Posts Tagged ‘UN Paris Climate conference’

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

November 28, 2015

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.


Paris conference – in the best case – cannot achieve more than 0.17ºC impact on climate

November 10, 2015

Bjorn Lomborg has a new survey paper out in Global Policy

Impact of Current Climate Proposals, Bjorn Lomborg, Global Policy, Article first published online: 9 NOV 2015, DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12295

Lomborg’s survey and calculations only reinforce my view that the coming Paris climate conference is almost completely irrelevant to climate. So called climate policy is fundamentally flawed since the climate effect of the actions emanating from the policies cannot be measured, predicted or monitored.

Paris is essentially about wealth redistribution and that too based on ineffective tools. In fact, the primary tool, which is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, is not even known for certain to be a tool. Lomborg shows that assuming that climate models are correct in their assumptions of the impact of CO2 (which they are not), and assuming that all promises are binding (which they will not be), and assuming that all countries live up to their “promises” (which they won’t), then by 2100 the impact on climate could, at worst be 0.048ºC, and at best, be all of 0.17ºC.


This article investigates the temperature reduction impact of major climate policy proposals implemented by 2030, using the standard MAGICC climate model. Even optimistically assuming that promised emission cuts are maintained throughout the century, the impacts are generally small. The impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100. The full US promise for the COP21 climate conference in Paris, its so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) will reduce temperature rise by 0.031°C. The EU 20-20 policy has an impact of 0.026°C, the EU INDC 0.053°C, and China INDC 0.048°C. All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100. These impact estimates are robust to different calibrations of climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and different climate scenarios. Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades.



Based on climate model simulations, the emission cuts that have been proposed by the US, the EU, China and the RoW will reduce temperature increases by the end of the century, but almost all of the expected warming will still take place by 2100.

Because the climate policy impacts from individual countries are almost additive, they can be almost perfectly partitioned as is evidenced in Table 1. This shows that in the optimistic case, the EU and China each reduce mean global temperature by 2100 of about 0.05°C, and the US and the RoW each reducing a bit more than 0.03°C.

Table 1. Impact of climate policies, optimistic and pessimistic, for RCP8.5, using MAGICC, summary of finds described throughout the text
Change in temperature
°C year 2100 Pessimistic Optimistic
US INDC 0.008 0.031
US CPP 0.004 0.013
EU INDC 0.017 0.053
EU 2020 0.007 0.026
China INDC 0.014 0.048
RoW INDC 0.009 0.036
Global INDCs 0.048 0.170

As Wigley (1998) found for the Kyoto Protocol, the emissions reductions promised until 2030 will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades. This clearly indicates that if we want to reduce climate impacts significantly, we will have to find better ways than the ones currently proposed.

There will be much spin after Paris. Whether agreement is reached or not, and whether promises made are binding or not, it will surely be spun to seem to be a resounding success.

But it will all be, in the most optimistic case, for achieving all of a 0.17ºC impact on climate. And based on climate models which don’t work. And on unnecessary and pointless actions for a 100 years, which will achieve nothing of their objectives, but which will make life more difficult, especially for the energy-poor.

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