Report from Cancun - COP 16
From Cathie Adams
The Obama administration told attendees at the UNFCCC COP 16 conference that began on Monday, November 29, in Cancun, Mexico, that they are “not backing away from their commitments.” Last year in Copenhagen, President Obama committed to not only pass “cap & trade” legislation that would create billions in new taxes, he also joined developed nations in creating a new $30 billion “fast start” global climate fund by 2012 and committed to reduce greenhouse gases in the U.S. by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. The $30 billion commitment is to grow into a $100 billion climate fund by 2020.
The administration may say that they are not backing away from those grandiose commitments, but following the spectacular Republican victories, a.k.a. the Democrats “shellacking,” neither President Obama nor his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plan to attend the Mexico meeting. Surely Obama’s ability to spend other peoples’ money has a higher hurdle to clear with the new Republican Congress that must focus on the persistent jobless rate and suffering economy, rather than on increasing taxes and spending more of your hard-earned money. Citing the economy, even Senator John McCain during his campaign backed away from his “cap & tax” scheme.
Liberal non-governmental organizations are ignoring these political realities in Cancun. On Monday, they lobbed an opening salvo calling for last year’s voluntary commitments to become “legally binding.” And they insisted that the “fast start” money be given without conditions and without input by the World Bank because of their simple accountability standards.
We will observe over the next two weeks whether changes in Washington, D.C. and across the country have impacted the international scene too. I will keep you posted as the debates continue.
“Climate Change” is Not About the Environment, but About Redistributing Wealth"
"The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War," proclaimed Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and cochair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change, reports in Investors Business Daily.
The candor about the U.N.‘s legally binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions set forth in its 1997 Kyoto Protocol aimed at globally redistributing wealth is welcome, but it is not pervasive in Cancun. The insidious scheme to force deindustrialization of 37 developed nations and to demand that those nations transfer their technologies as well as huge financial bonuses to the remaining 155 nations is Marxist to the core.
In a press conference on Tuesday in Cancun, Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s U.N. ambassador, proved the effectiveness of the ruse. He expressed deep dismay about the developed nations’ warning that the developing world keep their expectations low concerning the outcome of ongoing climate talks.
Ignoring “climate-gate” when emails exposed a corrupt analysis of weather data revealing the U.N.’s unscientific claims of “global warming” as well as “glacier-gate,” which likewise exposed a false claim made by the chairman of the IPCC that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, Solon claimed that “global warming” caused Pakistan’s floods, Russia’s heatwave, the unprecedented Arctic snow melt, and his own country’s “limited resources and ever more unstable weather.” Solon called for “more radical measures” to move the “global warming” agenda using “mass popular pressure.”
Tragically his mindset is bolstered by grant-funded studies used to demand more drastic cuts in global emissions. A new series of studies written about in The Telegraph in the UK even calls for World War II style rationing stating that, “Unless emissions are reduced dramatically in the next ten years, the world is set to see temperatures rise by more than 4C (7.2F) by as early as the 2060s, causing floods, droughts and mass migration.”
Solon represents just one of those 155 nations demanding a new legally-binding treaty to accomplish the Marxist goals. We will learn over the next two weeks whether the U.S. and the 36 other developed nations can overcome the U.N.’s hot air.
Global Taxation Being Discussed at the UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico
Last year in Copenhagen, President Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the UNFCCC COP 15 to commit $30 billion to a new Fast Start fund by 2012 with a follow-up goal to raise $100 billion annually from developed nations for a new Green Fund by 2020.
One year later in Cancun, the U.N. is prodding nations to create the infrastructure for the new Green Fund that would not be limited to $100 billion. The U.N. is not letting American preconditions that developing nations, especially China and India, “accept binding commitments that are open to international inspection and verification,” get in the way of their goal for global taxation free from meddling by the Americans.
Panelists from the Climate Action Network on Wednesday revealed that nations are discussing new taxes either on international monetary transactions or preferably on international shipping and aviation.
