televised and the icy weather resulted in a mocking backdrop. And when the focus diligently turns to a roadmap towards the COP16 in Mexico, the gut reaction says, "Then what was the bloody point? Be glad that we keep talking?"

In the end, I'm not familiar enough with the Bali roadmap, but I can't dismiss the sense of dread Copenhagen has followed the most dismal option suggested. Clarifications are welcome.

Display:
I caught a few stories in ElPais.com yesterday night about the Copenhagen Summit. The narrative is: Europe feels defeated and sidelined, Obama unleashed a strong diplomatic offensive on all levels and the US "won". Hopefully I'll find time to diary this tonight. All links are in Spanish (for those who can read it or stad Google Translate). I am not sure whether there's reportage in English carrying the same message.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 08:15:45 AM EST
The Danish press blames China.

Since it's a foreign policy, this would normally be plagiarised from the Anglophone press (Danish newsies, as a rule, do not read German or French, let alone Russian, Arabic or non-European languages). But since the event took place in Copenhagen, it may reflect the Danish government's li(n)e instead.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 08:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais claims that Obama personally managed to get a deal after inserting himself into a high-level meeting consisting of Wen of China, Lula of Brasil, Zuma of South Africa and Singh of India. It is suggested that China engineered a timetable clash to make this 5-way meeting happen. Russia and Europe were left out by design or by chance.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 08:45:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I first spotted the story Friday evening last at Politico.com

President Barack Obama burst into a meeting of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian leaders to try and reach a climate agreement in late Friday negotiations in Copenhagen.

Chinese protocol officials objected to Obama's presence in the meeting, according to a senior administration official, who said that the president didn't want the leaders negotiating in secret.

The dramatic meeting came after a day the White House spent in a whirlwind of meetings trying to save the Copenhagen climate talks from complete meltdown. ...

Lurid, yes?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:14:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After some logical wrangling, Obama headed into a roughly hour and a half meeting with all four leaders. Eventually, those negotiations resulted in, according to the senior administration official, a "meaningful agreement" between the most powerful nations.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"meaningful agreement" or "breakthrough" is the phrase that anchored most MSM descriptions this weekend. Despite subsequent contradictions of US counter-parties in the spontaneous negotiations.

FWIW, G77 arrived/departed seeking Westworld -40%/1990 reduction/Kyoto continuance.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So China, India, Brazil and South Africa screwed the G77?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 11:17:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. The US Congress "screwed" the G77. And Mr Obama was its messenger. The anglophone press wants to indict the intransigence of China, India, and Brazil on acquiescing limitation on and verification of GHG emissions by EU Council stooges. This indictment is intended to disguise the conspicuous absence of reciprocity tendered by so-called developed nations. Singh and Wen have tossed around the word "sovereignty" a lot since Westworld began sucking the life out of the "meaningful agreement." Lula has to pay for the Olympics and may as well be protecting interests of Brazil RE owners in REDD windfall: not surprising. I don't know what the fuck SA has to do with anything other than pitching relief for Zenawi. Black faces, high places, blah blah, mining, blah blah. I'll have to investigate that angle.

More interesting, will Morales et al. extort REDD rents from petroleum sequestration?

I expect there will be reading about "south-south" trade pacts --financed by China-- regardless of how the Westworld spin on COP.x plays out. There's always Gaddafi though and ....DESERTEC!! bwahahahaha

I'd read the draft proposal if I were you, particularly items 4, 5, 12. G77 initially attempted to broker 1.5 degrees. Then Morales doubled down --ha!-- the day before Buh Weet's visitation. You remember that play, surely.

What a crew...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 02:41:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and chavez smelt sulphur again.

the new brut?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 06:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what the fuck SA has to do with anything other than pitching relief for Zenawi.
Was Southafrica implicitly recognised as the African hegemon, or was it the token African nation in the deal?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 09:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am under the impression that China, India, Brazil and South Africa has established a standing cooperation (represented by the acronym CIBS or IBSAC) in international negotiations like WTO, primarily in response to the EU, USA and Japan dealing amongst themselves.

