White House Calls Agreement With China, India and South Africa a ‘First Step’
By Alessandro Torello and Stephen Power
The White House said Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma reached a “meaningful agreement” for combating climate change. The deal was described by an administration official as “not sufficient to combat the threat of climate change but it’s an important first step.”
The White House official said developed and developing countries have agreed to listing their national actions and commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There will be a mechanism to funnel money to help developing nations pay for technology and projects to cope with the affects of climate change, such as rising sea levels.
The agreement sets a target of two degrees Celsius for the increase in global temperatures. Countries are supposed to provide information on the implementation of actions to cut carbon dioxide emissions through national communications, with provisions for international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines, the official said.
Details of the language on verification of steps to curb greenhouse gases â€“ which could be critical to political acceptance of the agreement in Congress â€“ weren’t immediately available. The so-called transparency issue was a critical stumbling block in discussions between the U.S. and China.
The administration official said “no country is entirely satisfied with each element but this is a meaningful and historic step forward and a foundation from which to make further progress.”
Earlier Friday, Mr. Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the two leaders indicated they are close to agreement on a new arms-reduction treaty.
But on the climate issue, disagreements over fundamental issues continued into the evening Friday, despite efforts by the Danes and others to broker compromises.
“It is now clear there won’t be a comprehensive accord,” Italy’s Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said. “There will be a text that refers to next year for a comprehensive agreement,” she said.
Read the rest of this story at Wall Street Journal.
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By James Delingpole
Climategate just got much, much bigger. And all thanks to the Russians who, with perfect timing, dropped this bombshell just as the worldâ€™s leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to discuss ways of carbon-taxing us all back to the dark ages.
Feast your eyes on this news release from Rionovosta, via the Ria Novosti agency, posted on Icecap. (Hat Tip: Richard North)
A discussion of the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, referred to by some sources as â€œClimategate,â€ continues against the backdrop of the abortive UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) discussing alternative agreements to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that aimed to combat global warming.
The incident involved an e-mail server used by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, East England. Unknown persons stole and anonymously disseminated thousands of e-mails and other documents dealing with the global-warming issue made over the course of 13 years.
Controversy arose after various allegations were made including that climate scientists colluded to withhold scientific evidence and manipulated data to make the case for global warming appear stronger than it is.
Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.
The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the countryâ€™s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.
The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.
The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.
On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.
IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.
The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the worldâ€™s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration.
Global-temperature data will have to be modified if similar climate-date procedures have been used from other national data because the calculations used by COP15 analysts, including financial calculations, are based on HadCRUT research.Â
Read the rest of this article at the London Times.
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Highlights social injustice of proposed climate change policies
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) announced today that they have joined the No Cap and Trade Coalition in the fight against cap-and-trade legislation and the proposed Copenhagen climate treaty. The coalition is comprised of over 30 state and federal public policy groups and think tanks and maintains a website at www.NoCapAndTrade.com.
Niger Innis, national spokesperson for CORE, will become a spokesperson for the No Cap-and Trade Coalition, helping to spread the message that this dangerous public policy will impede social justice, transfer wealth from the United States to foreign countries and potentially strip the United States of its sovereignty.
â€œCORE is committed to the coalitionâ€™s efforts to stop cap-and-trade as well as the Copenhagen treaty,â€ said Niger Innis. â€œThis endeavor is a continuation of an almost three year effort that CORE has made in its national energy campaign â€“ CORE believes that access to affordable energy is a civil and human right and will work with the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition to spread this message.â€
â€œThe No Cap-and-Trade Coalition is very excited about working with CORE and having Niger Innis as a spokesperson,â€ said Jeff Davis of Minnesota Majority, the coalitionâ€™s organizer. â€œWe believe his message that cap-and-trade schemes will be devastating to all Americans, but with a disproportionate impact on the poor in this country, will resonate with all people, regardless of politics.â€
On December 7, 2009, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will begin a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark where President Obama intends to consent to an operational agreement with immediate effect if the proposed treaty canâ€™t be agreed upon. The treaty, or any similar executive agreements, could result in a massive transfer of wealth from the United States to third world countries, tax hikes, price inflation, job losses and more damage to the faltering American economy. A draft of the treaty includes establishing a new world government along with a world energy tax. Were such a treaty ratified, it could be a threat to the sovereignty of the United States.
If domestic cap-and-trade legislation were passed, it could result in a loss of 1.9 million American jobs in 2012 and 2.5 million American jobs by 2025. From 2012-2019, the CBO estimates direct government spending at $822 billion with revenue at $845 billion from taxes on energy producers.
The No Cap-and-Trade Coalition has launched a petition on its website at www.NoCapAndTrade.com and through it, has transmitted over 150,000 citizen messages to the president and Congress in opposition to cap and trade schemes. Member organizations have been independently working in the fight against cap-and-trade and the Copenhagen treaty and some are running advertisements to educate the public.
CORE plans to help the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition work with lawmakers to understand that only through the free-market development of technology and the refinement of conservation endeavors, can the United States achieve a sustainable energy policy for this generation and generations to come.
