Nothing Surprising in Leaked Copenhagen Draft Agreement (Updated)
The leaked draft accord has outraged activists and developing nations but contains no real surprises.
December 10, 2009 - 12:00 am
Imagine if a Bush administration official had said this:
“Asked about arguments by diplomats and some protesters that the United States should provide hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to developing nations as reparations, Mr. Stern, the special envoy for climate change, bluntly fired back at a news conference. ‘I actually completely reject the notion of a debt or reparations or anything of the like,’ he said. ‘For most of the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution, people were blissfully ignorant of the fact that emissions caused a greenhouse effect. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon.’”
In truth, Arrhenius famously posited the greenhouse effect in 1896. The Industrial Revolution is generally accepted as having begun in or about 1850. The greenhouse effect is not the same as the modern left’s claim that economic activity must be held in check because Man’s contribution is creating dangerous climate change. But the ignorance is fairly revealing: it’s not about the climate or the science to these people.
Do I need to tell you that the New York Times’ highly political science reporter Andrew Revkin did not blink at this? The paper has not always been so forgiving of misunderstandings of the matter by political officials.
If there is something surprising in the leaked draft text developed by the U.S., UK, Denmark, and (maybe) others that transfers the management of Kyoto II’s billions to the World Bank, I haven’t seen it. This Guardian story cites outraged activists and hangers-on in Copenhagen over the contents.
After reading the text, I have to conclude that this is either a leak intended to gain traction for phonied-up outrage to spin things here as somehow headed in a reasonable direction, or else it is the hysterics of an exceedingly paranoid global warming establishment fearful of anything it didn’t actually have a hand in drafting.
Anyway, here’s my read of things.
Any possible window dressing of moving management from the UN to the World Bank is not actually declared or apparent anywhere in the document’s text. Article 22 makes clear that a “Climate Fund be established as an operating entity of” a mechanism under the existing “Rio” treaty framework, ratified by the U.S. and which Kyoto amended and implemented.
The same corrupt Mother Ship, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), implements and monitors funding. The document asserts that additional revenues will come from aviation and shipping (read: international commerce, airline, and cruise ship) taxes. This is hardly change we can believe in.
Once ratified, these finance decisions will be implemented by consensus and, failing that, a two-thirds vote, of which the U.S. has an equal voice with our peers from Andorra to Zimbabwe. Even if there were some grounds in this document that would result in a claim that someone was trying to remove financing from the UN to a separate entity, it should be viewed like the current effort to claim that a non-profit entity would manage what is otherwise called the “public option” in the health care takeover. Clearly the claim is made to avoid the notion that it is government-run insurance.
It would be purely optics, and the scheme still quacks, flies, and does everything else like the old duck. The principal outrage from the welfare states clinging to Kyoto II as a revenue stream is that there is some inkling that they might actually have to do something under what this draft text envisions. Not hardly.
The motivations of this global energy rationing scheme, administered through some supranational body or otherwise international framework, have always been at minimum two-fold: get the U.S. in check and keep the poor from getting Western-style rich. This document reflects both of those desires.
It caps our economic activity, barring unforeseen developments in energy technology so staggering as to be truly “breakthrough,” keeping the U.S. handcuffed economically while picking our pockets and keeping the poor world poor as part of the deal.