So my guess would be that South Africa has a given place in their cooperation. That place might in itself be a reflection of its status as African hegemon.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:19:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why has South Africa replaced Russia from BRIC? Did BRIC never exist outside the feverish imagination of the neocons? Was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization a mirage?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Did BRIC never exist outside the feverish imagination of the neocons?

Well, they actually had a summit last summer.

BRIC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The BRIC countries met for their first official summit on 16 June 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia,[19] with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh, and Hu Jintao, the respective leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, all attending.

But one summit does not build an organization. (And how long before that have we not heard about the BRIC-bogeyman?)

Brazil, South Africa, India and China has cooperated at least since 2001.

Doha Development Round - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The most significant differences are between developed nations led by the European Union (EU), the United States (USA), and Japan and the major developing countries led and represented mainly by India, Brazil, China, and South Africa.

They do not appear to always cooperate, but between them they probably has massive power in the G-77, and it is in their interests to keep it this way, by not being split by the JEUUS (Japan, EU and US, (I can also create abbreviations)).

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 02:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Renders better as Japan, European States, and US!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:24:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as opposed to CHina, Russia, India, South africa and Taiwan?  Brazil, Uraguay, Dominican repub, Argentina, Honduras?  Alebanon, liberia, arabia h
by njh on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
stupid uneditable posts.  left as an exercise for the bored :)
by njh on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
India is not in the SCO?

For the climate arena, the views of Russia are immaterial, insofar as they will be easily bought off.

Besides, people started talking about BRICS some time ago?

Don't know what the deal with SA is because there are several countries more populous and powerful (Indonesia, to take one, or Mexico) and SA isn't very representative of sub-saharan Africa. But maybe they managed to organise the African community in some useful way to let them do the speaking?

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 03:20:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a good way to construct the question. I can't help thinking though, token hegemon is the most apt description of the roles created for a "meaningful agreement" starring the only superpower. Because US diplomacy expresses itself in one of two modalities --unilateral or bilateral-- I'm afraid continental symbolism was really the driving force behind and drama of the 11th hour meeting. Asia. Africa. India. The Americas.

Europe? Oops. Who would Bush call?

Tutu rallied in Copenhagen and is sympathetic to Buh Weet's moral challeges. I can imagine the transatlantic plea, after Di-Aping metaphorically beat the crap outa Zenawi.

OBAMA: Zenawi is useless. I need your help. Can you help me?

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Please, please help give the world a real deal. Give the world a real deal. Help, help, help. Make sure that there is enough money to help developing countries make the adjustment. OK?

OBAMA: Otay.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: I'll leave the key to the conference room under the mat in front of door 823 by the housekeeping station on P7 east wing Q3.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 01:22:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid continental symbolism was really the driving force behind and drama of the 11th hour meeting. Asia. Africa. India. The Americas.

Europe? Oops. Who would Bush call?

Reportedly Obama met with Russia's Medvedev just before his summit with China, India, Brazil and South Africa. I guess it's all of Eurasia that was left out.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 01:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stage crew always gets left out.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 01:53:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, it's true...

i think europe makes them all look bad.

that's why she's getting shunned.

and we could do a lot better!

lonely at the top?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 08:45:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See here.

(Planned) co-operation and development between India, Brazil and South Africa has been fairly recent, and is focused on the southern hemisphere trading between the nations. Economically, it does make sense but I don't know how practical the alliance has been.

Nor do I know if the IBSA alliance was of importance to get SA around the table in Copenhagen. But IBSA does show that an alliance with Brazil and India is not unusual for SA.

by Nomad on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 02:26:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Get a grip, people. Milk yer innerboobs...

AMY GOODMAN: We are back in New York, but the climate summit in Copenhagen did come to a close on Saturday, when Democracy Now! was still there, with the world's nations reluctantly agreeing "to take note of," but not endorse, a non-binding accord President Obama announced Friday night. Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change, described the deal as a, quote, "modest success" and a "letter of intent."

In a recorded speech Friday night, President Obama declared that an agreement had been reached after a closed-door session with the leaders of Brazil, China, India and South Africa.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today we've made meaningful and unprecedented--made a meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here in Copenhagen. For the first time in history, all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change.

