Paris Agreement Will Fail Just Like Kyoto Agreement, U.S. Republicans Predict

GWPF | 22 April 2016

UN Members Fear U.S. Supreme Court May ‘Sabotage’ Obama’s Climate Commitments

Remember The BBC’s Kyoto Treaty Propaganda?

Perhaps one of the best known phrases regarding the lessons of history is, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Attempting to “decarbonize” the world economy given the depth of the current economic and political costs of actually doing so is akin to defying gravity. —Majority Staff White Paper, United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 21 April 2016

Senate Republicans are trying to dampen excitement for the Paris climate change agreement, saying it is destined to fail. In a 30-page white paper Thursday, Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee argued that the Paris deal is no more likely to result in major greenhouse gas emissions cuts than 1997’s Kyoto Protocol. –Timothy Cama, The Hill, 21 April 2016

1) Paris Agreement Will Fail Just Like Kyoto Agreement, U.S. Republicans Predict
The Hill, 21 April 2016

2) Lessons From Kyoto: Why The Paris Agreement Will Fail
Majority Staff White Paper, United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 21 April 2016

3) UN Members Fear U.S. Supreme Court May ‘Sabotage’ Obama’s Climate Commitments
Reuters, 20 April 2016

4) Green Subsidy Fraud Leaves China’s Electric Car Demand in Doubt
Bloomberg, 21 April 2016

5) It’s All Over: Pachauri Finally Sacked By TERI
Times of India, 21 April 2016

There are concerns at the United Nations about apparent attempts inside the United States to “sabotage” President Barack Obama’s commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the head of the U.N. General Assembly said on Wednesday. Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, current president of the 193-nation General Assembly, issued the warning ahead of Friday’s U.N. signing ceremony for the Paris agreement. “What scares us a little … is there is all this sabotage inside the United States against this commitment for climate change, including (with) the Supreme Court,” he said. Lykketoft said he was not taking a partisan position in the election, but added that the next U.S. leader should not be someone intent on backtracking on the Obama administration’s commitments. — Louis Charbonneau, Reuters, 20 April 2016

The Chinese government is examining whether it doled out money for fake electric car sales. The investigation casts doubt on the accuracy of reported Chinese electric-vehicle sales. The government now plans to phase out the subsidies after 2020. –Jie Ma and Craig Trudell, Bloomberg, 21 April 2016

The Governing Council of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has decided to end TERI’s association with R K Pachauri with immediate effect. After much public pressure, Pachauri was removed from the post of director general in July 2015, two months after he was indicted in an internal probe by the internal complaints committee (ICC) of Teri. Last month, the Delhi police filed a charge sheet running into 1,500 pages against Pachauri under five sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). . —Times of India, 21 April 2016

1) Paris Agreement Will Fail Just Like Kyoto Agreement, U.S. Republicans Predict
The Hill, 21 April 2016

Timothy Cama

Senate Republicans are trying to dampen excitement for the Paris climate change agreement, saying it is destined to fail. In a 30-page white paper Thursday, Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee argued that the Paris deal is no more likely to result in major greenhouse gas emissions cuts than 1997’s Kyoto Protocol.

“If the past is any indication, countries will or will not reduce emissions based on what is politically and economically feasible regardless of their non-binding [individual contribution] promises because of the immense damage draconian cuts in GHG emissions would have on each individual states’ population,” the white paper says.

“The American people must understand the dynamics and the hollow promises of Paris Agreement supporters, less they allow these meaningless agreements to gain credibility and cause further damage the American economy and sovereignty.”

The white paper comes a day before more than 150 countries are due to send representatives to United Nations headquarters to sign the agreement, on Earth Day. Once 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions sign it — as is expected tomorrow — it will take effect.

But the greenhouse gas cuts in the deal are not binding, and it is not a treaty, because that would require Senate ratification.

The white paper is just the latest in years of efforts by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the committee’s chairman and an outspoken climate change skeptic, to stop any international climate agreements.

“The Paris agreement, like the Kyoto agreement, is full of empty promises that will have no meaningful impact on the climate,” Inhofe said in a statement. “The problem with international climate change agreements is that they ignore basic economic and political realities and therefore are doomed to failure.”
The Obama administration argues otherwise.

“The swift action by so many countries — every climate, every size, every economy — is really a testament to the undeniable momentum coming out of Paris,” a senior administration official said this week.

