Paris climate conference has failed before it has begun: No “treaty” and no legally binding emission limits to be set

My opinion (here and here for example) is that the UN’s Paris conference on global warming  (since climate change which is not global warming is not even being considered) has no purpose and is a waste of time. No matter what is agreed or not, global fossil fuel use will double in the next 20 years or so. And it will have no significant impact on “global temperature”.

The EU (Holy European Empire – blessed be its name) in the shape of France, which is to chair the conference, has been adamant that Paris must come up with legally binding emission limits to be more than just hot air. Well, France has now caved in to the US position that no legally binding limits are practical and that any agreement must not be given the status of a treaty.

Why bother then?

The Financial Times (paywalled), has just reported that France has given in. Laurent Fabius will chair the conference and he has, according to the FT, made a major climbdown and accepted that signatories will not commit to any legally binding emission limits.

France bows to Obama and backs down on climate ‘treaty’

My view that this is all a massive and pointless conference is further strengthened by the confirmation that Canada has joined the US in wanting no legally binding agreements from Paris. France- as Conference Chair and representing the EU –  has been one of the strongest proponents of legally binding agreements (which is easy for them with their recourse to nuclear power). Just two weeks ago, the EU warned the US:

Paris climate deal must be legally binding, EU tells John Kerry

Earlier today, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius , had said it was obvious that any agreement in Paris would contain lawful elements, and suggested that Kerry was “confused” about the point. 

But now, with France also accepting that any Paris agreement will not be given the status of a treaty and will not require any legally binding emission limits, there seems little point in all the world’s leaders flying in at the end of next week to put their names to an empty document. Don’t expect any legally binding agreement on the provision of funds either.

The only legally binding agreements that Paris may now produce are agreements to meet again and to continue to waste money.

The Hindu Business LineCanada backs US: climate deal should not be legally binding

Canada on Friday backed the US approach to major climate change talks in Paris, saying any carbon reduction targets agreed at the negotiations should not be legally binding. The announcement by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna could irritate host nation France, which wants any deal to be enforceable.

That would be politically impossible for the administration of US President Barack Obama, however, since it is clear the Republican-dominated Congress would not ratify any treaty imposing legally binding cuts on the US.

“Everyone wants to see the US be part of this treaty,” McKenna told reporters on a conference call before flying to Paris. “There are political realities in the US … they cannot have legally binding targets. We don’t expect that the targets will be internationally legally binding,” she said.

Signatories to a Paris agreement should agree to update their climate change goals every five years, she added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Financial Times this month that any deal reached in Paris was “definitively not going to be a treaty”. His remarks drew a stern response from French President Francois Hollande.

The Paris conference might as well not take place. It is certainly time-consuming, expensive and completely irrelevant as far as any man-made global warming is concerned.


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One Response to “Paris climate conference has failed before it has begun: No “treaty” and no legally binding emission limits to be set”

  1. Paris Climate Agreement: A review | The k2p blog Says:

    […] As I expected, the Paris agreement has no commitments – except to meet again and keep these meetings going. (One could ask, if COP21 was such a great success, why a COP22 and a COP23, and so on ad infinitum, are still needed?). But I am also very happy the parties have reached such an empty agreement. The harm it can do, for starting with a false premise (that global temperature can be controlled merely by reducing fossil fuel use), is limited by this very emptiness. In any event, all emissions reductions are voluntary and are not commitments. All developing countries will strive to reach a peak of carbon dioxide emissions – where defining the magnitude and timing of the peak is left to the judgement of each country. Developed countries will assist with money and technology to the extent they can. Any signatory can leave the agreement at any time after the first 3 years by giving one years notice. […]

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