Durban climate deal leaves difficult road ahead

Dec 11, 2011 by Richard Ingham
The world's nations on Sunday set their sights on a new all-encompassing pact on climate change that marks a break with the past and will also be gruelling to achieve.

The world's nations on Sunday set their sights on a new all-encompassing pact on climate change that marks a break with the past and will also be gruelling to achieve.

The so-called Durban Package will, for the first time, bring all greenhouse-gas users into a common legal regime under the UN flag, in the aim of cranking the carbon combat into higher gear.

This goal dates back a decade and, ironically, is rooted in the argument of former US president George W. Bush, a bogeyman to many in the green movement.

To activists' fury, Bush in 2001 declared the United States would never ratify the , the cornerstone treaty of the UN (UNFCCC).

He said Kyoto was unfair as its format clamped legally binding emissions constraints only on rich countries, not poor ones, which instead were deemed to be historic victims of .

Today, Bush's rationale has prevailed.

Voraciously burning coal to power its surging economic growth, China has now become the world's No. 1 emitter.

Joining it in the top ranks are India, Brazil and Indonesia, all racing out of poverty.

As a result, are now setting the world on course for possibly four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit), twice the 2 C (3.6 F) goal enshrined by UNFCCC parties last year as a safe maximum.

Rich countries that were leading emitters back in 1997 -- when the Kyoto Protocol was signed as a framework accord -- are now the minority emitters.

The Durban Package will, for the first time, bring all greenhouse-gas users into a common legal regime under the UN flag, in the aim of cranking the carbon combat into higher gear.

This is what makes the Durban deal special.

The broad agreement reached at the marathon talks under the UNFCCC takes a hammer to the north-versus-south paradigm.

If all goes well, a new accord will be wrapped up in 2015 and take effect in 2020, placing rich and poor under common legal constraints.

That is the goal, but reaching it will be arduous.

As was shown in Durban, where a 12-day conference was extended by two days and nearly collapsed in bickering, the power players in climate politics will defend their interests vigorously.

This will especially be the case if the crisis that has overwhelmed much of the world's economy is prolonged.

Coal, oil and gas are the backbone of the energy supplies today. Improving energy efficiency and switching to cleaner, renewable sources carries a cost that belt-tightening governments may resist.

Also destined to haunt the 2015 negotiations are fundamental questions of who, what and how.

"Negotiating the details will be extremely tough," said Elliot Diringer of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a Washington think-tank.

Top of the list is defining the status of the accord, whose legal profile was left deliberately blurred in Durban.

Former US President George W. Bush in 2001 declared the United States would never ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the cornerstone treaty of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It must satisfy the European Union, which in contrast to its chaos back home wielded its clout in Durban to great effect, seeking tougher legal controls over polluters.

It must also meet the position of the United States, where conservative Republicans in Congress and a verbal lobby of climate sceptics make any chance of ratifying a treaty with tough constraints remote indeed.

And it must also reassure developing countries that they will not carry the can for warming which is the historical responsibility of rich economies that were the first to benefit from fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, there is a host of side issues that could easily flare up and disturb these very delicate negotiations.

They include how to fill the Green Climate Fund, a mechanism launched in Durban that, in principle, will help channel up to 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to poor countries facing worsening floods, drought, storms and rising seas.

"We cannot allow the Green Climate Fund to wither on the vine," said Celine Charveriat of Oxfam.

"Governments must identify significant and predictable sources of money for the Fund without delay, such as a tiny tax on financial transactions and a fee on emissions from international shipping."

In the coming years, the sound of the advancing juggernaut will become ever louder. To reach the UN's 2 C (3.6 F) target, emissions which are currently rocketing skyward must fall by 8.5 percent annually by 2020 compared with 2010 and then continue to retreat each year, according to two newly published studies.

"The impacts of are ever more evident and we pump ever more carbon pollution into the atmosphere each year," warned Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

"We are in grave danger of locking in temperature increases well above two degrees Celsius, which would foreclose our ability to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

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Nanobanano
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 11, 2011
Interesting.

8.5% by 2020 is going to be a tough target indeed.

China is one of the fastest increases in use of Coal, in spite of the fact they are also doubling their wind and solar use every year or so.

U.S....

Will first of all need to convince a LOT of skeptics.

Some of the measures of this deal may require a constitutional ammendment, which requires a 75% majority...

Next, we'll have to close our borders to almost ALL immigration, as there's no way we can add more people to a modern American lifestyle and still make any decent cuts in CO2 production.

Population growth is still pretty high in the U.S., but almost all of it, as much as 3/4ths, is from illegal immigration.

The sick thing is, India, Pakistan, and several "developing" mid-east and African nations still have 4 and 5 child-per-woman growth rates. I don't know what to say to that, except they'll basicly be CAPPED at existing Coal and Oil usage, even though their pop growth is like rabbits...
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Dec 11, 2011
Population growth is still pretty high in the U.S., but almost all of it, as much as 3/4ths, is from illegal immigration.
Sorry, but could you provide a source for this incredible bullshit? Thanks.
Nanobanano
3 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2011
How could anyone possibly enforce this anyway?

Is it like NATO or the UN going to fine a nation a $100 billion per year or something for exceeding their limits?

What about deforestation?

With the population growing like it is, many mid-eastern countries already buy or lease land in other nations to grow their food.

If population keeps increasing, they are pretty much going to cut down every tree on the planet just to raise gardens and cattle.

Hydroponics is a lot more expensive start-up costs, and history shows most people take the cheap start-up cost option.

It'll take at least a full election cycle just to get the laws we'll need in the U.S., and then I figure at least another 5 to 10 years to get a rudimentary infrastructure for replacement energy technologies in place, since everything always seems to cost twice as much and take twice as long as it should.

