Full Text of Paris COP21 Climate Change Agreement
This is the final, official and complete text of the Paris Climate Change Summit (COP21).
This is the final, official and complete text of the Paris Climate Change Summit (COP21).
As this edition of the Post hits the stands, the great Conclave of Catastrophists in Paris will have concluded. The last goose will gladly have surrendered its swollen liver — foie gras does not come without exertion — to the last epicure environmentalist. We have been told that the French did not stint on lending all the arts of its fabled cuisine to assist the Great Deliberators. State dinners took on something of the largesse and abundance last recorded by Gibbon in his descriptions of the Emperor Heliogabalus, who is reputed to have served up the tongues of hummingbirds, peacock brains and mice sauteed in honey, to the jaded appetites of his decadent court.
The reference here to far earlier times is not accidental or flip. Just as in the early centuries of Christianity, when the patristic Fathers struggled with various heresies and sought to stabilize the dogmas of the then-nascent Faith, held their great Councils to parse the finer points of esoteric doctrine, the Parisian analogue gave itself over to even more subtle ruminations: whether, for example, it was best to “commit” to ensuring the planet’s temperature doesn’t rise more than 1.5 degrees by the year 2100, or whether it was best merely to hold the thermometer to a more expansive two degrees.
How much mental energy must have been expanded over that winsome 0.5 degrees, 80 years down the road? The subtleties involved, the logical intricacies deployed, would have outpaced Aquinas and sent poor Augustine to bed early with a migraine. However, the modern monks of the High Church of Global Warming have resources that the early philosophers and theologians could not even dream of — they have computer models that dance in the direction wished of them.
And when what they deliciously refer to as the “settled science” does not serve their needs, they have always about them the ancient texts of Earth in the Balance by Reverend Al Gore, or the early press releases of the Dun Scotus of Global Warming, Cardinal Emeritus George Monbiot.
And where the scholiasts of old, wrestling with imperfect transcriptions and dubious translations of Holy Scripture had only prayer to guide them on the knotty questions of global warming — such as how many polar bears can dance on the edge of an ice floe — the priests of Climatology can always consult the Oracles of Greenpeace and the Sierra Club; or when in deeper need — say on the relationship between the decline of the coral reefs and bovine flatulence — refer to the obiter dicta of Bishops Tutu or Suzuki, on which matters such authorities speak with a Truth beside which that of Scripture is a mere contrail.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday the climate agreement reached this week in Paris did not contain any enforcement provisions because Congress would not have approved them.
“It doesn’t have mandatory targets for reduction and it doesn’t have an enforcement, compliance mechanism,” Kerry said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Kerry said such mechanisms were not included because Congress would have refused to greenlight the deal.
Binding legal requirements would have made the Paris agreement a treaty, requiring approval from two-thirds of the Senate. Because no climate change measure could close to the high bar in the chamber, the Paris deal was written to avoid it.
Kerry also said he hopes the climate agreement will send “a very powerful message to the marketplace” about where they should place their energy investments.
Critics have said the climate deal’s lack of enforceable requirements could render it useless given the fact that countries will face no punishment for breaking the agreement.
“There’s mandatory reporting,” Kerry said. “That reporting will be used by one country to measure against another.”
The secretary of state said he thinks the deal will “produce its own form of oversight.”
The obstacles facing this weekend’s historic global climate change accord were thrown into relief on Sunday night when businesses and government officials downplayed the impact of the deal and US Republicans underlined their opposition.
The Paris agreement, which requires all countries to regularly publish plans to deal with global warming, has been hailed by international leaders as a turning point after more than 20 years of effort to make this century the last to be powered by fossil fuels.
German chancellor Angela Merkel said the deal was “the first time that the entire world community has obligated itself to act — to act in the battle against global climate change”, while Pope Francis also praised the “concerted effort and generous dedication” of those involved. It was adopted by nearly 200 nations.
But coal and oil industry executives shrugged off any suggestion the new agreement sealed in Paris on Saturday night would have any immediate impact on their businesses.
The agreement’s goals include driving down carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels as soon as possible in order to limit global warming to “well below” 2C from pre-industrial times and perhaps as little as 1.5C, a target requiring much deeper emissions cuts than most countries are currently planning.
Amber Rudd, the UK energy and climate change secretary, described the 1.5C goal as merely “aspirational” while defending the UK government’s decision last month to scrap £1bn in funding for carbon capture systems that could hold emissions down. “I don’t think it was a mistake,” she said. “They are still expensive.”
Benjamin Sporton, head of the World Coal Association, said he did not see the new agreement spurring a “massive change at the moment” for companies that produce coal, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, because so many developing countries still plan to keep burning it.
