The Toothless Non-Binding UN Climate Deal is Next to Useless

The Toothless Non-Binding UN Climate Deal is Next to Useless

Is that all there is? After two weeks of elbow-gripping climate hysteria, 11,000 people from over 190 nations left the COP 20 conference in Lima, Peru agreeing on just one thing.

They want our money. Lots of it. In small denominations, unmarked notes and buff coloured envelopes please. Send via the United Nations at 405 East 42nd Street, New York City, NY 10017 (Manhattan).

No correspondence will be entered into.

The final communiqué issued Sunday from COP 20 was always going to be about wealth re-distribution.

The slim five-page text – now officially known as the Lima Call for Climate Action – contained no specifics other than confirming money was headed from rich countries to the poor. 

We knew that before the meeting began. It was re-confirmed when we heard this from Ian Fry, negotiator for the tiny Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu.

“We need a permanent arrangement to help the poorest of the world,” Fry said.

Robin Hood would have blushed to his clavicles if he’d still been around to hear that.

Yes, there was plenty of wishful thinking in the Lima agreement. It stood alongside pleas, hopes, entreaties, understandings, requests and prayers, but nothing to say the jolly actually achieved anything except issue a concrete demand for more of the folding stuff.

Here are the hard fiscal details from two weeks of talk in Lima:

* Enlarged commitments were made to the UN-administered Green Climate Fund by the governments of Norway, Australia, Belgium, Peru, Colombia and Austria – the pledges brought the total sum heading to the Green Climate Fund to close to $US 10.2 billion.

* Germany made a separate pledge of 55 million Euros to the Adaptation Fund.

* China announced US$10 million for South-South cooperation and mentioned they would double it next year.

That was all besides fond words from the organisers who were thrilled to be able to report to a waiting world that the UN’s tills are ringing.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), was positively delighted.

“Governments arrived in Lima on a wave of positive news,” she said, “and optimism resulting from the climate action announcements of the European Union, China and the United States to the scaling up of pledges for the Green Climate Fund.

“They leave Lima on a fresh wave of positivity towards Paris with a range of key decisions agreed and action-agendas launched, including on how to better scale up and finance adaptation, alongside actions on forests and education.”

No detail on what countries would be doing to scale down emissions and even more importantly how they would be judged as a success or failure.

No goals, no targets, no measurements, no legally binding caps. Nothing.

Just a stated desire to, you know, DO something.

If all that makes you feel a little queasy, knowing that somebody has their green hands in your pockets, then you will not be glad to hear that they will do it all again next year in Paris.

Then the year after that. And the year after that.

Professional climate fretters have a self-appointed role to worry for the rest of us. They meet annually in an exotic city, issue statements and vow to keep on doing that until the end of time.

All in total disregard for the fact that the world has always been a little hotter than it is today, or a little colder, or maybe just about the same.

The only thing that is changing is that more and more people want to board the spectacularly-funded climate bandwagon and take the opportunity to tell the rest of us how to live our lives.

If we can give them the financial means to do that, so much the better – for them.

Their only fear is that one day our money will run out.