The Paris climate talks could fail because developed nations are trying to dodge their financial responsibilities to developing countries, China and India have claimed. Industrialised countries are currently obliged to provide billions of pounds of funding to developing countries to help them go green and adapt to the impacts of global warming. But a draft of the Paris agreement includes new wording, backed by the US and EU, suggesting funding should be provided not only by countries formally classed as “developed” but also by others “in a position to do so”. In a strongly-worded joint statement on Wednesday, China and the “Group of 77″ (G77) developing nations, which includes India, said they were “deeply concerned with the attempts to introduce economic conditions in the finance section currently under negotiation”. —Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2016
From optimism the first day, the Paris climate talks descended into scepticism on Wednesday with negotiators shoehorning new agenda for a likely international agreement to cope with global warming. Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister and president of the conference, expressed concern over the “slow pace” of negotiations in the different auxiliary groups with each one discussing a contentious issue for the Paris deal. Indian representatives said differences between various teams have widened since Monday when 154 heads of state struck a conciliatory note.—Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, 3 December 2015
The Paris climate conference has attracted about 40,000 delegates and camp followers, from politicians and civil servants to journalists and campaigners. I don’t have the numbers, but I would be willing to bet that very few of them paid their own air fares or hotel bills. A goodly proportion will have sent the bill to taxpayers in various countries, either directly or via the grants that governments give to green pressure groups. Perhaps the politicians should stop listening to the vested interest of the Green Blob and begin asking what long-suffering taxpayers and real voters think about hitting poor people today in order to protect the incomes of rich people in 2100? —Matt Ridley, The Spectator, 5 December 2015
For Europe and the UK, whose heavy industries are struggling to remain competitive under the weight of unilateral climate taxes and CO2 obligations, a voluntary Paris deal would deliver a real chance to change course. The EU’s own Paris offer, pledging to cut CO2 by 40 per cent below the 1990 level by 2030, is conditional on the UN agreement being legally binding for all major emitters. But if Europe’s key demand for a level playing field is not met, poor EU member states from Eastern and Central Europe will almost certainly refuse to make the EU’s own pledges legally binding. After Paris, the battle for a return to realistic climate policy will begin in earnest. —Benny Peiser, The Spectator, 5 December 2015
For President Obama to make good on his promise to stop the oceans from rising, he needs China’s Communist Party to agree to curb its CO2 emissions at the UN’s Climate Conference in Paris. This it will never do. China’s Communist Party knows that to stay in power – its highest priority – it must maintain the economic growth rates that have raised the incomes of much of its population and kept opposition at bay. Curbing fossil fuel use, China’s leaders understand, would dampen its already faltering growth and provide an existential threat to their rule. While they may talk a good game at the UN’s Paris talks, they will make no binding commitments to reduce C02. —Patricia Adams, Financial Post, 3 December 2015
Maurice Strong has died at the age of 86. Multi-faceted does not begin to describe his life. More than any other individual, he was responsible for promoting the climate agenda with which negotiators are struggling this week at the UN meeting in Paris. Before the last great failed attempt to come up with a global climate agreement, at Copenhagen in 2009, which took place at a time of economic turmoil, Strong said: “The climate change issue and the economic issue come from the same roots. And that is the gross inequity and the inadequacy of our economic model. We now know that we have to change that model. We cannot do all of this in one stroke. But we have to design a process that would produce agreement at a much more radical level.” “We must,” he had suggested earlier, “devise a new approach to co-operative management of the entire system of issues… We are all gods now.” —Peter Foster, National Post, 29 November 2015
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