He said the pact was likely to force governments to focus a lot more on the carbon capture and storage systems the UK had just de-funded because they would be vital for meeting its goals.
The American Petroleum Institute said it was still reviewing the Paris accord, but Amjad Bseisu, chief executive of EnQest, an oil explorer in the UK North Sea, said the oil industry had more immediate concerns beyond the Paris Agreement.
“Ooh look, it’s James Delingpole, the most hateful man in Britain. No I WON’T pose for a photograph with you, you piece of filth. Go away don’t touch me,” snarled an unhappy crusty-looking fellow, as I squeezed through the throng of protestors at entrance. I was dressed in black tie; they were dressed for the revolution.
“Join us! We’re your friends,” cooed three girls in blonde wigs and sparkly coal miners’ outfits handing out lumps of coal. (They weren’t really my friends. They were green activists too. But, like most of the renta-mob crowd, perfectly amiable)
“Howl! Howl!” bayed two men dressed as giant spoons.
Then the police turned up and in characteristic no-nonsense French style forced the protestors to disperse before the stars – including 92-year old rocket scientist Fred Singer and Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore – in black tie arrived in their stretch limos and walked up the red carpet.
It was the perfect launch for Marc Morano’s climate skeptical movie Climate Hustle – the skeptics’ long-awaited answer to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth – which staged its triumphant world premiere in Paris last night.
The protestors had come fresh from the COP21 climate conference, alerted by Wanted posters plastered by activists over the streets of central Paris warning them that seven of the world’s most evil fossil fuel lobbyists were in town to disrupt their holy mission to bomb the global economy back to the dark ages with carbon reductions, regulations and wealth redistribution.
In fact though – an irony lost on the protestors: they really don’t do irony, these people – it was the greenies who were doing all the disrupting.
Earlier in the day they’d tried to sabotage a conference of climate skeptics being hosted in central Paris by the Heartland Institute. (You can see the footage of the presentation – Examining The Data – here).
Now they’d come to jeer outside a film they’ll never watch made by people they won’t listen to presenting a message they’re ideologically incapable of comprehending.
If they ever did see Climate Hustle it would be totally lost on them.
Climate Hustle is the Anti Inconvenient Truth. It’s for people with an open mind who want to know what’s really going on with the world’s climate – as opposed to what hucksters like Al Gore want to persuade them is going on with the world’s climate – all backed up with hard data and evidence presented by scientists who know and understand, among them the Nobel-prize-winning Norwegian physicist Ivar Giaever.
If international climate talks really stall, don’t be surprised if there might be an ever-so-slight intervention by Pope Francis.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who helped draft the pope’s June encyclical on global warming, said the pontiff has “deep trust” that negotiators in Paris will get the job done. But just in case they don’t, the pope might possibly send a gentle message, he said.
“If it gets to a stalemate or whatever, he may utter a statement or make a comment or whatever, but he will refrain from exercising any coercive power on the things over here, because that would not belong to his style,” Turkson told The Associated Press after a press conference by Vatican officials Tuesday at the Paris climate talks.
If the pope did intervene with a gentle statement if negotiations bog down, it would “show the gravity of the situation and highlight what’s at stake,” said Jennifer Morgan, global climate program director for the World Resources Institute.
Joe Ware, a protestant spokesman for Christian Aid, welcomed the remark, saying such action “would just give that final nudge to the negotiations.”
There appeared to be no need for that just yet at the talks, where government ministers wrapped up Tuesday’s session with no signs of the animosity that have plagued negotiations in the past. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said a new draft agreement would be prepared by 1 p.m. (1200 GMT) Wednesday, reflecting the progress made so far. That would leave two days for ministers to work out the most difficult issues, like how to spell out who should do what.
Turkson said the Vatican has great interest in seeing the negotiations succeed, particularly getting the world to stop using carbon power by mid-century to save the Earth, especially for the world’s poorest people.
“We cannot profess love of God when we cannot love what God has made,” Turkson said.
The cold hard numbers of science haven’t spurred the world to curb runaway global warming. So as climate negotiators struggle in Paris, some scientists who appealed to the rational brain are enlisting what many would consider a higher power: the majesty of faith.
It’s not God versus science, but followers of God and science together trying to save humanity and the planet, they say.
Physicist John Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said he has been coming to these international talks for 11 years and essentially seen negotiators throw up their hands and say “sorry guys we tried our best.” And no one protested. But this time, with the power of Pope Francis’ encyclical earlier this year calling global warming a moral issue and an even more energized interfaith community, Schellnhuber feels the world’s faithful are watching and will hold world leaders accountable.
“They know they will be measured against the encyclical,” Schellnhuber, a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said Saturday at a Catholic Church event. Ever the scientist, Schellnhuber said on Saturday he hadn’t seen any evidence yet during the first week of negotiations that this will happen, but he has faith it will.
