Struggling climate talks look to UN summit for push

A photo taken on April 2, 2014 shows air pollution hanging in the air and lowering visibility in London
A photo taken on April 2, 2014 shows air pollution hanging in the air and lowering visibility in London

A new round of talks on climate change sputtered to a close on Sunday, placing the onus on a UN summit in September to boost momentum for a global pact by the end of 2015.

Delegates reported faltering progress in the 12-day session, a waypoint towards a deal to keep climate-altering to safer levels.

"Political will needs to emerge at the New York summit," Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace told a press conference.

Taking place under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the negotiations seek to forge a historic deal in Paris in 2015 that will take effect from 2020.

Under the deal, 195 countries would make voluntary pledges on carbon gases so that warming does not breach a threshold of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times.

They would also channel financial aid to poorer countries to shore up defences against and provide cleaner technology to help wean them off fossil fuels.

The haggling will move into higher gear from the second quarter of 2015, when the parties are supposed to have put their pledges on the table.

But before then, they have to agree common rules for vetting these efforts to ensure there is transparency and that pledge-makers are held to account.

"It's disappointing that negotiators didn't make more progress at this session on building greater consensus on the information that will be required in national contributions," said Alden Meyer with the US expert group the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"Many countries are already starting to work on their post-2020 contributions, and they need to have a sense of what information they will be expected to provide."

Government representatives attend the UN climate change conference in Bonn, western Germany on June 6, 2014
Government representatives attend the UN climate change conference in Bonn, western Germany on June 6, 2014

Climate summit in New York

The Bonn talks will be followed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special summit on climate change in New York on September 23.

Heads of state and government will be scrutinised for how they intend to ramp up action. On June 2, US President Barack Obama set the ball rolling by unveiling plans for a cut in emissions of up to 30 percent from American power plants by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

After the summit, a new UNFCCC round takes place from October 20-25, ahead of the forum's annual parlay, in Lima, Peru, from December 1-12.

European Union negotiator Elina Bardram said there had been a "good constructive atmosphere" in Bonn but Lima had to yield a template to make conclusion in Paris possible.

Ban's meeting—the first top-level climate gathering since the 2009 Copenhagen summit—is a "very, very important opportunity," she said.

The EU expected it to be a platform for "bold pledges" and a showcase for climate programmes that worked, she said.

On Bonn's plus side, co-chairs presiding over the negotiations agreed to issue by July 15 a new informal blueprint for a deal, said Climate Action Network, an alliance of green and development campaigners.

There were also advances in two technical arenas, on how to reduce carbon emissions from cities and using forestry and farming to help the fight against global warming rather than worsen it.

Pedestrians and visitors gather as smog envelopes The Red Fort in New Delhi on November 7, 2009
Pedestrians and visitors gather as smog envelopes The Red Fort in New Delhi on November 7, 2009

'Not enough on the table'

"Though the progress here in Bonn by negotiators was heartening, there's not enough on the table. Heads of government (need) to get involved to make the tough choices negotiators can't," CAN said.

The Bonn talks revealed difficult and complex differences on the basics, delegates added.

Richer nations are focused especially on mitigation—reducing emissions—while poorer nations are more preoccupied for help with adapting to climate change, whose effects are already underway.

"Without finance on the table before Paris it's hard to see how we can avoid a stalemate, which puts a deal in danger," said Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid.

"Poor countries are asking developed nations to stick to their promises on finance before committing to cuts in emissions."

Another stumbling block is the negotiations' second track, which is about beefing up action on climate change before 2020.

Since the near-fiasco of Copenhagen Summit, trust in the climate process has been at a low ebb so promises of vigorous action in the short term are a key to cementing a a deal for the longer term.

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Building blocks missing for 2015 climate pact

© 2014 AFP

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Jun 15, 2014
"And no climate model yet has any explanation for the Viking Warm period or the Little Ice Age. They are simply ignored. The Earth has been several degrees warmer and several degrees colder than it is now in historical times, and all this is documented. The notion that the Gulf Stream affected Greenland, the Western Scottish Islands, the Eastern Scottish Islands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and China, all reporting longer growing seasons and earlier spring in the Viking era, is too absurd to consider seriously. Not that I expect rationality to prevail. There are too many grants at stake." - Jerry Pournelle,

"Generally speaking, I'm much more of a conformist, but it happens I have strong views about climate because I think the majority is badly wrong, and you have to make sure if the majority is saying something that they're not talking nonsense." - Freeman Dyson

It goes without saying, "the polar bears will be fine".

