Reality Check: UN Climate Talks Stall Despite G7 Posturing

un climate confCalls by the Group of Seven (G7) Monday to slash world carbon emissions did little to boost UN climate talks in Bonn, where frustration mounted over the snail-­like progress. Due to end on Friday, the 11­day Bonn talks are tasked with shaping a draft text for the November 30 ­December 11 UN conference in Paris, which must yield a global agreement. But after a week of wrangling, just about five percent had been shaved off a sprawling near ­90 ­page draft, mostly by removing glaring duplications, said delegates. —Agence France-Press, 9 June 2015

In a joint declaration from the G7 summit, leaders of the world’s richest countries called for a global phase-out of fossil fuels for the first time on Monday. That sounds great, but unfortunately, they’re talking about a lax timescale — “over the course of this century.” The leaders also committed to “doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term,” though they didn’t announce any increased ambitions in cutting carbon in their own economies. –Eric Holthaus, Slate, 8 June 2015

Already in 2009 (L’Aquila summit), G8 made a similar announcement. How did it influence the Copenhagen climate summit? To sum up: G7 repeating UNFCCC + IPCC language and promising to go carbon neutral by 2099. —Oliver Geden, 8 June 2015

Trade union GMB has signed a landmark agreement with the fracking industry in a bid to accelerate the exploitation of shale gas and oil resources in the UK and boost local supply chains as the sector develops. In a move that is likely to anger environmental groups, GMB signed a joint charter with UK Oil and Gas (UKOOG) which argues that gas is “essential” to British industry and households and will continue to play a key role in the UK’s future energy mix. Gary Smith, GMB national secretary, said gas was a matter of national security. “Our homes and large parts of British industry need gas; any suggestion to the contrary is just not real world,” he said in a statement. —Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen, 9 June 2015

The lunatics have escaped their asylum and have taken over the entirety of this lovely and beauteous continent. They’re imposing import tariffs on cheap Chinese solar cells. This at the same time as vast swathes of public policy are devoted to the idea that we’ve got to have cheap renewable power in order to save our entire species from boiling itself. We’re also spending hundreds of billions to make such cheap renewables a reality. So, when someone comes knocking at the door asking if we’d like to purchase some cheap our answer is to try and tax them for their temerity? Seriously people, how did we end up with an entire continent, the cradle of modern civilisation, adopting such an insane public policy? –Tim Worstall, Forbes, 7 June 2015