The Paris Climate Agreement, far from securing a reduction in global CO2 emissions, is fundamentally a blank cheque that allows China and India to increase their emissions as they see fit in pursuit of economic growth. Indeed, the Paris Agreement contains a categorical statement that countries such as China and India will not be obliged to undertake any reductions. —Global Warming Policy Foundation
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday outlined new plans for expanding their joint efforts on climate change, showcasing one of the few areas of agreement in an otherwise tense relationship between the two leaders. The formal adoption of the climate-change agreement by the U.S. and China is designed to encourage other nations to formally adopt the Paris pact, helping it enter into force as early as this year. The durability of the U.S. commitments largely hinge on November’s presidential election. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump have taken opposite positions on climate change. –Carol E. Lee and William Mauldin, The Wall Street Journal, 3 September 2016
The EU is shaping up to be a potential stumbling block as countries around the world scramble to make the Paris climate change agreement “Trump-proof” ahead of the US presidential election in November. The European Commission suggested in June that it could in effect ratify on member countries’ behalf, through a European Council decision, rather than waiting for all 28 states to act separately. But a number of countries are understood to be wary of the precedent this could set, preferring to join individually first. Some analysts say this will make it hard for the Paris agreement to take effect this year, even after the expected G20 announcement this weekend by Barack Obama, US president, and Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart. –Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 2 September 2016
Because it is still, inexplicably, classified as a developing country, Paris imposes no obligation, whether legal or moral, on China to reduce its GHG emissions. Even for developed countries, there is nothing legally binding in the Agreement to enforce emission reductions. Effectively, the only parts of the Paris Agreement which are binding concern the requirement to submit new nationally determined contribution every five years, provision of “support” (unquantified) to developing countries, and stocktaking of GHGs every five years. In short, nothing agreed at Paris, whether binding or not, will do anything to reduce global emissions prior to 2030. All it has succeeded in doing is kicking the can down the road for the next 15 years. –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 3 September 2016
Motorists are shunning electric cars despite a generous subsidy, leaving MPs with “no confidence” that Britain will meet its climate change targets by the middle of the century. Britain has a legally binding obligation to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990 levels. To meet these targets, about 60 per cent of the cars and lorries on the roads must be electric by 2030. But public take-up of the vehicles remains very low — at less than 1 per cent of new car sales — largely because of the lack of charging infrastructure and “range anxiety”, where drivers are worried they will run out of power before reaching a charging station. –Peter Campbell, Financial Times, 1 September 2016
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