December 19th 2015


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The first Christmas: a birth that set fire to men's hearts

CANBERRA OBSERVED A Nationals welcome no sure thing for Macfarlane

CLIMATE CHANGE $100bn a year climate fund the rub in Paris deadlock

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Free speech petition: appeal all 'right not to be offended' clauses

WATER POLICY Review tells of destruction of farms in Goulburn Valley

CULTURE AND POLITICS Liberalism's disappearing act on human freedom

TAX REVIEW Rise in GST a no go when the need is for jobs

HISTORY Taiwan's first people have survived waves of settlers

FREEDOM OF RELIGION Law not broad enough to contain freedom's flow

SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT Credit where credit is long overdue: B.A. Santamaria

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Swedish daycare part II: problems of weak parenting

CINEMA No life is lived as an island: It's a Wonderful Life

BOOK REVIEW A contribution to Pope Francis' call for a conversation on conservation

LETTERS

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CLIMATE CHANGE
$100bn a year climate fund the rub in Paris deadlock


by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, December 19, 2015

Even before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s meeting in Paris began, ambitious plans for a global agreement on mandatory reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions had been scaled back, following clear signs that major greenhouse gas emitters – including the United States, China and India – were unwilling to accept a binding agreement.

The polar bear impaled

on CO2 emissions is an

emblem of the Paris climate

conference.

The previous Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009 – attended by then prime minister Kevin Rudd at the head of a delegation of 140 Australians – collapsed when it became clear that there was no agreement between developed and developing countries on emissions targets. However, the Copenhagen conference agreed that a $100 billion Green Climate Fund would be established to help developing countries fund their greenhouse gas abatement programs. However, little has been heard of this fund since 2009.

The draft agreement handed to delegates at the Paris conference repeats the alarmist claims that characterised previous reports, suggesting that the world is experiencing unprecedented rises in the atmospheric temperature, rising sea levels, melting ice caps and more extreme climate events.

Every one of these claims has been rebutted by respected climate scientists who have been excluded from the Paris conference.

National targets

The IPCC has abandoned plans for a global agreement with mandatory emission targets, and instead put forward an option that countries would set their own targets for greenhouse gas cuts, and would report on them every five years. This was proposed on the basis that there would be long-term goals for the complete abolition of fossil fuels by 2060–80.

This bizarre and utopian plan would mean no coal to be used for power generation or making steel, no petrol to be used by cars, no aviation gasoline, no diesel fuel for transport and farm machinery after that date.

One element of this proposal was that fuel subsidies would be abolished immediately. The Australian delegation, under pressure from the National Party, rightly refused to sign.

Some politicians want to agree to these proposals – which are the policies of the Greens – on the basis that they will not be around to have to implement them. However, any such agreement imposes long-term obligations on countries like Australia and will place unacceptable economic burdens on the next generation.

The draft IPCC document also makes clear that the cost of implementing its proposals will be borne by the developed world.

It says: “The extent to which developing countries will effectively implement this agreement will depend on the effective implementation by developed countries of their commitments on the provision of finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building.”

No precise figures are included in the draft document. However, Western countries have been trying to exclude so-called “developing” countries such as the OPEC states, South Africa, China and India. The developing countries are totally opposed to any such restrictions.

The G77 and China, a group of 134 developing countries including India, issued a statement saying they “strongly object to the attempts made by the rich nations to dilute the convention that sought the developed countries to extend support to their poor counterparts”.

The group said the approach of the developed countries threatened an outcome of the Paris summit.

“The G77 and China is deeply concerned with the attempts to introduce economic conditions in the finance section currently under negotiation here in Paris,” said South African ambassador to the UN Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko while making her statement on behalf of the biggest group of developing countries.

She said: “This approach is not consistent with the [Climate Change] Convention … and the sovereignty of parties. Any attempt to replace the core obligation of developed countries to provide financial support to developing countries with a number of arbitrarily identified economic conditions is a violation of the rules-based multilateral process and threatens an outcome here in Paris.”

The group rejected claims that the world has changed since 1992 due to the dramatic economic growth of some developing countries (China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates among others) and hence that it is time to expand the pool of so-called “donors” of climate “aid” and to narrow the list of those eligible to receive this “support” to only the “poorest of the poor”.

“This narrative serves narrow national interests of developed countries and says little about reality. If the world has really changed so much, we ask why it is that after all these decades all our members remain developing countries with little or no voice in global decision-making processes and institutions,” said the ambassador.

The statement from the Group of 77 and China said there must be “a substantial scaling up of finance from the 2020 base level of $100 billion per year”.




























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