Late next month, delegates from 150 nations will meet in Paris to discuss how to save the world from global warming while lining the pockets of many of the attendees and their friends with various schemes to tax, trade, or otherwise eliminate that poison gas carbon dioxide.
But trouble is brewing in advance of the Paris conference as African nations are complaining that the draft treaty does not address their concerns.
Their major beef? They want a greater transfer of wealth from rich countries to poor countries. Apparently, $100 billion a year only goes so far.
The U.N. talks have made significant strides since a 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen failed to live up to expectations. For the first time all countries now agree they need to act against climate change, which scientists say is already transforming the planet through melting glaciers, rising sea levels, intensifying heat waves and warmer, more acidic oceans.
Though major sticking points remain, including how to spell out the different responsibilities of nations in various stages of development, rich and poor countries have moved closer in recent years.
“We have gone very far from the Copenhagen atmosphere,” said Pa Ousman Jarju, Gambia’s environment minister.
It would be a major setback if some countries reject the draft in Bonn, leaving negotiators with little time to come up with a new one before Paris.
Several delegates said they didn’t expect that to happen, though the African move on Sunday underscored how easily the process, which is based on consensus, can be slowed down.
One of the most contentious issues is money. Rich countries have promised to provide $100 billion annually by 2020 to help poor countries reduce their emissions and deal with unavoidable impacts of climate change. But they are reluctant to make any commitments beyond that and say the most advanced developing nations should also chip in.
The World Resources Institute, a Washington-based environmental think tank, said negotiators must be prepared to get “their hands dirty” in Bonn and deal with the sticky issues before the Paris summit begins on Nov. 30.
“What happens in Bonn can pave the way for a universal agreement in Paris that can be the turning point on climate action that the world needs,” the group said.
Does anyone really believe that poor countries will use that money to “reduce their emissions and deal with unavoidable impacts of climate change…”? What kind of emissions are there in Liberia? Or Lesotho? Their cattle populations contribute a lot of methane via flatulence, but beyond that, how much industrial activity is there? There are probably more cars in Omaha than there are in the entire nation of Lesotho.
But this is not about emissions control. It is about personal bank accounts in the Caymans and kleptocrats and their cronies absconding with western cash. The upcoming “climate treaty” is nothing of the sort. It is a gigantic redistribution scheme that will transfer hundreds of billions of dollars to countries who have shown in the past to be massively corrupt.
You would hope that the African countries would get so greedy that they blow up the conference. But, as is usually the case in these international venues, differences will be papered over and the deed will be done.