Lord Monckton points out to us that Wikileaks revealed “how much bullying and arm-twisting the administration of Barack Obama in the United States applied to various countries around the world so that they would (and did) sign up to the Copenhagen climate accord”.
So one might wonder: how is the Copenhagen accord important? That piece of scrap is a non-binding accord, for the ‘conference of parties’ at Copenhagen (the version which decisively “tipped into the gulch”), just a hasty fig-leaf to paper over the partie hontuese of colossal failure, to be taken ‘note of’, so that the foolishly oblivious can go home, their innocent green hearts not wrenched out.
Or is it really that unimportant?
The picture is different if we look a little harder. The stage was set, perhaps not willingly, and perhaps even wisely, for a ‘failure’ at Copenhagen three years ago. We are informed by Lord Lawson (another of our Lords) that the death knell was struck on the “so-called Kyoto approach to international agreement” by China at Heiligendamm. India was busy squelching Copenhagen about six months ahead of time as well.
But these countries signed this so-called accord, so what gives? What did they want to take home, under the cover of crushing failure? What did fail at Copenhagen? Does anybody know?
And then, when we see it is ‘business-as-usual’ for the policy masters at one more balmy conference venue, when we have experienced environmental journalists tell us that “world leaders” were “traumatized by their experiences in Copenhagen“, but yet that such failure, and indeed ‘Copenhagen’ – the very idea of ‘legally binding emissions controls’ – “does not matter” because “we’ve been looking at it through the wrong end of the telescope” — it is time to pause and think.
World leaders traumatized by attending a conference? A conference at which they attempted to cut down productivity of their own citizens failed, and this has caused them distress? They wanted Copenhagen that bad? And how come there is still conferencing going on?
The reality of course, is that ‘failure’ at Copenhagen was known and expected. What was smuggled in under the patina of failure was the willing bride REDD. This “give-me-your-taxpayers-money-so-I-dont-cut-my-tree” protection racket on standing rainforests is the only distillate of the otherwise benumbingly insipid accord text. There is really nothing else in there, but empty promises about billions of dollars – you can look. That is the importance of the Copenhagen Accord. If you are a climate skeptic feeling smug about Copenhagen, kick yourself.
So we come back again to Monckton at Mexico and Wikileaks, via which we learned “the bullying and the arm-twisting” bu the United States to swallow the accord. Your trees can photosynthesize and fix our carbon and we’ll pay you for it – not with our money of course, but the fossil-fuel burning pockets of our citizens. Just fall in line for your cash money.
This is why there is no global treaty, agreement, or Kyoto at Cancun. What is left is “inspissate, obfuscatory, obnubilating, obscurantist draft agreements” – the smoke and the fog that hides REDD, and its bastard child, subnational REDD.
Why does the US want REDD to work? The forces at work are easy enough to discern, and the larger failure of the idea of Copenhagen, has meant that the numbers of serious players in the game has shrunken. Who are these peculiar entities still interested in REDD – the business of ‘saving’ the ‘planet’s climate’ by not cutting trees – even as no country has accepted to not emit CO2 thereby apparently dooming the same planet anyway?
That is the next question.