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Rising levels of ‘frustration’ at UN climate stalemate

May 2, 2018

From the BBC:


Rising levels of ‘frustration’ at UN climate stalemate

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

drought Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Poorer nations are concerned that action on climate change is not fast enough to limit the impacts

Old divisions between rich and poor over money and ambition are again threatening to limit progress in UN climate negotiations.

Discussions between negotiators from nearly 200 countries have resumed in Germany, aiming to flesh out the rules on the Paris climate pact.

But developing countries say they are “frustrated” with the lack of leadership from the developed world.

Commitments to cut carbon are still “woefully inadequate” they said.

2018 marks a critical stage in the global climate negotiations process. By the end of this year, governments will meet in Poland to finalise the so-called “rulebook” of the Paris deal, agreed in the French capital in December 2015.

This is seen as a key test.

The rules will define the ways in which every country reports on their emissions and on their carbon-cutting actions and, importantly, how they will increase these actions in the years ahead.

But while rich and poor countries united in Paris to push through the deal, significant ruptures have re-appeared in wrangles over key technical details.

The developed nations want almost all countries to share the same set of rules on how carbon emissions are measured, reported and verified. This issue, called “transparency” in the negotiations, has run into difficulties with many emerging economies arguing for more “flexibility”.

According to some observers, the richer countries believe that some in the talks are trying to turn the clock back to the time when only wealthier countries had any commitments to cut carbon, while developing countries including India and China had no obligations.

floods Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scientists predict that sea level rise caused by climate change will cause more floods such as these in Bangkok

“The EU, US, and other developed countries are worried about the slow pace of negotiations on transparency and other elements of the Paris rulebook,” said Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“And what they see as the efforts of some developing countries to reintroduce bifurcation into the climate regime – an argument they thought had been settled in Paris.”

The developing nations are, in turn, incensed that enthusiasm for the $100bn per year in climate finance support from the rich, due to start in 2020, has started to wane.

“It has been frustrating to hear some developed countries celebrate their climate leadership even as they fall well short of the modest commitments they have made over the years,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, environment minister for the Maldives and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States, one of the key groups of poorer nations in the talks.

“If we spent as much time working on this problem as we do congratulating ourselves for caring so deeply about it, we would be closer to an outcome worthy of a celebration.

“As it stands, we haven’t mobilised nearly enough resources to tackle this problem and until developed countries match their rhetoric with action our survival will continue to hang in the balance.”


Poor Matt McGrath is still under the delusion that the Paris Agreement was anything other than virtue signalling. Perhaps I can help to make things a bit clearer for him:

1) Most developing countries are not interested in developed ones cutting emissions. If they were, they would be calling for the likes of China and India to do the same.

2) The UCS is worried about developing countries trying to reintroduce bifurcation.

Yet this was specifically written into the Paris Agreement, and countries like China and India would not have signed it otherwise.

3) As far as the developing countries were concerned, Paris was really just about money. But the chances of $100bn a year materialising any time soon is remote.

Even the first tranche of $100bn by 2020 is a long way off. In the UK for instance, most climate aid, small though it is, is not even new money, but simply recycled from within the existing aid budget.

The reality is that western governments never had the slightest intention of handing over such huge sums, which is why the Paris Agreement was so vague on the whole idea, with nothing binding.

4) The only really concrete thing to come out of Paris was the issue of regular stocktaking, ie monitoring of emissions. Yet China was adamant that it would not accept independent verification. Nobody should be surprised now about “a lack of transparency”.

Nothing it seems has changed since.


The simple reality is that Paris moved things on very little from Copenhagen. The same fault lines still apply:


1) The developing world, led by China and India, but incongruously including the massively wealthy Arab states, still refuse point blank to even consider reducing emissions.

2) Western governments, in the thrall of global warming madness, still cannot understand why the rest of the world is not prepared to take them seriously.

3) The same Western governments, who thought that a bit of financial aid might do the trick, are now realising that they are being blackmailed, and simply do not have the money to pay.


Of course, if Matt McGrath had bothered to actually read the Paris Agreement, instead of believing the BBC groupthink, he would not have needed me to tell him.



