Scottish Climate & Energy Forum says – “Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol cease as of 31st December 2012”

Mike Haseler Chairman of Scottish Climate and Energy Forum has emailed me to say –
As a result of finding out that the Kyoto commitments technically comes to an end on the 31st December, the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum have been investigating the likely consequences of this both in terms of what is likely to happen to the protocol and the wide implications when (as it seems) the protocol effectively ends operation on the 31st December.

We have written this up as a report. The main intention of this report has been to try to find the actual facts and having sorted the chaff from the wheat, ascertain what this might mean (with particular emphasis on Scotland).

The report has been produced to coincide with today which is 100 days to Kyoto Ends, and it is available on the SCEF website:

For obvious reasons, the report is biased toward Scotland and we can only really speak with authority about the Scottish context. We will welcome any comments on the report, criticism or suggestions for improvement.

Summary of main conclusions:

Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol cease as of 31st December.

The 3rd October 2012 is the latest date at which any amendment to the Kyoto protocol could have been passed for it to be operational by 1st January 2013.

With no meeting planned, and huge delays for members states to ratify, there is no practical way for an amendment to be presented and ratified by the 143 members (3/4 of members).

When the commitment ceases on the 31st December, all operational Articles stop being effective. The only active clauses appear to be 5 & 19 (estimate of greenhouse gases), 8 (review of national inventories) & 11 (financial obligations to undeveloped countries). Administrative functions such as meetings and procedures for amendments remain active.

There is talk of bypassing domestic procedures for ratification by amending articles 20 & 21 to allow the amendment to enter into force before it is ratified by the parties. This will allow it to enter into force earlier than otherwise but will not stop the commitment ceasing on 31st December.

In an almost unprecedented move, there is talk of a last minute extra-Kyoto-protocol agreement where some countries (particularly the EU) intend to agree to Kyoto-like commitments after the Kyoto protocol commitment ceases.

Political Impacts

The practical effect of Kyoto has been marginal even possibly counter-productive.

Kyoto was a symbol of a global political consensus. That political consensus has come to an end.

It is most likely the Nov/Dec Climate talks will not agree any substantive extension to Kyoto or that it will be changed in any other way. If the goodwill was not there to change the commitments in the last 3 years it is not there to hurry through other changes which would reduce state influence.

Europe, the main proponent for Kyoto, is likely to try to induce enough other states to assent to a form of political deal to give cover for the lack of Kyoto Commitments.

Sometime over the next year, green groups will realise Kyoto has ended and start campaigning vociferously for a replacement to Kyoto. But their main impact will be to raise public awareness that Kyoto has ended and undermine emissions reduction policy.

Anti wind & anti EU Parties like the UK Independence Party, will start campaigning in opposition to the European policy on climate. As wind opposition is growing, this will have knock on effects. In the UK it will push the Conservatives to become anti-wind potentially destabilising the UK coalition where the Lib Dems are strong advocates for climate policy.

Scotland is in for a storm: historical accident; impending solar minimum; a government heavily committed to wind subsidies, needing to prove its economic credibility as oil runs out; these will make energy & climate a critical issue in the independence debate.

Mike Haseler, Chairman of Scottish Climate and Energy Forum
email: mike (at sign)

7 thoughts on “Scottish Climate & Energy Forum says – “Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol cease as of 31st December 2012””

  1. Interesting report.
    I bet (anyone interested?) that the end of Kyoto won’t be mentioned on the ABC.

    And given their mindset seems to have been reproduced in the SNP, I think it very doubtful that they will ever become ‘sceptical’ about Climate Change. Rather they will continue to pretend that Scottish Wind will still be in demand for ever, or more correctly until the EU breaks up/ reorganises. That is very likely as the HaveNots (e.g. Greece, Spain) continue to pretend that all they need is more money until the times improve. Long before that happens they will be joined by others, even one sharing a land border with Scotland, so the reorganisation of Europe is inevitable.

