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Paris Agreement A Disaster For The Greenies

December 12, 2015

By Paul Homewood 




So that was it! They need not have bothered going.

As I predicted a few weeks ago, the Paris summit has produced very little of substance, and has been both hailed as "the end of the fossil fuel era" and condemned as a disaster.

The Telegraph give what seems to be a decent summary:



1. A long-term goal to limit global warming to 2C, or 1.5C if possible


The agreement aims to limit the increase in global average temperatures to “well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels” – the level beyond which scientists say we will see the worst extremes of global warming.

It also aims to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”.

In order to actually limit warming to that level, the aim is to “achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century” – in other words, net carbon emissions to be zero.

To get there, countries should aim to “reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science”.


French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (2ndR), President-designate of COP21, puts his hand over his heart after his speech as he stands with French President Francois Hollande (2ndL), French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal (L Rear) and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, 12 December 2015


2. National pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the 2020s


Ahead of (and even during) the Paris summit, countries have made so-called "Intended Nationally Determined Contributions" (INDCs) – pledges setting out how they plan to limit their greenhouse gas emissions during the 2020s.

Some 158 submissions covering 185 countries (the European Union submits one pledge covering all its member states) and covering more than 90 per cent of global emissions were made. These were not up for negotiation during the talks.

These pledges will become Nationally Determined Contributions at the time each country ratifies the agreement and the proposed deal commits countries to “pursue domestic mitigation measures with the aim of achieving the objectives”.


3. A plan to make countries pledge deeper emissions cuts in future, improving their plans every five years


The emissions cuts pledges made so far still leave the world on track for at least 2.7C warming this century. A key part of the deal is therefore the mechanism designed to make countries pledge to deeper emissions cuts in future.

The non-binding decision text asks countries to come back before 2020 and to revisit the pledges they have made, and to then make new pledges every five years thereafter.

The binding deal – covering the period after 2020 – also commits countries to “communicate a nationally determined contribution every five years”.

Each country’s pledge must “represent a progression” on their previous one “and reflect its highest possible ambition”.


4. Rich nations to provide funding to poorer ones – ‘mobilising’ $100bn a year until 2025, and more thereafter


The agreement requires that “developed” nations – as defined by the UN Framework in 1992 – will continue to help developing countries with the costs of going green, and the costs of coping with the effects of climate change.

The thorny question of how much money rich nations must give has now been moved into the non-legally binding ‘decision text’. Currently, developed countries are obliged to ‘mobilise’ $100bn a year of public and private finance to help developing countries by 2020 – a target set in Copenhagen in 2009.

The draft Paris decision says they "intend to continue their existing collective mobilization goal through 2025", in order words continue the $100bn and then by 2025 set a new goal "from a floor of $100bn".

Finance has been one of the biggest rows of the talks, with developing nations demanding more cash (and arguing that developed nations haven’t even met their $100bn pledge). Although many poorer countries wanted increased finance to be a legally-binding requirement, the US made it clear it would never ratify such a deal.

Developed nations meanwhile have been arguing for an end to the crude 1992 definition – which sees six of the 10 wealthiest counties in the world classed as “developing” and under no obligation to contribute. They were pushing for a wording suggesting other countries “in a position to do so” should also contribute (especially as some, such as China already are in practice). But developing nations resisted this wording and the final agreement there is a much weaker commitment that non-developed nations are “encouraged to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily”.


5. A plan to monitor progress and hold countries to account


There is to be a global “stock-take” in 2023, and every five years thereafter, to assess progress toward the aims of the agreement and to help encourage countries to make deeper pledges (see point 2).

The text sets out plans for a new transparency framework to see whether countries are actually carrying out their pledges, in order to hold them account and inform the stocktake. Countries will have to disclose an inventory of their emissions and information to track their progress in hitting their national target, while developed countries should also give information on the finance they are providing or mobilizing.

This will be subject to a “technical expert review” to check their progress and highlight areas where improvement is needed.


My Comments

1) There is no binding agreement to cut, or even limit, emissions. Where this leaves the EU is anyone’s guess, as it has already indicated it may drop its own legally binding targets if the rest of the world did not follow. Certainly there will be pressure from the likes of Poland to relax those targets.

Meanwhile, Obama is able to avoid the need to get a binding treaty ratified by Congress.

2) The existing INDC’s, as we know, will almost certainly result in a sizeable increase in emissions by 2030. All Paris has achieved is to kick the can down the road, and hope that political leaders in ten years time can do what they have failed to do.

3) The goal to limit warming to well below 2C is pure political grandstanding. Nothing in the agreement will make the slightest difference to global temperatures, even if you accept what the scientists say.