  1. markl permalink
    May 2, 2018 9:57 pm

    So the ‘wealth redistribution’ isn’t going as planned? Too many people asking embarrassing questions or not following the script? Oh my, the intimidation, fear mongering, and propaganda aren’t doing the job? After all is said and done the people really aren’t that stupid and can smell a scam even when they’re told saving the world lies in the balance. Did they think people couldn’t see that sending the industrialization to other countries wouldn’t reduce fossil fuel usage? Really? That a can produced in China has the same effect on the planet’s atmosphere as one produced in the UK? I know they’ll keep trying but the UN bit off more than they can chew with the Climate Change narrative.

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 2, 2018 11:28 pm

      But what is most puzzling is that so few are recognizing that nothing meaningful about the problem…CO2 and its increases, can really be done. Distribute all the wealth that there is, but no collection of countries can lower carbon emissions to zero and then, using the remaining alternative energy, lower atmospheric CO2 back to 350 ppm…the ultimate global goal. That’s one hundred BILLION tons of oxidized carbon weighing 2/3rds more than when it was extracted… and used to improve our lives. Where is the reality leadership?

  2. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 2, 2018 10:26 pm

    What’s the problem? Surely they want to meet somewhere more salubrious than Katowice next time, so It’s a case of choosing the location. One of those disappearing atolls like in the Maldives, perhaps?

  3. David Richardson permalink
    May 2, 2018 11:09 pm

    I still don’t completely know if BBC journos (stop laughing) like McGrath are fully on the koolaid, totally incompetent, or know the truth but needing to pay the mortgage takes precedence over integrity.

    • May 3, 2018 5:34 am

      I suspect they “know the truth but needing to pay the mortgage takes precedence over integrity”. I’ve said this before about all those university researchers and the “scientists” at the Met Office. There is no integrity with these alarmist climate “scientists”, the climate bureaucrats and the MSM such as the BBC, Grauniad, Channel 4 etc.

      • May 3, 2018 11:29 am

        Cynicism 101 explains all: “concern” is the lifeblood of the environmentalist industry, lack of concern is the death knell, hence when there is concern or frustration you can be sure that the truth is the exact opposite.

      • Tom O permalink
        May 4, 2018 4:47 pm

        When you have a degree that has no meaningful future, you have to manufacture a need for that degree. That is what is wrong with a lot of things these days. People getting degrees in meaningless programs because they can, then trying to find a way to make a living with it since there aren’t even decent labor jobs that will pay off the debt anymore.

  4. Athelstan permalink
    May 2, 2018 11:42 pm

    The UN is nothing, without the USA and the EU funding ~ 84%, but run, should I say manipulated by a Afro-Asian bloc, corrupt dictators ex Africa and the ME directed by the KSA which is the nexus and capo dei capi of ‘the 56’ Sunni – Islamic nations.

    If, the KSA (was altruistic in intent – no don’t laugh) wants to release the ‘third world’ from poverty, it could with missing the odd trillion or two.

    The UN green grab – POTUS Trump says not, even Merkl is having second thoughts, the only fruit loop green bonkers nation – is run by theresa may’s lot and of course the other bunch of loonies the corbynistason the green lunacy are at one. What needs to happen for the roof to fall in on the UN green blob, is for British voters to waken from their government-media induced coma.

    I’m not holding my breath for the UK. Thus, it has to be left to Donald John Trump to administer the coup de grace on the UN greed agenda, for all our sakes (the west) but especially here in the UK, indeed, let us all hope that the Donald J. Trump coup de grace – it comes much sooner rather than later.

    • HotScot permalink
      May 3, 2018 5:57 am


      Not too long now.

      An enterprising young politician wanting to make a name for him/her self will blow the whistle on the Emperors new clothes. Followed closely by, by an enterprising young media type.

      It will suddenly dawn on them that the threat of AGW doesn’t come from CO2, but from their money, their children’s money, and their children’s, children’s money being spunked on wind turbines, the only consequence being that the economy suffers and electricity prices sky rocket.

      Seriously, the millennials are our salvation when it dawns on them they have been betrayed.

      At least you and I have our online activities to say “told you so”.

      • Derek Buxton permalink
        May 3, 2018 10:37 am

        Sorry but I cannot see any sign that the current MPs have the sense to do as you say. Their IQ is far too low and they love the expenses.

      • HotScot permalink
        May 3, 2018 12:28 pm


        I’m not suggesting any of the current crop of MP’s will do anything, because of course, you are right.