    On the other hand a Conservative Gov. in strife in London may react to the crisis by dumping independence onto Scotland as quickly as they can, but without any financial benefits at all. Mike Haseler might have the “privilege” of Alex Salmond frantically delaying independence as he tries to get concessions from the Conservatives hell bent on pushing independence (and all those scottish Labour MP’s) onto Scotland.

  2. The thing that worries me, Warwick, is that – Who has first given the nod to Kyoto 2?

    The Gillard “there will be no carbon tax” Green Government?

    No, if you Hunt for an answer you will find it with the opposition “climate” (what a stupid description) character Greg Hunt gave it a big tick – HERE.

    Until the two parties realise that they are on opposite sides of an ideological fence, we are going to see Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer.

  3. The problem the Liberals have is if they come out speak the truth on climate change -It’s not a big problem and likely isn’t even a small problem -, the media will pillory them as being anti-science, luddites, etc. So they pretend its a real issue and they will do something about it. I doubt they will do more than cosmetic and cheap programs designed to largely fool the media.

    BTW, you should read John Christy’s testimony to the US congress from a few days ago. Excellent demolition of the alarmists position, especially his point about the so called ‘consensus’.

    “the IPCC and other similar Assessments do not
    represent for me a consensus of much more than the consensus of those selected to agree
    with a particular consensus.”

  4. Christy’s testimony is indeed worth reading. Figure 2.1 on page 19 shows that the average of current temperature observations is already more than two standard deviations cooler than the average model prediction to be included in the next IPCC assessment report. So the report is falsified with 95% confidence, two years before it’s even published. That isn’t science. It isn’t even correct guesswork.

  5. It would be good to have a policy choice at the next election but…

    Here is Joe Hockey,19/9/2012, coughing up how much the fraudulent ‘Direct Action Plan’ will cost/waste -suffering Australian tax payers:

    6.10 min mark. abcbreakfast. Answer; $10 Billion dollars

    Add to that this commitment: The Federal Opposition has confirmed it will not oppose the Government’s renewable energy agency, part of the GreenLaboUr Government’s $10 billion carbon tax package.
    Abbott did say he would ‘rescind the whole lot’.

    Mr Abbott insists “it’s always been my position” that action had to be taken against human-induced global warming.

    Australia will have to increase its greenhouse gas reduction target from the current 5 per cent by 2020, to at least 15 per cent within two years under the policies of both the ALP and the Coalition.
    The Opposition has signed up to both the 5 per cent and 15 per cent targets, although it hasn’t mentioned the second one for a while.

    * Will Steffen says that approach has been key to building successful climate change policies.
    Both sides of politics have gotten together and agreed on an approach so if the government changes, the policy and approach to climate change doesn’t change.

    The Coalition, meanwhile, says it’s committed to repealing the carbon tax, but supports the Carbon Farming Initiative and will honour carbon credits earned under the scheme.

    If the conservative coalition go to the next election with these environment policies, only to NOT honour them, are they any better than Gillard’s ‘no carbon tax’ pledge?

    The LNP will continue with the fraudulent UN-IPCC sponsored environmental programme.

  6. handjive:

    “the Government’s reduction target is 5 per cent below 2000 levels unilateral and 15 per cent if major developing economies commit to substantially restrain emissions and advanced economies take on commitments comparable to Australia’s”.
    That is a mighty big IF…

    But I share your view that the messages coming from the Opposition are poor. It would seem that they don’t really know what the rest of Australia (outside Canberra) are saying. There is far more worry about rising electricity prices than about global warming/climate change, and anything that counters those rises would be more popular. Note that Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Holland have recently slashed subsidies for “renewable” energy.

    “Even the 5 per cent reduction from 2000 levels is starting to look nearly impossible given… Australia’s carbon emissions are already 5 per cent above 2000 levels”. Reality has a way of biting.

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