Thanks to Mike Haseler for his interpretation of what is emerging at the Doha UN Climate talks.
DOHA SO FAR
Just in case you haven’t been following Doha, as expected the talks are deadlocked and as expected the EU are trying to fabricate something to hide the fact that there is no real agreement.
Just to recap, there are four big groups: EU-EFTA, BASIC, the “Island states” & the “sensibles”. The position of these are as follows:
The EU (with new entrants in 2013 and affiliated countries in EFTA ) want a treaty that makes their current climate rules “legitimated” by an international treaty.
The BASIC countries (China, India, Brazil and South Africa) managed to escape the Kyoto stranglehold and seeing the effect on the EU don’t want to sign up to anything. But, they do not want to get the blame for the failure. So their stance has been to say to the EU: “we will sign up , but you have to commit to much larger economically suicidal commitments” (Which the EU cannot afford to do).
The island states, or more accurately developing world, just want to get the huge handouts from Europe for projects pretending to save CO2. To do this, they are demanding a $100billion bribe.
The sensibles: US, Canada, Japan, Russia, New Zealand to name but a few, who were part of Kyoto are now intent not to commit economic suicide and will not have anything to do with the EU fudge (unless they are bribed?)
Contrary to what many green NGOs are saying, the Kyoto commitment to CO2 reduction will cease effect on the 31st December. This is because the treaty requires amendments to be ratified well before they come into effect (by 3rd October). It took some 4 years for for a quorum of countries to ratify Kyoto. Even if there were total agreement at Doha on any amendment (there isn’t) the earliest change to Kyoto is 2015. Without agreement the earliest if there were agreement at the end of next year is that a change to the Kyoto Commitment could come into force in 2016.
THE SHAPE OF THE DOHA “TREATY”?
It is beginning to look like the new “Doha treaty” will end up being between the EU/EFTA bloc, Ukraine and Australia. This treaty is likely to commit the EU to doing what it’s domestic legislation already commits it to do (making it utterly pointless – except as a figleaf treaty). Australia is just a basket case on climate and cannot be taken seriously … which leaves Ukraine whose motive appears to be that it wants to join the EU (except no one can say that officially). So this is really an intra EU (+affiliated countries) agreement to do what the EU is already intending to do.
But, the big question is how anyone can even suggest a new Doha treaty can be ratified to come into force in the three weeks from the end of Doha to the end of the Kyoto Commitment (31st December 2012). In the past countries like Ireland have had to ratify any treaty by a referendum which is a long costly process (both politically and economically).
Usually a treaty does not come into force until e.g. 75% of signatories have ratified. It is unclear whether the EU has the power to sign or ratify treaties with real countries. However, if the Doha treaty were signed by the EU, it would end up being a treaty between at most 7 parties representing only 15% of global emissions, which will do nothing at all to reduce those emissions.
So, even if the EU ratified immediately (is that legal?), the treaty could not come into effect until 5 other countries have ratified which is impossible in three weeks.
So, it is utter bullshit to talk about some treaty coming into force on the 31st December. It also beggars belief that the press will not figure this out. or question the point of the Doha treaty which does absolutely nothing for anyone anywhere.
And this is the reason I am writing. Unless sceptics make the point that the Doha treaty is Bullshit, the press will have no choice but to print the story as the green NGOs tell it.
It’s really up to you. It’s time the world heard the sceptic view on these talks!
(for more information see the numerous articles on scef.org.uk or contact me.)
Notes: EFTA (European Free Trade Area) consists of Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway & Switzerland. EU with EFTA is the same as the European Economic Area (EEA) with the exclusion of Switzerland.
Mike Haseler, Chairman of Scottish Climate and Energy Forum
Tel: 0845 10 88 500