        What I’m saying is there are young candidates in the wings we don’t know because they are basically making the tea right now. But one with ambition and an eye for an opportunity will jump at the chance to make a name for themselves and use the gross waste of taxpayers money spent of AGW, with no return, to launch themselves into the political spectrum.

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 3, 2018 10:43 am

      HotScot, I very much HOPE………….. that you are right.

      Derek Buxton, I know that, you are correct.

  5. John F. Hultquist permalink
    May 3, 2018 3:34 am

    I’d be a bit upset if someone promised me a big pot of gold and then said it was at the end of a rainbow, or any other phrase that means “it ain’t gonna happen.”
    The experience should increase the number of skeptics and cynics in the world.

    • John Palmer permalink
      May 3, 2018 4:31 am

      Yup, you can bet that Mr Ibrahim and his chums were already planning how to spend all that (imagined) extra pocket-money.

  6. Henning Nielsen permalink
    May 3, 2018 7:11 am

    As far as I can see, the UN Green Fund is still at 10 bn dollar, no change over the last months. And 2020 is not far away. What will happen when the big money fails to materialize? Will developing nations just accept a small increase in aid, now renamed “climate help”, or will they resign from the Paris treaty?

  7. Robin Guenier permalink
    May 3, 2018 10:37 am

    It once seemed to me that the “developed” or “rich” countries would one day wake up to the reality that the UNFCC process was never going to bring about the reductions in GHGs they thought essential, but would boil down to demands that they should hand over impossibly vast amounts of cash in return for … nothing. Well, the US has woken up and two other developed countries – Russia and Japan – are just not interested. So the only “rich” countries left are Canada, Australia and the countries of Western Europe – responsible for only 13% of global emissions. And, as the current “negotiations” in Bonn demonstrate, it’s simply making them look increasingly foolish.

    For example, here’s an extract from China’s input to a curious process called the Talanoa Dialogue:

    … meeting the objective of limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 °C above pre-industry level requires developed countries as a group to reduce their GHG emissions by 25% to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, while developing countries as a group should achieve a substantial deviation below the currently predicted rate of growth in emissions.


    It’s hard to imagine a clearer statement that bifurcation hasn’t gone away and that the West (Europe) must do all the heavy lifting while developing countries do nothing.

    Then there’s this conclusion to an article by representatives from Dominica, the Seychelles, Bangladesh and Vanuatu:

    Without a financing mechanism that is of the right scale, enables speedy disbursement and by making polluters pay reduces the production of greenhouse gases, the Paris and Warsaw agreements will end up being empty vessels.


    Are European negotiators blind – can’t they see all this is all getting them nowhere?

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 3, 2018 10:46 am

      “Are European negotiators blind”

      Are Socialists-greens-EU politicians as bent as hairpins.

      Do bears use the woods for toilet facilities.

      Does the Earth orbit the Sun.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        May 3, 2018 11:18 am

        Yes but – from long experience – bears, who are not stupid, know the advantages of bosky toilet facilities. But EU negotiators who have lots of experience of climate negotiations have gained no advantage whatsoever. What should we conclude from that?

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        May 3, 2018 12:12 pm

        Robin Guenier —- that they’re dimmer than bears!

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        May 3, 2018 2:54 pm

        To be fair however the Bonn conference is tackling some really important issues. For example:

        Of the 39 side events with announced speakers at talks in Bonn, which started on Monday, just one third have an equal gender balance or majority of women on their panel. 65% of all listed speakers are male.*

        * These figures do not distinguish between people who may not identify as male or female, or either.


        Despite their relative underrepresentation at UN talks on climate change, women are disproportionately affected by its effect. That was the topic of discussions during a Wednesday afternoon workshop on gender. But here too balance was an issue. But this time it was a noticeable lack of men in attendance, with just eight men in an audience of roughly 100, according to youth activist Alex Lutz.


      • Curious George permalink
        May 3, 2018 6:04 pm

        Robert, thank you, a great find. Regarding experienced negotiators, maybe President Trump should appoint John Kerry of the Iran Deal fame.

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 3, 2018 10:34 pm

      I hear you Robin, I certainly was not quibbling with your thrust, and European negotiators – blind or doing the bidding of unseen manipulators – only a bloke who actually personally knows these said ‘negotiators’ would actually know.