The U.N. does not currently have the authority to tax, but it is guiding negotiations to accept “monitoring, reporting and verification” from some taxing authority for money received from the new Green Fund. The new tax assessor-collector could possibly be the International Maritime Organization, which is a U.N. affiliate.
A conference magazine entitled Outreach, a Multi-Stakeholder Magazine on Environment and Sustainable Development, raises several questions about the new Green Fund that are obviously intended to guide convention delegate discussions:
*Where does the money come from? How much from public and how much from private sources?
*Who will govern those funds? A new bureaucracy within the U.N. or the World Bank or another entity?
*What is “climate finance?” How will it be monitored, reported and verified?
*Through what channels will the funds flow? The same channels as the Fast Start fund or will there be new bilateral or multilateral channels?
*Who decides for what purposes and in which countries climate finance is used?
Project Syndicate reports that George Soros has also weighed in on the new Green Fund. He claims an urgent need to mobilize money to fill the vacuum between Copenhagen’s Fast Track fund and the new Green Fund. He likes a carbon tax of $25 per ton, but acknowledges that the will is not there to establish it. He also suggests involvement by multilateral development banks offering climate-related financing as well as programs to enhance investments in renewable energy.
Calls for global taxation is not new within the U.N. system, but building an infrastructure for a global tax is new. We watch as the debate progresses through December 10.
Week #1 at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 16
Discussions the first week of the two-week UNFCCC COP 16 centered around a global taxing scheme and continuation of greenhouse gas commitments beyond the Kyoto Protocol’s expiration in 2012.
Japan fired the first shot across the U.N. bow announcing it “will not inscribe its target in a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol under any conditions or circumstances.” As a result, it received the infamous “Fossil of the Day” recognition from Climate Action Network, a coalition of 500+ radical environmental organizations. Russia and Canada joined Japan, and others are rumored to be considering that option.
Poor nations are demanding the Kyoto extension claiming that rich nations caused “global warming,” therefore they owe reparations to the poor nations. Rich countries on the other hand, 37 of 192 U.N. member states, know that Kyoto’s legally binding greenhouse gas emission limits would devastate their economies.
While wealth redistribution has been somewhat successful through the Kyoto Protocol, it has failed to adequately fulfill the Marxist demand. So, following last year’s grandiose announcement of a $30 billion Fast Start Fund by 2012 and a $100 billion Green Fund by 2020, the U.N. seized the opportunity in Cancun to call for a global tax.
Radical environmentalists at the World Wildlife Fund are pushing the taxing scheme calling for “wealthy and poor governments [to] unite on [a] new source of funding to fight climate change” because it is a key component that would “unlock the financing puzzle at the center of the negotiations” by unlocking “major flows of climate finance.”
The U.N.’s taxing scheme would be unlimited in scope and unlinked from national treasuries. Last month the U.N. Secretary General’s High Level Groupconfirmed taxes on international shipping and aviation could raise at least $100 billion. The International Maritime Organization would be the tax assessor-collector charging for emission permits and/or fuel taxes. The revenue would be channeled through a fund under the UNFCCC, a scheme the IMO and the UNFCCC are already discussing.
Only the rich nations would pay the taxes; poor nations would receive rebates for their portion of goods shipped.
The bottom line is that the UNFCCC COP 16 has nothing to do with the environment, but everything to do with global taxation. U.N. created Marxist class warfare has succeeded in pitting poor nations against poor nations, now it must convince both that a global tax is the only solution.
Profiting From the Global Taxing Scheme
One of the richest men in the world is so convinced of the imminence of global taxation for the new Climate Fund, that he has already devised a scheme to “eco-label” cargo ships that carry 85% of all goods worldwide, claiming it will align “economic and environmental interests crucial to facilitating needed capital flows.”
The 212th richest man in the world according to Forbes 2010 list of billionaires, Sir Richard Branson, is a British industrialist worth about $4 billion. His new Carbon War Room aims “to support the shipping industry as it moves towards a low-carbon future,” an industry that today is mostly unregulated.
