U.S. Being Snookered into Another Kyoto?

Last week, while most media were focused on Syria and the G-20 summit in Russia, another significant step was taken towards the UN’s long-standing goal of enveloping the world in a Kyoto Protocol-like climate change agreement.

From September 3-5, the 44th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) -- the region's major political and economic policy institution -- was held in Majuro, in the Marshall Islands. The PIF has 16 member states: 14 Pacific Islands countries, plus Australia and New Zealand. Before the meeting, European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard declared that the Pacific region could count on Europe’s money if the Pacific helped the European Union’s efforts to bring about “an ambitious future climate regime to be finalized in 2015.”

Even in Europe, which has largely succumbed to environmental extremism, it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince people that humanity controls the climate of planet Earth. How are governments supposed to persuade the public to allow continued vast spending to stop global warming when temperatures have been stable for at least 15 years? How do they sell the notion that sea level is rising dangerously when anyone with an internet connection can see that it has been stable or only slightly rising over the past decades?

Clearly, Europe needs support in their promotion of another Kyoto, and they are willing to pay for it. The EU and its member states are already the second largest donor in the Pacific region, after Australia. Since the EU and the PIF adopted a Joint Declaration on Climate Change in 2008, hundreds of millions of euros have been transferred to Pacific Islands developing states.

These states benefit enormously from the EU's Global Climate Change Alliance initiative; not surprisingly, the PIF gave Hedegaard exactly what she wanted. They focused this year’s forum on climate change, titling the event “Marshalling the Pacific Response to the Climate Challenge.” As host nation, the Marshall Islands aimed to create the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership, “intended to give a new momentum to the region’s fight against climate change,” the European Commission asserted in a pre-forum press release. “The Pacific leaders have identified climate change as the single greatest threat to the region. Low-lying Pacific islands are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise caused by climate change.”

The PIF opened with high-level speeches following the script desired by the EC. The out-going chair, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna, asserted:

There is no doubt -- particularly among our low-lying countries -- of the severity of the threat of the impacts of Climate Change and the extreme vulnerability of the Small Islands Developing States of our Region.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade proclaimed (here and here):

Climate change is a real and most serious threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific. … Climate change will remain … unquestionably a priority of the highest concern for SIS [Small Island States] countries.

While the body of the final Forum Communiqué said little about climate change and sea level, the leaders agreed to an Annex to the main document that included the text of the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership. They introduced it as follows:

The Declaration is intended to highlight the Leaders’ strong political commitment to be the region of Climate Leaders, and is an effort to spark a new wave of climate leadership that accelerates the reduction and phasing down of greenhouse gas pollution worldwide.

Aside from their mistaken use of the phrase “greenhouse gas pollution” -- the main greenhouse gas is water vapor and the one of most concern to alarmists is carbon dioxide, neither of which is pollution -- the Majuro Declaration is written in a different style than the generally sensible Forum Communiqué. In particular, the declaration -- almost certainly constructed by Commissioner Hedegaard herself before the meeting began -- is replete with the climate propaganda we often hear from the EC and the UN.