AMY GOODMAN: The twelve-page agreement seeks
to limit global warming to a maximum of a two degree Celsius rise in temperature. But it does not specify targets for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

During a brief question-and-answer period restricted to the White House traveling press corps, President Obama defended the non-binding nature of the agreement.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It will not be legally binding, but what it will do is allow for each country to show to the world what they're doing, and there will be a sense on the part of each country that we're in this together, and we'll know who is meeting and who is not meeting the mutual obligations that have been set forth.

Read more...

LUCIA GREEN-WEISKEL
BEORGE MONBIOT

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 03:52:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Face it.

European Union carbon-dioxide allowances for delivery in December 2010 declined 8.3 percent to close at 12.45 euros ($17.82) on the European Climate Exchange in London. Today was the first day of trading since the summit concluded Dec. 19....

Today's decline for permits in the EU, which runs the world's largest cap-and-trade system, extends last week's drop of 6.8 percent and left prices at the lowest since March 31. Allowances for delivery in December 2010 have fallen 24 percent this year as the lack of progress on climate talks and recession reduced demand.

Second-Biggest Market

The UN's Certified Emission Reductions credits for delivery next year fell 7.2 percent, the biggest one-day fall since Feb. 20, to close at 10.98 euros in London. The credits, which trade in the world's second-biggest carbon market, are down 20 percent this year....

Projects are now approved on a case-by-case basis and must show they need credits to be feasible. That approval process has produced a backlog, with 66 percent of 5,641 of the proposed projects that the UN received since 2003 waiting as of Dec. 4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The proposal for industry baselines would have meant more credits, traders said.

"I find it incredibly frustrating" that countries can spend days discussing potential technological solutions to climate change such as synthetic trees while they "punt critical issues like standardized baselines" to a technical working group for a year, Carnahan said.

This CDS circus is worthless if rest of world refuses to assume 100% of the risk.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 04:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The blame China story gains steam:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/22/copenhagen-climate-change-mark-lynas

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 05:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, I say, not sporting.

What I saw was profoundly shocking. The Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, did not deign to attend the meetings personally, instead sending a second-tier official in the country's foreign ministry to sit opposite Obama himself. The diplomatic snub was obvious and brutal, as was the practical implication: several times during the session, the world's most powerful heads of state were forced to wait around as the Chinese delegate went off to make telephone calls to his "superiors".

This guy seems to recollect the plenary session, not the US-BICSA soiré to which no press were invited. He doesn't name G-77, which proposed the 1.5C in opposition to G8 2C ceiling; doesn't mention India which went in refusing any limits and verification; insinuates the Chinese delegation proposed no domestic targets, not even -40%/2005*; and AND represents China having failed some kinda fiduciary duty to G-77 membership.

Why did China, in the words of a UK-based analyst who also spent hours in heads of state meetings, "not only reject[!] targets for itself (1, 2, 3), but also refuse to allow any other country to take on binding targets?" The analyst, who has attended climate conferences for more than 15 years, concludes that China wants to weaken the climate regulation regime now "in order to avoid the risk that it might be called on to be more ambitious in a few years' time".

Really, that's just a disgraceful way to present oneself.

---
* energy intensity unit per unit of GDP which is no less valid a metric of emission control than a
carbon offset allocation, i.e. kgoe per capita or per USD, respectively.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 11:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody won.
by njh on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:30:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Firstly, Nomad, excellent diary, well argued.

Secondly - I've been away for a bit - but the impression I got from the media is one of Obama rescuing some sort of s deal - any sort of a deal - from the shambles of a chaotic process which had too many actors and conflicting agendas ever to have had any prospect of success.  As such it is a minor PR rescue operation for Obama, and nothing more.  Certainly no meaningful progress in any objective sense.

If this debacle does not lead to some review and improvement of the process of how global Treaties are negotiated, I don't know what will.

The only positive I can take from the outcome is that the responsibility for taking the process forward now seems to lie squarely where it has to - on the largest polluters - China and the USA.  Europe is already a good deal more efficient in per capita and as proportion of GDP terms - and so has less scope for dramatic improvement in the short term.

The EU offer of 30% off 1990 levels compares to the US paltry offer of 3% off 1990 co2 levels - so how much further could the EU be expected to go especially when US 1990 levels were already so much higher?