The CWR and its partners launched a website, to be a knowledge hub for the shipping industry to tell an efficient, low-emission ship from an inefficient, heavily carbon-emitting one using the existing International Maritime Organization’s “Energy Efficiency Design Index.” The IMO would be the tax-assessor for the proposed global tax to be levied on international shipping and aviation. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change would then channel the money to poor nations.
The CWR’s objective is also to catalyze a market for third-party financing of retrofits for old ships to apply advanced hull coatings, air lubrication systems and even sails to improve efficiency. A spokesman for Papua New Guinea, an island nation, said that the “eco-label” could be used to set port fees and docking priorities for ships.
When asked whether the shipping and aviation industries have been consulted about the new Climate Fund tax, former Ireland president and former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson simply responded, “That is an excellent question...but with focused attention on the continuation of the Kyoto protocol and the establishment of a fair global Climate Fund, we can make Cancun a success.”
Observing U.N. negotiations in Cancun is like watching the movie, Field of Dreams. In the movie, the lead actor hears a voice as he walks through a cornfield saying, “If you build it, he will come.” If the U.N. succeeds in putting rules in place for a second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and establishment of the Climate Fund, then the necessary momentum is there for next year’s meeting in Durban, South Africa, to realize global taxation.
U.N. Secretary Generals calls for Fundamental Transformation of the Global Economy
Fundamental transformation--where have Americans heard that phrase before? In 2008, candidate Obama promised to “fundamentally transform” America which has resulted in skyrocketing debt and sustained joblessness. We surely do not want that on a global scale!
Yet, that is exactly what U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for on Tuesday in Cancun, Mexico, at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties 16: “We need to fundamentally transform the global economy -- based on low-carbon, clean energy resources.”
It is toxic to join the phrase “fundamentally transform” with the U.N.’s monotonous call for “low-carbon, clean energy resources.” The meaning is spelled out by the Climate Action Network, a coalition of 500+ nongovernmental radical environmental groups, that demand a ZERO carbon economy by 2050!
Can you imagine the world without fossil fuels to heat and cool our homes and businesses, to run our industries, and to transport people and goods? Undependable energy sources such as solar and wind cannot fill the gap, and radical environmentalists have contempt for nuclear power, even though it produces no carbon dioxide.
The International Panel on Climate Change’s call for reductions of 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 seems tempered by comparison, especially when President Obama committed last year to a 17% reduction below 2005 levels by 2020.
But let us not forget what economists and scientists said of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s call for a 7% reduction in greenhouse gases below 1990 levels--even 7% would devastate the American economy. All of these demands are based on a theory, not on proven science, that the globe is warming and that arrogant humans could cause the globe to warm.
Even though Clinton-Gore in 1997 agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, they learned it was unworkable. Former President Bush unsigned the Kyoto Protocol, which was never even submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification.
It is doubtful that the new U.S. Senators will approve the radical environmental “cap & trade/tax” legislation, but we can expect President Obama to use executive orders and the bureaucracy at the Environmental Protection Agency to implement his radical agenda; he is already doing that.
A call for compromise is rife among delegations in Cancun, but on Tuesday a “Declaration from the South-South [poor nations] Summit on Climate Justice and Finance” spelled out their impossible demands. They claimed that climate change is “an economic and social crisis, a political crisis, a food and energy crisis, and an ecological crisis.” They called for justice: “climate justice, ecological justice, economic justice, gender justice and historical justice [meaning that they are victims of climate change caused by rich nations].” They concluded their Marxist diatribe chanting, “Let’s globalize the struggle! Let’s globalize hope!”
Todd Stern, America’s head of delegation during this final week’s negotiations, said in a press conference on Tuesday that “an agreement is to be had” by the end of the week. May liberty prevail.
ZERO Carbon Emissions Produces
Abject Poverty, Sabotages Hope
The industrialized world needs to realize that the radical environmentalists’ demand for a ZERO carbon economy by 2050 is a cruel hoax being perpetrated upon the poor. Succumbing to the unproven theory that burning fossil fuels is warming the climate robs the poor of the hope to improve their lives. Instead of feeling guilty for enjoying their energy-produced modern lifestyles, developed nations should encourage the undeveloped world with the knowledge to produce their own energy.
