Warsaw: steady progress – toward collapse.

About this time, I usually get a feel for how the COP talks will pan out. With the developing nations walking out, and the Chinese acting like some pimp shepherding them out, just because the developed nations refused to create a social welfare system to fund the developed world, the talks are now at a stalemate. It does not bode well, not just for these talks, but for years to come, because the developed nations are insisting on kicking this welfare scheme into the long grass until at least 2020 and the developing nations don’t like it.

But the real atmosphere comes through in this report of the Australian delegation:

“They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation. That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in,”

And the Poles who are hosting it, are treating the talks with a similar degree of contempt. Whoever thought of running  a coal conference alongside and getting them to sponsor the talks really has a sense of humour. But then sacking their environmental chief who is running the show in a reshuffle, was a real cherry on the cake.

So, as you can imagine, good news is thin on the ground. Typical headlines are:

  • Report: Climate protection goal slipping away Rich and Poor Nations Spar Over Climate Damages
  • Warming seen worse as nations fail to meet carbon goals
  • Fasting for Climate Justice at the UN Climate Negotiations
  • UN climate talks chairman sacked
  • Rich and poor in aid deadlock
  • G77 Walk-out at COP19 as Rich Countries Use Delaying Tactics
  • Dispatch from the UN Warsaw climate conference: Gender day
  • Australia dashes G20 climate hopes

But normally the ever optimistic Guardian manage to find some saving grace to enthuse about. But not this time. Their report is positively gloomy:

The current goal of the negotiations is to forge an agreement, to be signed in Paris in 2015 and to come into force by 2020, that would involve substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from all the major economies, as well as commitments from poorer countries. But this meeting is just a staging point on the road to that goal – there is as yet no draft text for an agreement, no consensus on what a new deal should involve, or what legal form it should take.
(http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/19/un-climate-talks-warsaw-poland)

And lest we forget, earlier Japan has dropped its target (much to the delight of China who used this opportunity to shed a few more green crocodile tears).

So, with Australia and many other countries ditching any replacement to Kyoto, the talks have become a ritualistic public show intended only to give the illusion of trying to do something. The result is those attending are now participating in what has become a meaningless talking shop with no prospect of any progress for years.

However, I must not forget the unerring ability of the UN to pull a pig’s ear out of a silk’s purse and spin it into a ballgown.

So, yet again we can look forward to the communique announcing the huge progress and goodwill toward a new agreement, agreeing to agree, that sometime in the future, they should agree to meet, to have another attempt, to agree to agree, but then not just to meet to agree to agree, but to meet to agree to meet to agree to agree.

I am so looking forward to watching the gullible British press and media swallow that communique and tell us it was another success.

This is not a success … it is a slow death of Kyoto by a 1000 meetings.

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