4) Money! As predicted, very little progress has been made to put together the first tranche of $100bn by 2020, let alone the annual $100bn thereafter. The wording, as the Telegraph reports it, is ambiguous, but seems to suggest that the first tranche will not be increased until after 2025.

Most significantly, however, the issue of how much money is paid out has been left as part of the non-legally binding part of the agreement.

Also as predicted, China, India and the Arab states will not be obliged to contribute. It seems there has been a clear trade off here – they won’t be forced to pay if the developed world is not let off without a binding agreement.

5) Stocktaking. As I also anticipated, there is an agreement to stocktake GHG every five years, but this will not be done independently. Instead, each country will be responsible for its own count.




Two items from the Telegraph rather sum up everything rather neatly:




While Friends of the Earth don’t seem quite so happy!


The draft Paris agreement puts us on track for a planet three degrees hotter than today. This would be a disaster.

The reviews in this agreement are too weak and too late. The finance figures have no bearing on the scale of need. It’s empty.

The iceberg has struck, the ship is going down and the band is still playing to warm applause.

Friends of the Earth International’s spokesperson at the Summit in Paris, Asad Rehman

  1. December 12, 2015 6:12 pm

    Climate charade?
    Yes, and for developed nations the tickets are not free while developing nations get paid to attend the show.
    Atmospheric concentrations of man-caused CO2 have very little influence in the total CO2 concentration, if at all. And atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have very little influence in the global temperature, if at all. This is the situation I see, unless scientifically proven to be otherwise. Call me skeptic, I am.

  2. Bloke down the pub permalink
    December 12, 2015 6:15 pm

    So the UK did not make an individual commitment, instead it comes under the one by the EU. If in the next year or two we finally get a referendum and are able to leave that sclerotic, bureaucratic, undemocratic organisation, does that me we will no longer have to stand by that commitment? If so, another reason to vote leave, not that any more are needed.

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      December 12, 2015 6:18 pm

      Should be ‘does that mean’, but I guess you knew that.

    • December 12, 2015 6:32 pm

      An extremely good point, and one to be acted upon if there is any hint of Cameron giving away any money to the climate chancers.

  3. John Peter permalink
    December 12, 2015 6:28 pm

    Makes me feel as “good” as after Copenhagen 2009. Mind you, if a Republican President can get rid of Karl and his ilk then there is a good chance that Mother Nature will take care of the 1.5 or 2%. Take your pick. The 2020 conference could be a party to beat all parties celebrating the success of Paris 2015.

    • December 12, 2015 6:35 pm

      It actually gives me a better feeling. I know it shouldn’t, but there’s always an extra feeling of seeing posturing French socialists like Hollande fail.

    • rah permalink
      December 12, 2015 10:57 pm

      Nope not even close to the joy I felt about Copenhagen because if I remember correctly they got hit by a blizzard when in Copenhagen. I really would have liked to have seen Paris completely shut down by a record blizzard but it didn’t happen. Local global warming due to a massive increase in the amount of hot air emanating from that local probably had something to do with it.

  4. IdentitairVerzet Oostelijk Zuid Limburg permalink
    December 12, 2015 6:34 pm

    Reblogged this on IdentitairVerzet OZL.

  5. December 12, 2015 6:38 pm

    Given the performance of the AR5 models so far, the temperature probably wouldn’t have risen much more than 1.5 degrees anyway.
    They probably know that but they will claim it’s all due to COP21.

  6. December 12, 2015 6:41 pm

    Phew, they’ve not pledged to decarbonise, I think the Telegraph has got that wrong, they are aiming for stability, not a return to preindustrial temperatures, no need for emissions to drop. There is much confusion about this issue of what CO2 levels will do, one of the lesser known holes in the IPCC narrative.

    If climate sensitivity turns out to be as low as it may well be emissions could probably double without breaching 1.5C, the anti-fossils will love having this explained to them.

  7. December 12, 2015 6:56 pm

    To put things into perspective, I wonder how many of the 30k who attended could identify a 1-degree C environmental temperature change? 1%? 5%?

  8. J Martin permalink
    December 12, 2015 7:02 pm

    The only way to reduce emissions worldwide is to develop fast breeders (the Russians have one) and Thorium reactors. That would allow coal to be removed from electricity generation, it would also allow gas consumption to be phased out of domestic central heating and in addition could make inroads into diesel and petrol use via hydrogen and battery vehicles. Instead the politicians persue intermittent wind power that isn’t capable of much greater use than it has achieved. Solar this far north will always be trivial and is useless at night and in the winter. Instead of investing in modern nuclear the politicians have persued ineffective so called renewables that has meant that the world ius going to build an additional 2500 coal power stations. What a terrible waste of a valuable chemical resource.