In the first five days of climate negotiations, interfaith activists came, fasted, talked to media, buttonholed leaders and prayed. On Saturday night in a downtown Paris chapel, hundreds of people, many of them prostrated on the ground, sang and prayed for the climate negotiators and mostly for the world.
Faith “is much deeper” than science, said Caroline Bader of the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation.
And so are their numbers. Bader said interfaith leaders recently handed top United Nations negotiators a petition with 1.8 million signatures begging for meaningful climate action. Such action was also sought by Brother Alois Taize, a Catholic member of the ecumenical monastery, as he was preaching at the song-laden service about how the faithful and the world have to open their eyes to solutions to global warming.
“The environment movement, which has primarily been a secular one, has realized that over the last 30 years or so it’s not been that successful in achieving its goals,” Joe Ware of Christian Aid wrote in an email from the Paris talks. “Increasingly it has looked to faith groups for help in mobilizing a broader movement of people calling for action on climate change. They are actually natural allies as almost all faiths have a theology of creation care at their heart.”
Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a non-Catholic who advised Pope Francis on climate and is on the pontiff’s science academy, says he thinks this new alliance will play a major role in what he hopes will be a historic agreement.
But for Ramanathan, now a member of the Holy See’s delegation to the climate talks, it’s more than science or history. About four years ago he had a moment that he called “a revelation.”
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, a keen half-marathon runner, has not stopped since she took over as head of the troubled UN climate talks process in May 2010, just months after the failed Copenhagen meeting.
Now, just days from the end of major climate talks in Paris, Ms Figueres is near the finish line of a marathon effort to clinch one of the world’s most important environmental agreements. The talks process that she has steered over the past five years is set to agree on the first global pact to fight climate change.
The agreement will mark a personal triumph for the diminutive Ms Figueres, 59. Those who know her tell of her drive to protect the environment and her deeply personal goal to secure a better world for her two daughters, Naima, 27, and Yihana, 25.
“Christiana and the rest of her family are tireless people. When she pursues something, she will do all that she can in order to achieve it,” Costa Rica’s Ambassador to Singapore Jairo Hernandez Milian, a close family friend, told The Straits Times.
“She has grown with the mentality that she needs to help make this planet a safer and better environment for all.”
“From Don Pepe, Christiana inherited determination, courage to achieve things that seem impossible to reach, a little bit of stubbornness, a great heart and altruistic spirit,” said Mr Hernandez in an e-mail message.
For Ms Figueres, Paris is the culmination of two decades of involvement in climate negotiations. She was a negotiator for Costa Rica from 1995 and played a key role in the talks that led to the creation of the UN’s Kyoto Protocol climate pact in 1997. From 2010, after taking the helm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), she set about rebuilding the shattered climate negotiations process. She represented a new approach to getting the talks back on track and, coming from a developing nation, helped straddle the embittered rich-poor divide to forge consensus.
From 2010, the talks incrementally progressed towards the new regime that is now on the table in Paris, in which nations pledge climate action plans and agree to transparently account for how these will be implemented.
Ms Figueres, though, faced plenty of criticism early in her role as the executive secretary of the UNFCCC. Critics said the process was moving too slowly and that the outline of the deal that was emerging was likely to result in a weak deal.
France has offered a key concession to the US on the eve of historic climate talks in Paris, saying a new global climate accord will not be called a “treaty” and might not contain legally binding emissions reduction targets.
In a significant climbdown, Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said signatories to the planned deal would still be legally required to meet many of its terms but most likely not the carbon-cutting goals underpinning the agreement.
“The accord needs to be legally binding. It’s not just literature,” Mr Fabius told the Financial Times. “But it will probably have a dual nature. Some of the clauses will be legally binding.”
Mr Fabius, who is to chair the UN climate conference, added: “Another question is whether the Paris accord as a whole will be called a treaty. If that’s the case, then it poses a big problem for President Barack Obama because a treaty has to pass through Congress.”
The comments are among the first by a senior official to signal a willingness to accommodate the world’s second largest carbon emitter to achieve a successful deal.
John Kerry, US secretary of state, warned in an FT interview this month that the Paris climate change summit could not deliver a treaty that legally requires countries to cut their emissions.
Paris plays host to the biggest UN talks on tackling global warming and curbing emissions since the ill-fated Copenhagen summit in 2009. Negotiators from nearly 200 countries will meet to try and strike the first accord to limit planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions since the Kyoto protocol in 1997.
Mr Kerry stressed that there were “not going to be legally binding reduction targets like Kyoto”, a reference to the 1997 Kyoto protocol, a UN climate treaty which had targets for cutting emissions that countries ratifying it were legally obliged to meet. The Kyoto protocol was not ratified by the
At the time, François Hollande, the French president, reacted angrily to Mr Kerry’s comments, saying making the accord legally binding was the whole point.
