Piecrust Promises at Doha

The UN Climate Change Conference ended, not with a bang, but a whimper. The Kyoto Protocol has been extended until 2020, but that will make no difference to a problem that will continue long after 2020. Rich nations have sort of promised to compensate poor nations for climate change. China and India will continue to be able to create emissions unfettered by even the piecrust promise of a so called binding treaty and the world will continue much as before, with a chorus of fears for the future global warming but with very few willing to do anything to remedy the problem. Continue reading

Dohar Climate Change: where’s the money?

It is ironic but not unexpected that the Climate Change negotiations in Dohar have turned into an argument about money. The poorer nations, whose activities do not cause rapid climate change, are asking the richer nations, whose activities do cause climate change, to compensate them for the extra money that the poorer nations will have to spend or lose as a result of climate change. Continue reading

The Climate Change Conference in Doha will Achieve Nothing

The nations of the world have not displayed much common sense when it comes to tackling climate change. They have regularly met, signed documents, congratulated themselves and then gone about their business as usual. There are targets which are confused, some measures which are ill planned and badly implemented, and a great deal of talking, but the atmospheric concentration of emissions, which is something they all aim to reduce, still grow year by year and the consequences are suffered by almost everyone on this planet. Continue reading

The Maple Leaf – a badge of shame

The Kyoto Agreement is not much, in terms of fighting climate change, but it is virtually all that we have that binds nations to emission reductions. Some nations signed up to the accord and never implemented it. Canada is such a nation. The accord required modest reduction in emissions from a 1990 base. Canada’s emissions have actually risen since Kyoto was signed by them, so Canada is now withdrawing from Kyoto to avoid being fined $13.6 billion. It shows the vacuous nature of the Kyoto accord and Canada’s commitment to fighting climate change. Continue reading

Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On

The United Nations Climate Change Conference at Durban ended with some self congratulations; “we have made history” claimed Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and she may have been right but perhaps not in the sense that she meant it, which was that the conference had saved “one planet for the future of our children and our grandchildren”. Continue reading

The Durban Air is Warmed by Platitudes

I have not written much so far about the UN Climate Change Conference at Durban because, from what I have been able to follow in the press, in truth not much is happening there. No doubt the Durban air is warmed by platitudes, but platitudes will never solve the problem of the continuing warming of the atmosphere. Continue reading

Conflict at the Climate Change Conference

The UN Climate Change Conference is being held this year in Durban, South Africa, without the same noise and fury that characterized previous conferences. The conference is aiming to set tougher targets for carbon dioxide emissions but targets, like talk, are cheap and targets are not promises. Continue reading

Mr Cameron does not fly to Rio

So David Cameron is not going to the Rio Summit next year. The Rio Summit will celebrate or mourn (depending on your point of view) the summit held at Rio twenty years ago next June. He has been criticised for this decision because he committed his government to be the greenest ever, and people are trotting out the need to show “leadership” by attending. I do not see things like that. Continue reading

Yet another fine start – but we are all in it together

Leaders of the western world have explained to their electorates that when it comes to the credit crunch “we are all in this together”. Of course that is simply not true. When it comes to economic wealth and economic turbulence we are not all in it together. No one for a single moment believes that Mr Fred Goodwin, former Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland is really suffering as much as a family whose breadwinner has lost his or her job, or Continue reading

Compensation for global warming

With only two days left of the Cancun Climate Change Conference there seems to be little prospect of any binding regulations or treaty coming out of all the negotiations and discussions. Poorer nations, Norway suggested, should have $100 billion to deal with climate change from richer nations. Richer nations say that is too much and poorer nations say it is not enough. The negotiators must feel that they are about as useful as a sinking ship’s crew who spend their time re-arranging the deckchairs. Continue reading