Full story

2) Lessons From Kyoto: Why The Paris Agreement Will Fail
Majority Staff White Paper, United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 21 April 2016

Perhaps one of the best known phrases regarding the lessons of history is, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Attempting to “decarbonize” the world economy given the depth of the current economic and political costs of actually doing so is akin to defying gravity.

April 22, 2016, also known as “International Mother Earth Day,” marks the opening for countries that are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to sign the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris Agreement, which notably set forth non-binding greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for both developed and developing countries, was adopted at the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France, on December 12, 2015.  For the Paris Agreement to enter into force, 55 countries representing 55 percent of global GHG emissions must first sign, then ratify the agreement.

While it is expected that representatives from roughly 130 countries, including the United States, will meet at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City to sign the Paris Climate Agreement, it is critical that the Obama Administration be held accountable for lessons learned from the fallout of its failed predecessor: the Kyoto Protocol.

Accordingly, this U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Majority Staff White Paper provides a detailed response to the Paris Agreement, reflecting on history and lessons from the Kyoto Protocol, the Obama Administration and public should consider, including:

• Kyoto Protocol was similarly considered “historic” with more than 150 countries, including both developed and developing countries, agreed to the protocol at COP-3 in December 1997; however, after an aggressive launch, it took more than seven years until the Protocol was signed then ratified by enough countries for it to enter into force.

• Just because a country signs a UNFCCC agreement does not mean the agreement has any legal effect in the country.  The Clinton Administration signed the Kyoto Protocol in November 1998, more than six months after the agreement opened for signature.  President Clinton never submitted it to U.S. Senate for ratification.  In March 2001, President George W. Bush rejected Kyoto and the U.S. never became a party.

• Countries that have signed and ratified an agreement have the freedom to act in their best interest and withdraw.  For example, Canada who signed Kyoto in 1997 and ratified it in 2002 withdrew in 2011– even in the midst of the first commitment period.

• Uniquely tailored GHG emission targets are not new.  Kyoto included a variety of targets from 7% reductions to 10% increases that were meant to reflect countries’ abilities, but was met with mixed compliance as countries eventually developed policies that were good for their citizens and economy, rather than arbitrary GHG targets set by the UN.

• Kyoto was legally binding and countries still failed to comply.  Non-binding targets in the Paris Agreement will not produce any greater confidence that countries will comply.

• Kyoto failed to produce a long-term meaningful approach to address global climate change, and so will the Paris Agreement.  Countries adopting costly GHG-cutting policies under Kyoto’s first commitment period devastated their economies and actually increased GHG emissions at a rate faster than the U.S.  Most of these countries have not committed to the second round of Kyoto commitments, which has not even entered into force, and many others have expressed reluctance in joining the Paris Agreement. […]

CONCLUSION
Perhaps one of the best known phrases regarding the lessons of history is, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Now that the UNFCCC has been holding negotiations for international climate agreements for over twenty years, there is plenty of history that can be used to predict whether the recent Paris Climate Agreement will achieve the goal, “to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history,” as stated by former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres.

As this EPW Committee Majority Staff White Paper explains, if the past is any indication, countries will or will not reduce emissions based on what is politically and economically feasible regardless of their non-binding INDC promises because of the immense damage draconian cuts in GHG emissions would have on each individual states’ population.  Figueres might even agree with that statement and has admitted; “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves.”  Attempting to “decarbonize” the world economy given the depth of the current economic and political costs of actually doing so is akin to defying gravity.

Countries that have tried to implement the carbon-cutting policies that are being pushed as the solution to climate change and compliance with international climate agreements have yet to upend the economic development model.  Even the EU, an entity that has prided itself as a “leader” on climate change policy for embracing the most stringent targets and policies aimed at “decarbonizing the economy” is starting to brush up against the wall of reality and reassess their priorities.  This is similar to other countries such as Japan, Canada, and Australia who have tried to “do something about” climate change in the past and ended up reversing course due to the harsh impacts of “decarbonization” policies.

So why do officials like President Obama and Figueres continue to promote this approach to solving climate change given the unrealistic chance an international climate agreement will have a serious effect on global temperatures and weather patterns?  There are many incentives at play to further their own legacies and political goals, and they will not be in a position to be held accountable to their current constituencies when the fallout comes from full implementation of the carbon-cutting policies they have advanced.