Maybe I'm a pessimist, but all the energy companies do everything they can to undermine alternatives..
Nanobanano
3 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2011
Population growth is still pretty high in the U.S., but almost all of it, as much as 3/4ths, is from illegal immigration.
Sorry, but could you provide a source for this incredible bullshit? Thanks.


That's pretty much known facts.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_growth_rate

U.S. pop. Growth rate is 0.97% ANNUALLY, which compounded annually comes to 10.1% per decade...

By comparison, the world average is 1.17% annually, which compounds to 12.3% per decade.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has 1.84% per year, and India has 1.46% per year, which is 20% and 15.6% per decade respectively.

So to make their negative 8.5% per decade target for one decade, they'd need to convert 30% of their energy to carbon neutral, and to keep it that way afterwards they'd need to convert about another 20% every decade...

immigrationcounters.com/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States
Nanobanano
3 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2011
According to that article, allegedly 14 million immigrants last decade along, with what looks like just over a million naturalized per year.

But that doesn't count the "anchor babies" and the unknowns.

If anchor babies is 5 millions, then that is at least 14 million "immigrants", at least 4 million of which are illegal, plus 5 million illegal anchor babies, PLUS the children of the LEGAL immigrants, which I didn't count, which is probably another 5 to 10 million.

Add that up and you get 24 to 29 million immigrants, illegal immigrants, and children of legal and illegal immigrants.

geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/uspopulation.htm

Our population went from 281 million to 311 million in the past 10 or 11 years. That's a gain of 30 million.

24 to 29 million of that is immigrants and their children, which is actually slightly more than 3/4 of the entire national population growth.

I actually know what I'm talking about most of the time. Get over it.
Nanobanano
3 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2011
So, in order to make a 8.5% reduction in CO2 production we need one of these scenarios:

A, replace a full 19% of our Carbon-based energy infrastructure with "carbon neutral" in order to make up for the 10% growth rate from all the invaders.

B, ban almost all immigrations, and actually enforce the law in addition to cutting existing PER CAPITA CO2 production by 8.5%.

B would be much easier practically, and also because it would have many other economic advantages besides just cutting CO2. It would help cut the burden on our schools and hospitals and healthcare systems.

I don't know if A is even physically possible with existing technology.

If you got any other viable suggestions, let's hear it.

Regardless, the world growth rate is 12.3% per decade, which means on average the world really needs to cut it's PER CAPITA CO2 production by 19.8% in order to actually make that 8.5% reduction target.

That is, if you've figured out yet that what I said was true.
Davecoolman
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2011
Nanobanano
Well said and thanks for the links. Ive just spent nearly 3 week in china on a business trip, it is a polluted hell hole where the only thing that matters is money. There isn't a hope in hell they will ever sign up to any agreement, all the business people I met and talked to thought the western nations are crazy but they will play them along for the MONEY.
Dave.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.5 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2011
"Ive just spent nearly 3 week in china on a business trip, it is a polluted hell hole" - CoolMan

No American companies left to do business with CoolTard?

It's good to see the Chinese adopting American values don't you agree?

Ahahahahahahah.....
Nanobanano
3 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2011
It's good to see the Chinese adopting American values don't you agree?

Ahahahahahahah.....


Shameful, but gets 5 stars anyway.

Funniest remark I've read on here in weeks, though it shouldn't be...
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Dec 12, 2011
"Doesn't Durbin sound a lot like Turbin." - Inhofe
Davecoolman
1 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2011
Vendicar_Decarian You poor example of a Canadian. Your banned from the USA for death Threats against a sitting President, you are on a watch list, you are a raving lunatic, your a FOOL.
There is tons of business that goes BOTH WAYS in this case our company sold products to China you Turd idiot.
Get a life and get out of that smelly little room of yours and get a job!
Davecoolman
1 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2011
Hey Vendi my little Turd man.
I told you.

Cop17 - Durban A yes/no deal was hammered out = An agreement to keep on keeping on.

So does this mean the deal is toothless? A hollow victory to save face?

A face-saving Nothing Burger with an imaginary side of fries

They're getting desperate when they have to declare an agreement to continue negotiating a landmark

I particularly love the references to reducing CO2 emissions by more than 100%.

Yea Vendi dream on!
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Dec 13, 2011
"you are on a watch list" - CoolTard

I'm on a watch list? Cool.

Which one? Where is this list?

Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Dec 13, 2011
Sadly, I find no evidence that I am on a watch list.

Poor CoolTard. He has been caught lying again.
Davecoolman
1 / 5 (3) Dec 13, 2011
Vendicar_Decarian You are poor example of a Canadian. Your banned from the USA for death Threats against a sitting President, you are on a watch list, you are a raving lunatic, your a FOOL.
There is tons of business that goes BOTH WAYS in this case our company sold products to China you Turd idiot.
Get a life and get out of that smelly little room of yours and get a job!

You are a loser your IP address is know your aliases are known and all your past listings are in the Public domain.

Tell you what you skunk yard turd why don't you get on your one wheel unicycle and cycle down to the Canadian US boarder and see if you can cross the US boarder for yourself. You useless piece of chicken turd and a sick pathetic loser.
bluehigh
1 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2011
I'm on a watch list? Cool.


Not fair Vendi, you get all the accolades and a unicycle too!

A unicycle with one wheel.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2011
Cool Tard.. I have said it before and I'll say it again. I will dance on the smoldering ruins of your burned out cities.

America is collapsing exactly on schedule, and due to Conservative Treason - exactly as anticipated.

In anticipation, I have already purchased my dancing shoes.
Davecoolman
1 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2011
Vendicar_Decarian I Love you man. Your Unicycle has a flat tire and your still going, Your a little ever ready bunny your so much fun Turd

I have already purchased my dancing shoes. Are they made in Canada?