While it is regrettable that the EU has now lost its leadership position in the one area of policy where it did have a global leadership position - in this case the spotlight has to be, and needs to be on the US and China.

I don't know if this will lead to a more positive outcome for COP16 - hopefully all leaders will be keen to avoid another Copenhagen cop-out - but the US claim for global leadership on anything positive will be on the table - as will China's pretensions to a global superpower role.

Perhaps the EU should start imposing a carbon tax on all imports (and local production) to reward the more efficient producers, but I suspect more unilateral action will be required before the global polity can move forward.  

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 09:30:39 AM EST
Frank Schnittger:

Perhaps the EU should start imposing a carbon tax on all imports (and local production) to reward the more efficient producers, but I suspect more unilateral action will be required before the global polity can move forward.  

That is an excellent idea.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:11:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or require that imports buy CO2 permits equivalent to their average per domestic unit of currency CO2 emissions unless it can be proven that the full CO2 emission impact justifies a smaller permit, or that a meaningful cap is in place.

China, the US, South Africa, Russia, India and Australia will kick in the WTO, so maybe first some EU producer needs to sue that allowing imports in without buying their permits is a discriminatory trade policy.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:21:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
- over the environment and CO2 emissions might just be worth fighting, and be a wake-up call to all.  Why should the EU (and others) bear the environmental costs of the US and China et al failing to make meaningful reductions?  Charge them the difference and let the sparks fly - and the WTO be damned...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 07:53:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, the EU, as the worlds largest market, has the same opportunity that the US had after WWII to set up a trade system that gets enough countries to sign up that its worthwhile following its rules to get access to the aggregate marketplace.

It could be something as simple as a side agreement of what method of production restrictions all parties will in fact respect whether or not they are subject to successful challenge with countervailing duties permitted within the WTO.

After all, at its core, the WTO system works on a civil court style system - if a successful complaint is brought, the penalty is that all affected parties can impose countervailing duties. If there are certain circumstances where a large number of countries agree to refrain from imposing those countervailing duties, that de-claws the WTO.

Indeed, the G-77 could get an agreement on a non-toxic next round of the WTO, except within the bounds of that side agreement - and the right agreement could pull in a large swathe of sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

Get a large enough swathe of Sub-Saharan Africa and South America in that side agreement together with the EU, and it might be a tough decision for China to make whether join it and make for effective over-ride of the standing WTO interpretation of its rules that allows "no method of production regulation allowed" to override the dead letter public benefit provisions.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 11:30:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to add ... get a large enough swathe of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mercosur countries, AND ASEAN, and it gets more interesting for Australia, South Africa, and India to make a deal, which is three of the dirty six. If that tips China in, its four of the dirty six, with only Russia and the US out in the cold.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 12:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If China is in, they can ration American fossil fuel imports, inasmuch as the Americans have to pay for said imports with hard currency, and China has the capability to make sure that the US has no hard currency.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 02:20:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Montreal treaty - getting rid of freons - was structured along similar lines. But the actual treaty is a bit to dense for me to easily parse.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 02:22:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the likelihood that its too dense for me to parse as well, but if I have a chance, I'll see what I can find out.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 03:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a round of bans on imports of products containing the banned substances. Since that is largely non-discriminatory. Its the ban of imports of products made using the banned substances that do not contain the banned substances that is trickier under the WTO. The provisions for trade with non-signatories to the agreement is to try to ban the import, where feasible. The provision for trade with signatories is that each signatory that is unable to completely phase out use of the banned substance for domestic production bans the export of products made with the banned substance. And of course, there is nothing in the WTO to force any country to allow the export of any product.

So that would be deal - in exchange for being permitted market access to the EU for a range of products not presently agreed to in the WTO, in particular agricultural products, the signatories that do not have domestic CO2 regulation up to a certain standard agree to impose a carbon export tax on a range of products, include allowing a technical panel of the agreement set adjustments based on actual production methods in use in the country.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 26th, 2009 at 09:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The European Union went to Copenhagen with a commitment to 20% reduction in GHG emissions and the offer to increase that to 30% as a bargaining chip.