    • December 12, 2015 7:29 pm

      One of our biggest problems is that we have too many “fast breeders” already, but such thoughts are not politically correct, and certainly not to be expressed in polite circles.

  9. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 12, 2015 7:06 pm

    The non-binding decision text asks countries to come back before 2020 …

    before: my bold

    Better to stay home and cut the crap, er — I mean carbon.

    But no, the next one is in Washington, D.C. next May.
    See the count-down clock here: Climate Action 2016

    • jazznick permalink
      December 12, 2015 8:31 pm


      Lots of naive and pointless young Marxists (but they don’t realise that yet) re-booking their polar bear costumes for that one ! 😉

      Save the woooooorlllldddd – kumbya etc, etc, knit some tofu blah de blah – what do you mean there’s nowhere to charge my phone as I haven’t paid for power supply, hasn’t this yurt got any air con or hot water ?

      $20 extra a night carbon tax and no refund if the wind isn’t blowing ? Er-um – Muuuuum !!!

  10. Mr T-M permalink
    December 12, 2015 7:15 pm

    So when temperatures plummit due to decreased Solar activity… They can shout “yaaaay we did it” as we freeze to death at home having chopped all the trees down!

    • jazznick permalink
      December 12, 2015 9:17 pm

      Mr T-M

      Like you, I’m sure most of the ‘hangers-on at the conference haven’t really thought this through. They are soooo pleased with themselves having the power to make the UN do something UN wanted to do all along, with their naive assistance.

  11. December 12, 2015 7:18 pm

    Oh, dear – and it’s now snowing on Shap . . .

  12. Anoneumouse permalink
    December 12, 2015 7:23 pm

    they must have other irons in the fire !?

  13. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 12, 2015 7:32 pm

    I’m tempted to make a sizeable bet with any warmist who takes me up that the temperature of the ‘globe’ will be the same as it is now or less in 2020. Hope I’m spared.

  14. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 12, 2015 7:39 pm

    J martin’s comment includes the phrase “ineffective so called renewables.”
    Somewhere in there must be the burning of trees, such as harvest in USA and burn in North Yorkshire. [Google Earth shows bright yellow fields – rape plants ? – next to the Drax Power Station.]
    I, too, burn a little wood, cut, split, and carried to the house from <300 m. away.
    I'm going to propose selling the biomass I don't burn to the UN and having it carted to a high dry desert thereby creating a long term carbon sink. Funding will be needed to determine where that is and how best to get it done. 500,000 £ (USD okay; € if the UN insists) per year ought to compensate me for my expertise. If others get involved, the pile of logs in the desert could become immense. A future anthropologist would find this site and gaze with befuddlement.

    • jazznick permalink
      December 12, 2015 9:48 pm

      Agree John,

      Those anthropologists will also wonder why so many people died when they had the raw material for power right under their feet. Were those windmill things an offering to the Gods – who knows, it surely wasn’t to get significant energy from, ha, ha, the wind ?

      The sun gods certainly seem to have been influential in the lives of the peoples of the 21st century as there are mirrors reflecting ‘his’ magnificence everywhere. What can it all mean ?

      We just-DON’T-KNOW.


  15. December 12, 2015 9:25 pm

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  16. Brian H permalink
    December 13, 2015 2:03 am

    The real win here: no carbon taxes or trade schemes. I project rapid decline in renewables expenditures. Whew!

    • December 13, 2015 5:28 am

      The “no carbon taxes” is untrue. The agreement specifically identified taxes or other means as being a reasonable way for a Party to raise funds or deincentivise fossil fuel use.

      What the boys and girls did to the largest extent in terms of power, was to give moral licence to each other to tax or subsidize or penalize or reward in the name of global climate change, regardless of what the voters think.

      Anything now the governors want that is unpalatable will referenced to the “commitment” the government made in Paris. It won’t matter that there was no actual commitment, just linking the two will work.

      It isn’t a joke. It’s a tragedy. And just wait for the skeptics to be dismissed further: the non-agreement agreement will be presented as proof that global warming is real – would all those 190 countries have made such a serious agreement if there were any uncertainty? (sarc here, but not in the mouths of the warmists)

      • Derek Buxton permalink
        December 13, 2015 10:30 am

        It will result in tragedy without a doubt, but it is still a global conspiracy to rob us all via our illiterate governments. They love this scam, Marxist inspired as it is and run by the most corrupt organisation in the world, the UN. A disgusting group who are totally incapable of doing that for which it was set up and so go for the soft target, the People who have no say. As it is unaccountable we can do naught to stop this monster until we get a government that is honest, hardworking and knowledgeable, …….not a hope in hell then.

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