On Wednesday, I left Cancun’s paradise, where tourists enjoy running water and electricity, to visit a small village called La Libertad that has none of those amenities. It was like visiting an alternate universe, an extreme contrast to what is being taken for granted by delegates to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties 16 in Mexico.
About 20 delegates holding various U.N. credentials boarded vans and traveled about 30 minutes to La Libertad, a field trip organized by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, CFACT.
Christopher Monckton, a British politician and journalist, joined our party. Since 2010, Monckton has been the deputy leader of the UK Independence Party and was formerly a member of the Conservative Party. During the 1980s, he served in Conservative Central Office and worked for Margaret Thatcher's Number 10 Policy Unit.
A well known critic of “global warming,” Monckton spent most of
the prior night reading the conference’s working document. His critique of it during our drive provided a potent basis for what we were about to see.
Villagers in La Libertad have absolutely no modern conveniences: no running water, no indoor plumbing, no natural gas to cook with and no electricity to light their homes. The light of day shined through multiple gaps in the ceiling and walls of a home we visited that was built of leftover political signs, natural stones and various materials that had been obviously discarded by previous owners, including an old ironing board placed atop a 55-gallon barrel used for outdoor cooking.
We then visited a local school that likewise had no electricity or other conveniences. It was just as repulsive to witness energy poverty that robs individuals of the dignity to provide basic human necessities for themselves, as it was heartrending to witness children living without sanitation or access to simple hygiene.
My visit to La Libertad emboldened my belief that Americans need not apologize for our standard of living; rather, we must confront the hypocrisy of radical environmentalists who demand ZERO carbon emissions by 2050!
I agree with CFACT’s Executive Director Craig Rucker that, “For villages like La Libertad if there is energy, there is hope.”
U.N. Agrees on a Process to
Design the Global Taxing Scheme
Cancun, Mexico’s record-setting low temperature during the “global warming” conference did not cool the “hot air” at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties 16.
At 5:18 a.m. on Saturday, December 11, Mexican President Felipe Calderón proclaimed the meeting a success and announced next year’s confab in Durban, South Africa. That meeting will be another step on their way to a “legally-binding” document they hope to produce in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2012, a.k.a. Rio+20 signifying 20 years since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.
Key elements of the Cancun Agreement include:
• President Obama’s commitment in Copenhagen last year to reduce greenhouse gases by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 is now officially recognized by the U.N. The U.S. is to create a low-carbon development plan and strategy, and assess how they plan to meet them, including through market mechanisms, then to report their inventories annually to the U.N. It is incredulous for the U.N. to demand that a sovereign nation pass laws to fit the U.N.’s political agenda, but that is essentially what they did! In light of the November 2nd elections, “cap & trade/tax” legislation that would destroy the American economy while having a negligible impact on the environment, is unlikely to pass. But we must remain vigilant concerning the president’s abuse of Executive Orders and the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the unscientific radical environmental agenda.
• Poor countries’ actions to reduce emissions will also be officially recognized by the U.N. and a registry will be set up to record and match developing country mitigation actions to finance and technology support from rich countries. Poor countries must publish progress reports every two years.
• Parties meeting under the Kyoto Protocol (the U.S. is not a party) must continue negotiations with the aim of completing their work and ensuring there is no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the treaty. The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanisms were strengthened to drive more major investments and technologies to the developing world.
* A set of new initiatives and institutions were launched to deploy money and technology for poor countries to plan and build their own sustainable futures.
* Added to the Cancun Agreement are the $30 billion Fast Start Fund by 2012 and the $100 billion annual Green Fund by 2020 that President Obama committed to last year in Copenhagen.
* A process was established to design the $100 billion Green Climate Fund under the Conference of the Parties, with a board that equally represents rich and poor countries. The design will probably be for a tax on international shipping and aviation.