December 09, 2015

#ParisClimateTalks may have a deal — that means little

The New York Times, at this AP piece, reports that such an accord has been crafted.

However, there are several questions.

One, per that link, is what are the temperature targets? Per the Guardian, more countries are pushing for 1.5C, not 2C, on maximum allowable warming. I think 1.5C would be better than 2C, but about impossible to reach, to be honest.

Two is the "how" this will, theoretically be reached, whatever the target. Sounds like that's part of the blanks to be filled.

Three is the enforcibility of that "how." Per Time, it looks like, other than the issue of carbon emissions transparency, Dear Leader's team wants as much of the accord to be voluntary as possible.


The man knows the current U.S. Congress won't approve any parts of this deal that need Congressional approval even if they are voluntary in nature. So, why not go for some binding standards?


Because Obama, rhetoric aside, is a neoliberal who doesn't want to offend the current business class that much.

Fourth, while Europe rounds up developing nations, it's clearly not that much more serious about the issue. The EU's cap-and-trade program has Mack Truck sized loopholes, and yet, neither the EU collectively, nor individual member nations, have proposed a tax-and-tariff system.

Fifth, developing countries want assistance from the rich world not only for mitigation of future climate change effects, but losses and damages that aren't or can't be mitigated. So far, that doesn't seem to be part of any accord.

Let's remember that previous climate "summits," like the old Cold War US-USSR summits, have shown themselves to be fertile ground for "spinning." That includes developing as well as developed nations. (I'm looking at you, India.)

And, per the official website, we may not know what's in the details until late tonight or tomorrow morning.

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