If it were not binding “there won’t be an agreement because that would mean it would be impossible to verify or control the undertakings that are made”, he said.
CFACT has participated in the UN climate process going back to the original Rio Earth summit. We are an officially recognized NGO observer at COP 21.
CFACT’s display is in the NGO pavilion at booth 37c.
We used our space to inject four “inconvenient facts” into the COP. They are the kind of rock solid, 100% scientifically valid points that leave the warming-indoctrinated spluttering.
Here they are:
INCONVENIENT FACTS: TEMPERATURE
“Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.11 C per decade” – University of Alabama, Huntsville
“The troposphere has not warmed as fast as almost all climate models predict.” “After 1998, the observations are likely to be below the simulated values, indicating that the simulation as a whole are predicting too much warming.” – Remote Sensing Systems
“Satellite analysis of the upper atmosphere is more accurate, and should be adopted as the standard way to monitor global temperature change.” – NASA, April, 1990
There is a “robust” cosmic ray-global temperature relationship… and thus provide further corroboration of the solar/cosmic ray theory of climate of Svensmark et al. – National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Aug 2015
“Assuming the proposed cuts are extended through 2100 but not deepened further, they result in about 0.2°C less warming by the end of the century compared with our estimates. – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Energy and Climate Outlook, 2015
“Using the peer-reviewed climate model MAGICC, I estimate the marginal impact of carbon reduction promises called INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) from the EU, USA, China and the rest of the world, along with the likely global policy output. My major finding is that the total effect is very small: less than 0.05°C difference by the end of the century.” – Global Policy, Nov. 2015
“Absolute global sea level rise is believed to be 1.7-1.8 millimeters/year.” – NOAA
“Tide gauge records along coastlines provide evidence that mean sea levels (MSLs) have risen since the late nineteenth century with globally averaged rates of 1.33–1.98 mm per year… There has been “underestimation of possible natural trends of up to ~1 mm per year erroneously enhancing the significance of anthropogenic footprints.” – University of Siegen, Nature Communications, July, 2015
“According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”
“Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,”– NASA
“No islands have been lost, the majority have enlarged, and there has been a 7.3% increase in net island area over the past century (A.D. 1897–2013). There is no evidence of heightened erosion over the past half-century as sea-level rise accelerated. Reef islands in Funafuti continually adjust their size, shape, and position in response to variations in boundary conditions, including storms, sediment supply, as well as sea level. Results suggest a more optimistic prognosis for the habitability of atoll nations.” (Geology, March, 2015_
“The global population of polar bears is about 26,000 bears. This is up 1,000 bears from 2014. Estimations are between 25,000- 30,000 bears globally.” – International Union for Conservation of Nature
“Arctic sea ice is increasing, with the extent of ice at the highest it has been since 2004. – Denmark Ocean and Ice Services
“Arctic sea ice persisted in the James and Hudson bays well into August of 2015. it was reported that the worst mid-summer ice conditions in 20 years was preventing the routine delivery of supplies by ship.” – NASA
“Sea ice in at least three Eastern Canadian polar bear subpopulations was well above normal for 2015.” – Canadian Ice Services
Arctic sea ice is up by at least a third after a cool summer in 2013. “It would suggest that sea ice is more resilient perhaps,” says Rachel Tilling, University College London.” – The Guardian, July 2015
“We have identified considerable inter-annual variability in the frequency of global hurricane landfalls,” the authors state, “but within the resolution of the available data, our evidence does not support the presence of significant long-period global or individual basin linear trends for minor, major, or total hurricanes within the period(s) covered by the available quality data.” – Journal of the American Meteorological Society, July 2012
“There is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century. – IPCC 5th Assessment Report
“There is low confidence in any long term increases in tropical cyclone activity … and low confidence in attributing global changes to any particular cause.” Any increased hurricane damages “have not been conclusively attributed to anthropogenic climate change; most such claims are not based on scientific attribution methods.” There is “low confidence” for trends on tornadoes, and “the evidence for climate driven changes in river floods is not compelling.” – IPCC 5th Assessment Report
“When closely examined there appears to be no increase in extreme weather events in recent years compared to the period 1945–77, when the Earth’s mean temperature was declining. The global warming/extreme weather link is more a perception than reality (Khandekar et al. 2005). The purported warming/extreme weather link has been fostered by increased and uncritical media attention to recent extreme weather events. The latest IPCC documents appear to de-emphasize the warming/extreme weather link by suggesting ‘low confidence’ in linking some of the events to recent warming of the climate.” –
The Global Warming Extreme Weather Link, GWPF, 2013