Jun 15, 2014
* In 1979 measuring the Global temperature switched from land based stations measuring temperature in 10,000's of thousands of locations - to a satellite network measuring radiation in the atmosphere and calculating temperature at millions of locations.

One would presume then, that satellite network is more accurate. One would then, therefore, have to sume those readings to be either higher or lower than the given 100 year span of land based readings
of temperatures data sets.

Global temperatures from 1979 to 1998 (a 20 year period) "ramped" up by 0.58 degrees C by the end of 1998. Today the global average is still 0.58 degrees C above the 20th Century average.

What, would account for this, is not a ramp up but a jump from 1978 to 1979, to 1980 etc. and then mathematical smoothing over the next 20 years.

Not a warming trend, just a more accurate reading.

When a newer (better) method is first used to measure or re-measure (our Planet) a reference is typically applied from prior measurements (data sets). If the new method then reads a higher or lower value (assumed to be a more accurate reading) then a small percentage is subtracted or added to the given reference. This results in a new (improved reference) measurements but is somewhat temporary and needs more new-method values to realize a more truthful value, since the newer method may need corrections of its own. So from the first year in 1979 to 20 years later 1998 those readings and adjustments finally peaked out and has remained steady to this day. A new and more accurate value.

The temperature of our planet always was about 0.68 degrees C warmer then thought using an earth-based measuring.

There never was a warming from 1979 to 1998... just a better, more accurate reading by the satellite network versus land based measurements.

Jun 15, 2014
NOAA constantly reports that the Globe has warmed 1.2 degrees C since 1880, when records were first kept.

How accurate were those 1880 numbers? 1910? 1920?

Accurate enough to take today's readings subtract 1880 readings and state that the globe has warmed by that difference?

No. They are in now way that accurate. Their readings might be accurate for where those readings were taken. But not of the rest of the globe.

But, this is the "settled" science we are being asked to accept. Browbeat to accept.

Jun 15, 2014
Let's see what NOAA said about 2013:

• The year 2013 ties with 2003 as the fourth warmest year globally since records began in 1880. The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F).

NOAA continues by saying:

Currently, the warmest year on record is 2010, which was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above.

So 4/100ths of 1 degree, separate the top 4 temperatures ever (since 1880).

As of 2014 (mid point) 2014 it targeted for 6th or 7th place.

Sounds to me we hit a high in 1998 (0.64) and since then has fluctuated by a mere + 0.02 and minus 0.22 since 1998.

And yet, according to IPCC warming is caused by CO2 emissions from humans that nature can not absorb at the fastest rate in the past 10,000 years.

Yet, no global temperature increase. We are being asked to accept warming is still occurring when it is not.

No. Global warming is not settled.

Jun 15, 2014
Dems are trying to legislate a narrative change hurting the American people in the process! All Democrats and supporters here and abroad, are trying to flood the media with hysterical climate change & global warming alarms to take the heat off Dem candidates in the November 2014 and 2016 elections due to the train wreck of Obamacare! They shout, scream, cry, make outlandish claims and won't stop till after the elections! Poor Democrats! The tsunami cometh!

Jun 16, 2014
Caleb Rossiter, , was apparently sacked by the Institute for Policy Studies where he was an associate fellow just two days after publishing an OpEd piece in the Wall Street Journal called "Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change," that also claimed that climate change is an "unproved science."

Rossiter, a long-time progressive activist who stated in the editorial that he spent his entire career "on the foreign policy left," questioned what he deemed the well-intentioned campaign for so-called climate justice. Explained Rossiter, in part:

And I oppose the campaign even more for trying to deny to Africans the reliable electricity — and thus the economic development and extended years of life — that fossil fuels can bring. The left wants to stop industrialization — even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false."

If people ever say that fears of censorship for 'climate change' views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just two days after I published

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