If that 20% reduction was more than the rest of the World (US, BRIC, the G77...) wanted to bargain for, that would explain the EU being sidelined.

If this is the situation it's clear the rest of the world is embarking on a business-as-usual course. The EU doesn't need to follow. I suppose the EU should just press ahead with a transition to a low-carbon economy and start working seriously on climate disaster preparedness and climate change mitigation.

Eventually the whole thing might result in a trade war when the EU starts imposing carbon tariffs on products from the rest of the world.

Or maybe the EU's negotiating position was just intended for domestic public consumption and nothing will be done here either.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 09:32:53 AM EST
If carbon tariffs are set to compensate internal carbon taxes, is that in accordance with current WTO rules?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If everything sold at some level, probably wholesale, has to certify that it has paid its carbon tax or face a fall-through-the-cracks tax, that fact that it was mostly falling on imported value added would surely be a coincidence ... no?

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:23:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Winners and losers in Copenhagen: the EU, for starters

Dec 21st 2009, 19:06 by Charlemagne

THERE are many things to be said about the global climate change talks in Copenhagen. At the risk of seeming solipsistic, the thing that stands out here in Brussels is the almost-total absence of the European Union from the final, depressing bouts of deal-making.

(...)

Of the BRIC nations, Brazil is one that appeals to Europeans rather, or rather, it is the one that looks the most "herbivorous" and thus Euro-compatible, to borrow a word from the European Council on Foreign Relations (who recently declared that the EU was popular round the world because it was seen as a herbivorous power). Which means Brazil talks a good game about peace and climate change and saving the rainforests, and does not spend lots of money building up or maintaining scary nuclear-armed militaries to threaten its neighbours. The African Union, a rather weak and cash-strapped body, is rather popular in Brussels as a partner for peacekeeping missions, and in its structures is modelled on the EU: it has a council, and a rotating presidency and a commission etc etc. (I once heard somebody at a meeting with the Portuguese foreign minister suggest the AU was a very good thing simply because it was modelled on the EU).

(...)

The new world order is still shaking out. Not all meetings will be as ghastly as this one, run on the need to find consensus between all UN member states. But the G20 meetings have been grim for the EU qua EU, too, with Europe barely featuring as a political player. I take no pleasure in this: on climate change, I think the European policy is pretty sound at the macro-level. Europeans basically recognise that there is a serious risk of something catastrophic happening and the chances are it will be cheaper to try to fix it now, than to do nothing. But this is an increasingly dangerous world for herbivorous clubs, built on an internal bargain of redistribution in exchange for open borders. The winners of this new world are big and aggressive continental nations, defending national interests with great single-mindedness.

The fact that the EU was already committed to doing more before the conference than the others were even willing to contemplate talking about somehow does not come to this guy's mind.

No, it's Europeans are weak, divided and pathetic. So what else is new...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 07:08:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we're just vegetarians, in a world where carnivores are allegedly at the top of the food chain.  Funny that all carnivores ultimately rely on herbivores for their food chain to exist at all, and yet hold those herbivores in contempt.  Funny how also there is a growing queue to join the EU whilst the USA has to buy its friends - and they are the most unsavoury of friends at that.

Yes maybe there will end up being some kind of a world resource war, which the EU will be ill-equipped to fight.  Staying on the sidelines of that may not be such a bad idea.  Enough world wars have been fought on European soil.  The sooner the EU becomes food and energy self-sufficient the better.  If it's going to be every "man" fighting for himself, then those with the least external dependencies have the least to worry about.

Putting up wind turbines wholesale puts you on the front line, J., whatever the "sexier" investment bankers and CDO traders might say.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 08:09:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that the EU was already committed to doing more before the conference than the others were even willing to contemplate talking about somehow does not come to this guy's mind.
Jérôme, did you actually read what you quoted?
I take no pleasure in this: on climate change, I think the European policy is pretty sound at the macro-level. Europeans basically recognise that there is a serious risk of something catastrophic happening and the chances are it will be cheaper to try to fix it now, than to do nothing.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 08:56:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
I suppose the EU should just press ahead with a transition to a low-carbon economy and start working seriously on climate disaster preparedness and climate change mitigation.

yes, that's right.