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Posted by boycott in Boycott
Readerâ€™s Digest has responded to a boycott initiated by www.NoCapAndTrade.com by having its name removed from a list of corporate supporters of the Copenhagen Climate Treaty.
Mr. William Adler, Vice President of Global Communications at Readerâ€™s Digest sent an email to the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition asking that Readerâ€™s Digest be removed from a list of 20 organizations that are being boycotted due to their support of the Copenhagen Treaty. Mr. Adler stated that Readerâ€™s Digest had been incorrectly listed as a supporter of the Copenhagen Treaty at www.Hopenhagen.org. A review of the website confirmed that Readerâ€™s Digestâ€™s name had been removed as a â€œfriend of Hopenhagen.â€
â€œSmart organizations like Readerâ€™s Digest are starting to realize that lending their brand to radical environmental movements is bad for business,â€ said Jeff Davis, organizer of the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition. â€œWe hope other organizations named in the boycott wake-up and recognize this fact as well.â€
There are a total of 19 remaining organizations targeted by the boycott, including Google, Pepsi, Nike and BP America. The complete list of boycotted companies can be seen at www.NoCapAndTrade.com/boycott/
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Obamaâ€™s plans for Copenhagen accord may violate US Constitution
President Obamaâ€™s plan for an international cap-and-trade agreement negotiated at the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference to go into â€œimmediate effectâ€ may violate the United States Constitution, claim representatives of the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition (see www.NoCapAndTrade.com).
Quoted in a Reuters news story today, Obama said, â€œOur aim is not a partial accord or a political declaration but rather an accord that covers all of the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect.â€
â€œToday President Obama exhibited the arrogance commonly associated with dictators and tyrants,â€ said Jeff Davis, executive director of NoCapAndTrade.com. â€œItâ€™s hard to believe that a former constitutional law professor could forget that treaties require Senate ratification.â€
President Obama made the remarks amid heavy criticism from Europe about the lack of progress in the U.S. toward cap-and-trade legislation and the expected failure of the imminent Copenhagen negotiations.
But such â€œimmediate operational effectâ€ is impossible, said Davis.
â€œArticle II of the Constitution requires that treaties are approved by two-thirds of the Senate, so President Obama canâ€™t just sign-up the U.S. and then start enforcing treaty provisions,â€ observed Davis. â€œAdditionally, the cap-and-trade bill now in the Senate isnâ€™t anywhere close to having the 60 votes necessary to avoid filibuster â”€ trying to get 67 votes for a climate treaty looks pretty unlikely right now,â€ Davis added.
President Obama might have been thinking of using the EPA to regulate carbon when he made his statement. The EPA has proposed to designate carbon dioxide as a hazard to the public welfare and to regulate it under the Clean Air Act.
â€œIf President Obama signed an agreement in Copenhagen and then tried to implement it through the EPA and Clean Air Act,â€ observed JunkScience.comâ€™s Steve Milloy, the President would immediately be at war with Congress, including almost a two dozen Democratic Senators who are concerned about the harm cap-and-trade would do to the economy.â€
The German magazine Der Spiegel criticized President Obama this week, asserting heâ€™d been â€œlying toâ€ and â€œbetrayingâ€ Europe in failing to advance cap-and-trade in the U.S.
â€œPresident Obama is Europeâ€™s last hope for ensnaring and crippling the U.S. with cap-and-trade,â€ said Milloy. â€œHis desperate statement today indicates heâ€™s feeling that pressure.â€
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By Chris Buckley and Alister Doyle
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday next month’s climate talks in Copenhagen should cut a deal with “immediate operational effect”, even if its original aim of a legally binding pact is not achievable.
Obama was speaking after talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in which he said the world’s top two greenhouse gas emitters had agreed to take “significant” action to mitigate their output of carbon dioxide.
“Our aim (in Copenhagen) … is not a partial accord or a political declaration but rather an accord that covers all of the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect,” Obama said.
Denmark, host of the Dec. 7-18 climate talks, welcomed Obama’s comments and said it expected the United States and all developed nations to promise firm emissions cuts and new cash to help the poor cope with global warming, even if no treaty text could be agreed.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen won backing on Sunday from Obama and other leaders at an Asia-Pacific summit for his scaled-down plan for a politically binding deal, with a legally binding one delayed until 2010.
“The American president endorsed our approach, implying that all developed countries will need to bring strong reduction targets to the negotiating table in Copenhagen,” he told about 40 environment ministers meeting in the Danish capital.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also keen that the momentum for a deal should be maintained.
“We will make very clear that we continue to support ambitious goals for Copenhagen,” she told reporters before a cabinet meeting.
“We must do everything to ensure that we move quickly to get a binding agreement. Even if this can’t be reached in Copenhagen, it can’t be pushed back forever.”
Read the rest of this article at Reuters.
