This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Climate change activists struggle to replace U.S. climate change money
- China backs out of its climate change commitments with ‘bifurcation’
Climate change activists struggle to replace U.S. climate change money
Brown coal open-pit mining Garzweiler in front of a power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany, on 3-Apr-2014. (AP)
After two weeks, an international climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, attended by delegates from over 200 countries, has ended in failure, without no agreement on the major issues of finance and transparency.
Climate change finance has been in trouble from the beginning. The 2015 climate change conference that produced the famous “Paris Climate Change Accord” dictated that the “rich countries” of the world would provide $100 billion per year to the “developing countries,” starting in 2020. Even before the election of Donald Trump, it was highly unlikely that that requirement would be met.
However, since Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, other “rich countries” now have to find a way to fill the gap that was created.
As I have described many times in the past, the climate change has never actually accomplished anything – that is, you have leaders of one country after another taking a holier-than-thou attitude toward the United States about the Paris accord, but their carbon emissions go down little if at all. In the case of Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has had the most holier-than-thou attitude of all, carbon emissions have not declined for nearly a decade, and have been increasing for the last three years.
I first wrote about this subject in 2007 in “UN Climate Change conference appears to be ending in farce.” That conference was held at a Bali Beach Resort where 159 countries sent delegates to sip mai tais on the beach and attend an occasional meeting. The rich countries would have to contribute $100 billion to a fund for developing countries. The United Nations would control this money and administer the fund.
At that time, digging a little deeper, it turned out that Louis Redshaw, Head of Environment Markets, Barclays Capital, was leading an effort to issue synthetic securities to trade in carbon credits. It was predicted that the carbon-trading market would top $1 trillion within a decade. Readers might recall that 2007 was the year that the subprime mortgage financial crisis was starting.
China backs out of its climate change commitments with ‘bifurcation’
The climate change conference in Bonn that ended on Thursday was supposed to resolve many issues, including two major ones: finance and transparency.
When Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, there were international cries that without the leadership of the United States, other countries must assume leadership. The European Union took on the role of becoming the leader of the “rich” or developed countries, while China would be the leader of the developing countries.
China has the 2nd largest economy in the world, and Chinese people brag that centrally-planned economy is stronger than any other economy in the world. China is implementing its “Belt and Road Initiative” in countries throughout Asia by lending them money to build infrastructure and sending Chinese workers to provide the labor. China is spending its enormous wealth by setting debt traps in all these countries with huge debts that they won’t be able to repay.
China is also growing into the worst climate change violator in the world, building a new coal plant every week.
And yet, when it comes to climate change, they claim to be a “developing country” so they will not have to provide funding under the Paris accord.
So China is failing in climate change finance. What we are seeing at the climate change conference in Bonn this last week is that they’re also failing in climate change transparency.
China is demanding that it not be held to any climate change standards whatsoever. In return for all the money they are getting from the rich countries starting in 2020, the developing countries are supposed to start reducing emissions in 2020.
The issues are transparency and bookkeeping. Each country is required to open its accounting books to prove that it is meeting its emission reduction commitments.
But China is now demanding “bifurcation.” This is a technical term meaning that the transparency and bookkeeping rules apply only to the rich countries, not to the developing countries.
This means that the “rich” developed countries have to pay all the money and also meet the transparency and bookkeeping rules to prove that they’re meeting their emission commitments.
But the developing countries just have to sit back and collect money, and claim that they are reducing emissions without having to provide any evidence.
China can go on building a new coal power plant every week, and just claim that it is magic coal that reduces emissions rather than increasing them. BBC and Climate Change News and Bloomberg and Climate Change News