Serious economic damage has already been incurred upon the U.S. coal industry and the communities they serve in the name of President Obama’s “leadership” on climate change— while other countries increase their coal usage.  Attempting to comply with the Paris Agreement has the potential to further harm Americans in all sectors of the economy for little to no impact on the climate.  The American people must understand the dynamics and the hollow promises of Paris Agreement supporters, less they allow these meaningless agreements to gain credibility and cause further damage the American economy and sovereignty.

Full paper 

3) UN Members Fear U.S. Supreme Court May ‘Sabotage’ Obama’s Climate Commitments
Reuters, 20 April 2016

Louis Charbonneau

There are concerns at the United Nations about apparent attempts inside the United States to “sabotage” President Barack Obama’s commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the head of the U.N. General Assembly said on Wednesday.

Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, current president of the 193-nation General Assembly, issued the warning in an interview with Reuters ahead of Friday’s U.N. signing ceremony for the Paris agreement aimed at slowing climate change.

Both China and the United States, the world’s top emitters accounting together for 38 percent of emissions, have promised to sign then. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to attend.

With a U.S. presidential election just months away, Lykketoft warned that there appear to be forces at work in the world’s biggest economy aimed at undermining the historic climate deal.

“What scares us a little … is there is all this sabotage inside the United States against this commitment for climate change, including (with) the Supreme Court,” he said.

Lykketoft was referring Obama’s difficulties in replacing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year.

Obama has nominated centrist appellate Judge Merrick Garland to replace Scalia. But the seat may remain empty for around a year as Senate Republican leaders insist that Obama’s successor, who will take office next January after the Nov. 8 presidential election, fill the vacancy.

“Seen from a climate (agreement) implementation point-of-view, it’s very important how it plays out in the elections in the United States, including the selection of the missing member of the Supreme Court,” Lykketoft said.
He said he was not taking a partisan position in the election, but added that the next U.S. leader should not be someone intent on backtracking on the Obama administration’s commitments.

Full story

4) Green Subsidy Fraud Leaves China’s Electric Car Demand in Doubt
Bloomberg, 21 April 2016

Jie Ma and Craig Trudell

The Chinese government is examining whether it doled out money for fake electric car sales. The investigation casts doubt on the accuracy of reported Chinese electric-vehicle sales. The government now plans to phase out the subsidies after 2020.

The numbers may have looked too good to be true. Suzhou Gemsea Coach Manufacturing Co., operating out of a blue metal shed west of Shanghai, told the Chinese government it produced 3,700 electric vehicles last year — almost all of them in one month.

That month was December, the last before the government reduced subsidies it pays makers of electric and hybrid vehicles to help clear some of the world’s smoggiest skies. When inspectors, accompanied by state TV reporters, swarmed the site in Suzhou to verify the numbers, they found a few Gemsea brand vans parked outside and hardly any modern assembly equipment inside.

The investigation casts doubt on the accuracy of reported Chinese electric-vehicle sales that are double those in the U.S. As the Beijing Auto Show approaches next week, the government is examining whether it doled out money for fake transactions by domestic companies, with the answer potentially curbing bullish expansion plans by Tesla Motors Inc., BYD Co. and other makers.

“Such behavior is despicable and deserves severe punishment,” Stella Li, senior vice president for Berkshire Hathaway Inc.-backed BYD, said of possible cheating on subsidies. “By doing that, they disturbed the right market order and also led the government to have second thoughts as to whether they should change the existing funding structure.” […]

The government now plans to phase out the subsidies after 2020 after concluding that the amounts paid to makers of commercial vehicles, in particular, are too high and don’t encourage manufacturing efficiencies.

Full story

5) It’s All Over: Pachauri Finally Sacked By TERI
Times of India, 21 April 2016

NEW DELHI: The Governing Council of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has decided to end TERI’s association with R K Pachauri with immediate effect.

The Governing Council of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has decided to end TERI's association with R K Pachauri with immediate effect.

The Governing Council of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has decided to end TERI’s association with R K Pachauri with immediate effect.

In a meeting held on Monday, the Governing Council, headed by new Chairman Ashok Chawla ex finance Secretary, has decided to pay a lump sum to Pachauri whose contract with TERI ends in July 2017.

The Governing Council also decided not to renew Pachauri’s membership as the Governing Council member of TERI. As per available information Pachauri remained a member of the Governing Council for over 25 years. His membership ended on March 31 this year. […]

After much public pressure, Pachauri was removed from the post of director general in July 2015, two months after he was indicted in an internal probe by the internal complaints committee (ICC) of Teri. Last month, the Delhi police filed a charge sheet running into 1,500 pages against Pachauri under five sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Full story

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