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Orange County Register Editorial
In a major blow to the campaign against the presumed threat of global warming, world leaders acknowledge that a legally binding global treaty won’t be approved at next month’s 192-nation climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The concession Sunday significantly delays U.N. efforts to orchestrate a treaty to limit greenhouse gases to replace the Kyoto treaty, which expires in 2012. Nations like the United States and poorer nations share the blame for the missed deadline. Their concerns are similar to our own.
Developed nations are reluctant to limit domestic greenhouse gas emissions for fear of harming their already slumping economies. They also resist subsidizing poorer nations’ efforts. Meanwhile, developing nations, like China and India, refuse to adopt restrictions unless wealthier nations like the U.S. compensate them for the cost.
This could be a long-term standoff. It’s an understandably worldwide reluctance to commit what increasingly looked like economic suicide.
The proposed 20-percent greenhouse-gas reduction by 2020 would mean the U.S. returning to 1977 emission levels. That would “radically change both the U.S. economy and our personal lives,” according to the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit organization of energy and environmental policy experts and scientists.
“Car and truck miles traveled would have to be reduced by one-third (or fuel efficiency improved by one-third, difficult to achieve in 10 years), which would seriously reduce travel and transportation, and likely force changes in automobile design that consumers would not like,” the NCPA says. The amount of coal burned to create electricity would have to be cut in half without feasible alternatives to pick up the slack.
Such concerns so far block congressional efforts. Senators from industrial, carbon-emitting states are reluctant to impose regulations that will put their constituencies at an economic disadvantage.
“If we passed a bill that the rest of the world didn’t follow,” observed Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, “then Uncle Sam could soon become Uncle Sucker and export all of our jobs to China.”
Â Read the rest at Orange County Register.
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By Juliet Eilperin
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will go ahead and mark up climate legislation in her committee Tuesday, she announced Monday morning, even if the Republicans try to block her.
Under committee rules and precedent, two members of the minority are customarily required in order to provide a quorum for a markup. But Boxer and her aides will rely on a provision in the rules that will allow the Democrats to proceed as long as a majority of committee members are present, and can report out the bill if a majority is present and votes in favor of the bill. Democrats outnumber Republicans on the panel by a ratio of 12 to 7.
While committee Republicans have objected that the Environmental Protection Agency has not performed a full economic impact analysis of the bill authored by Boxer and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), Boxer rejected this complaint in a statement.
“This bill has had comprehensive legislative hearings, with 54 expert witnesses in nine panels. Committee rules provide that the Chairman’s Mark be circulated three days before a business meeting, and we released it, along with the EPA’s economic analysis, ten days before the markup,” she said. “No climate bill has ever had this level of review and the Obama administration stands behind the EPA’s analysis.”
“We urge Ranking Member Inhofe, with the utmost respect, to bring the committee Republicans back to work on this issue. We will give them the opportunity, as we proceed this week, to reconsider their decision,” she added. “We look forward to working with them if they decide to participate, but if they do not, we will move forward in accordance with the rules of the Senate and of this committee.”
Matt Dempsey, spokesman for the committee Republicans, said the minority was united in its opposition to moving forward.
Read the rest of this article at Washington Post.
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At a press conference this morning, a number of business and interest groups announced the formation of a new coalition to oppose cap-and-trade public policy. The No Cap-and-Trade Coalition says it will kick-off its campaign with a new advertisement and website (NoCapAndTrade.com).
The website includes a petition that visitors can sign to express their opposition to the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill and the United Nationâ€™s proposed climate treaty expected to be debated in Copenhagen this December. The group is also bringing a localized educational program to areas of the state, featuring the new global warming documentary film, â€œNot Evil, Just Wrong.â€
The coalitionâ€™s website also includes a campaign to boycott 20 organizations that are supporting cap-and-trade. Companies that are part of the boycott include Starbucks, The Gap, e-Bay, Leviâ€™s and Nike amongst others.
The No Cap-and-Trade Coalition consists of several non-partisan, non-profit Minnesota organizations who are concerned about the devastating impact a cap-and-trade scheme could have on American families and the faltering US economy. â€œWe need energy to turn things around,â€ explained Linda Runbeck of the Minnesota Free Market institute, â€œa massive new tax on energy is the last thing we need right now. Cap-and-trade would be destructive to our economy.â€
At the onset, cap-and-trade is projected to cost the average family over $1,700 per year in new energy costs, growing to over $6,000 per year by 2035. Independent analyses of cap-and-trade proposals project the loss of millions of additional jobs and trillions of dollars out of the nationâ€™s GDP. â€œCap-and-trade is a huge tax on everything,â€ said Minnesota Majority president Jeff Davis.
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Posted by boycott in Polls
From the Wall Street Journal
A new poll out today on Americansâ€™ attitudes about climate change presents sobering findings for those that favor aggressive action to curb U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases.
The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who see solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. According to the survey, conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 among 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, fewer respondents also see global warming as a very serious problem; 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.Â The survey also points to a decline in the proportion of Americans who say global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity. Just 36% say that currently, down from 47% last year.
Check-out this FACTS SHEET on public opinion from Climate Depot
Read the rest of the column
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