'press ahead' should be amped up, and the last two concerns should include the effects of economic migration here.

what's still missing is the obvious economic advantages of greening industry. other than J's achievements, are there any clearly visible GDP (yuck, i know) indicators that the neolibs can chew on?

by amping up greening to war-emergency proportions, we could show the hardcore benefits of doing the right thing, as energy bills come down, people feel empowered by negawatting, better public transport etc.

it's so bizarre how we hear the banks aren't lending because there's nothing worth investing in (that brings them the fat returns of under-regulated yore), when there's a screaming need for investment in more and better infrastructure.

why aren't there more bankers with vision?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 08:59:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Handful' blocked climate deal - The Irish Times - Mon, Dec 21, 2009

Efforts to secure a legally binding climate change deal failed last week because talks were "held to ransom" by a small number of countries, British prime minister Gordon Brown said today.

As the UK pointed the finger of blame at China for blocking progress at the UN-sponsored summit in Copenhagen, he called for a new international body to take charge of future negotiations.

Days of chaotic talks between more than 190 countries produced an accord that average world temperature rises should not exceed 2C but without commitments to emissions cuts to achieve it.

There was also agreement on a fund, to reach 100 billion US dollars by 2020, to help poorer countries deal with global warming, but no precise detail on where the money will come from.

Mr Brown, who spent four days in the Danish capital trying to secure a stronger deal, admitted that he feared the talks could collapse without even

those advances. In a webcast to be posted on the Number 10 site, he pledged to continue pressing for a binding deal and demanded action to ensure a minority of countries could not block future efforts.

"The talks in Copenhagen were not easy. and, as they reached conclusion, I did fear the process would collapse and we would have no deal at all," he said. "Yet, through strength of common purpose, we were able finally to break the deadlock and - in a breakthrough never seen on this scale before - secure agreement from the international community."

Calling on the world to "learn lessons" from last week's frantic scenes, he said: "Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks; never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries.

"One of the frustrations for me was the lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship. I believe that in 2010 we will need to look at reforming our international institutions to meet the common challenges we face as a global community."

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband earlier accused China of "hijacking" the Copenhagen summit and said Beijing had "vetoed" moves to give legal force to the accord and prevented agreement on 50 per cent global reductions in greenhouse emissions - 80 per cent in the most developed countries - by 2050.

Despite his frustrations, Mr Miliband insisted that Britain was right to sign the limited Copenhagen accord, which he said delivered "real outcomes" on temperature rises and finance. "We should take heart from the achievements and step up our efforts," he said.



notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:05:49 AM EST
This is a press release so I feel justified in quoting in full:

Global temperatures could rise more than expected, new study shows

New Haven, Conn.--The kinds of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide taking place today could have a significantly larger effect on global temperatures than previously thought, according to a new study led by Yale University geologists. Their findings appear December 20 in the advanced online edition of Nature Geoscience.

The team demonstrated that only a relatively small rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) was associated with a period of substantial warming in the mid- and early-Pliocene era, between three to five million years ago, when temperatures were approximately 3 to 4 degrees Celsius warmer than they are today.

Climate sensitivity--the mean global temperature response to a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric CO2--is estimated to be 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius, using current models.

"These models take into account only relatively fast feedbacks, such as changes in atmospheric water vapor and the distribution of sea ice, clouds and aerosols," said Mark Pagani, associate professor of geology and geophysics at Yale and lead author of the paper. "We wanted to look at Earth-system climate sensitivity, which includes the effects of long-term feedbacks such as change in continental ice-sheets, terrestrial ecosystems and greenhouse gases other than CO2."

To do this, the team focused on the most recent episode of sustained global warmth with geography similar to today's. Their reconstructed CO2 concentrations for the past five million years was used to estimate Earth-system climate sensitivity for a fully equilibrated state of the planet, and found that a relatively small rise in CO2 levels was associated with substantial global warming 4.5 million years ago. They also found that the global temperature was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than today while CO2 levels were only between about 365 and 415 parts per million (ppm)--similar to today's concentration of about 386 ppm.