  8. Roy Hartwell permalink
    May 3, 2018 11:12 am

    ‘The French company’s (EDF !) renewables unit said it may need to go higher for the project to be economically viable and win millions of pounds in government subsidies.’
    Proposed new wind farm on the Isle of Lewis. Can everyone spot the irony in this statement

  9. May 3, 2018 11:24 am

    It is a Tower of Babel; built on a foundation of wobbly bags of CO2. Seems like the sceptics are sharpening their pins. Hopefully!

  10. May 3, 2018 11:33 am

    It is gratifying to see that the UN “frustration is rising” as man-caused temperatures and sea levels are not.

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 3, 2018 10:31 pm

      I Like that very much, pithy and excellent comment Ms Joan Gibson.

  11. Gerry, England permalink
    May 3, 2018 12:50 pm

    I see Alden Meyer didn’t get the memo that the US is not worried about the slow progress having given notice of leaving the Paris agreement. And surveys have shown that it is only the governments of countries that are interested while their people couldn’t give a rat’s ass.

  12. May 3, 2018 1:09 pm

    The developing nations are, in turn, incensed that enthusiasm for the $100bn per year in climate finance support from the rich, due to start in 2020, has started to wane.

    Luxury car sales to leaders of ‘developing’ countries could take a hit.

  13. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 3, 2018 1:13 pm

    The Maldives seriously need your money to build their extended airport. Wrt the BBC journos, I recall Shukman’s multi-layered lies when Trump pulled out of the PA – forgot to mention that USA is the only large nation to reduce emissions, that Pacific islands are growing not drowning, that Miami’s problems are civil engineering and tectonic, not sea level, that calculations show that whatever happens, 2100 temperature will rise only a couple of thousandths of a degree ( see Ch 15 of Climate Change the Facts 2017)

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 3, 2018 10:36 pm

      2100 av’ T’s – who knows, I’d say they’ll be about average – or even less than that.


  14. Reasonable Skeptic permalink
    May 3, 2018 4:29 pm

    How obvious does this have to be. You have a bunch of do gooders that don’t have to pay a penny offering the poor money. When the people that are to pay the bills are asked to pay the bills they don’t seem to really want to do so.

    The do gooders have it pretty good. They get paid to be virtuous, get to travel to exotic locations and feel important and they get to point fingers when the truckloads of cash don’t show up.

    Its a great job if you can keep your blinders on.

  15. Frank permalink
    May 3, 2018 4:50 pm

    Every locale these poorer cultures see has thriving societies (western nations?) required large amounts of carbon to build over many years. They will never be constructed or will take far drastically more time to construct, if you take the carbon component out. Sad, but true. I don’t know of many societies built strictly out of recycled papier (still carbon) mâché. Mostly wood, steel, plastic and concrete-be it seashells or limestone of origin. Or composites thereof. They’ve already forgotten their secret those countries, like India, once meditated upon before. “The cause of all suffering is desire.”

  16. Robin Guenier permalink
    May 3, 2018 7:13 pm

    This Bonn conference underlines the reality that the EU’s position in what’s obviously a charade is utterly pathetic. Apart from Canada and Australia, it’s clear that no country of substance has any intention of reducing its emissions. Yet the EU is calling for an increase in national reduction targets. Their only allies in this are countries “most vulnerable to climate change impacts” – i.e. small island states etc. hoping for huge handouts. This short paragraph sums it up perfectly:

    Will the Talanoa Dialogue, launched on Wednesday, result in increased climate pledges? Absolutely, say the EU and vulnerable nations. Not a chance, say a coalition of emerging economies.


  17. Alan Stewart permalink
    May 3, 2018 7:24 pm

    Christopher Booker; ‘Groupthink.’ ~pg. 91 summary.Ties to McGraph article perfectly.

  18. Robin Guenier permalink
    May 8, 2018 9:33 am

    Oh dear – the Bonn talks are not going to achieve anything of substance:

    Before delegates arrived in Bonn for interim climate talks, expectations were raised they could produce a ‘negotiating text’ for the rulebook of the Paris Agreement.

    With three days of talks to go, such an outcome is now impossible, UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said on Monday afternoon.

    So those levels of frustration are likely to rise even higher. The photo of Ms. Espinosa really says it all.

    • dave permalink
      May 8, 2018 11:25 am

      One must have a heart of stone to read “The Death of Global Warming Activism” without laughing.

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