"This work and other ancient climate reconstructions reveal that Earth's climate is more sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide than is discussed in policy circles," Pagani said. "Since there is no indication that the future will behave differently than the past, we should expect a couple of degrees of continued warming even if we held CO2 concentrations at the current level."

With the Social Dominates controlling the Right Wing Authoritarians we're smack into the scenario Altemeyer ran: No Action Taken.  This was the scenario with the largest percentage of global depopulation that didn't have a war.  

With governments and other Public Bodies ignoring or refusing to deal with the problems we're going to have people had best start making plans on their own.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 02:54:06 PM EST
Well, my dad explained to me how we got into World Wars I and II, essentially corporate nationalism forcing stupid slow decisions by governing bodies. I watched Korea and Vietnam with him, same shit.

Anyone for some clash of civilizations for Iraqs I and II, Pakistan v India, Afghanistan. Y'all know yer Eurohistory bettern' I do.

So now I hear the scientists telling us, as they have before, that if we don't DO some particular things, we're going to force war through climate crashes. Sounds right to me, and I see CopOutFifteen more like CopOutFifteenHundred. Sad. I thought we had scared ourselves sorta straight with NukeFear, but it looks like we'll Holocaust half the world population, mostly non-white, retain our technology, and do a Never Again Again.

Sad really. I don't hope much anymore, unless the regular people on the Internet learn to filter the facts from the bullshit. Could happen. Probably won't.

As Woody Guthrie sang "I'm just hanging around to see what happens next."

Donate to Wikipedia!

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 03:37:44 AM EST
OECD - Paris, 23 December 2009

OECD Secretary-General looks beyond Copenhagen

 "Though far from perfect, the Copenhagen Accord is a hard-fought political agreement. With most countries likely to sign, it is a breakthrough towards collective international action to limit global emissions and help build cleaner, more resilient economies", said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

The Accord's package of measures, which includes new financing for developing countries, was agreed by leaders of both the largest emitting countries and small vulnerable states. It was also noted by the fifteenth Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"We look forward to working with Mexico and the broader international community, ideally to establish a legally-binding agreement for post-2012 action under the UNFCCC by the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) in Mexico City in 2010.  To achieve this agreement, international organisations have a major role to play by informing the discussions and helping negotiating parties reach a common understanding of the issues at stake".

In the coming year, the OECD will contribute to international efforts by engaging in discussions with governments, advising on the design, and encouraging the implementation of cost-effective policies to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Countries' declared emissions reduction targets are not yet enough. OECD analysis suggests that developed countries would reduce emissions by only 18% in 2020 compared with 1990 levels, still below the 25-40% reduction needed to stay within a 2oC temperature increase.  Developing countries also need to go further. OECD will support efforts to help both developed and developing countries identify where they can step-up reductions, while still growing the economy.

Given the climate change that is already likely to take place, we will also step-up analysis of how to integrate adaptation to climate change into all aspects of economic development.  Much of the focus will be on ways to assist developing countries to best manage the risks and make their development resilient to the impacts of climate change.

On the issue of financing, OECD is investigating mechanisms for innovative international finance.  It is looking at ways governments can ensure that their domestic policy frameworks set the right price for carbon and send the right signal to encourage private investment to support a low-carbon society.  For example, recent OECD analysis found that, if the proper mix of policies and instruments to price carbon is put in place to reduce emissions by 20% in developed countries by 2020, this could raise the equivalent of 2.5% of their GDP.  While there will be many competing demands for using these revenues, a fraction of that amount would be enough to supply the public money developed countries agreed to provide in the Copenhagen Accord.

In addition, OECD is advancing policy options to stimulate innovation, from the early stages of technology development through to diffusion and transfer. Easy and rapid access to low-carbon technologies and technologies that can support adaptation will be critical to ensuring timely and effective action in developing countries.  OECD is also looking at ways to better inform consumer and industry choices and working with sub-national governments to identify and disseminate good local-level policy practices to reduce emissions.

Last but not least, to help advance the Accord, OECD will build on existing work to propose ways to measure, report and verify (MRV) timely progress on national emissions reduction targets, mitigation efforts and finance. This will be critical to ensure the transparent accountability of actions by all countries.

For more information visit: oecd.org/cop15

FWIW

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 11:03:55 AM EST


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