It will be hard for those who have endured the relentless domestic agenda of the Obama Administration to imagine a place where they are the moderates. Nevertheless, that is the case at the annual meetings of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP for short. The 19th such conference was held this November for two weeks in Warsaw, Poland.
The result was another cave-in by the “moderate” U.S. delegation to China and Marxist states such as Bolivia and Cuba, that each year demand more and more money from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The money is to pay for their past sins of greenhouse gas emissions that they claim have warmed the planet and brought on sea level rise and devastating storms such as the recent super-typhoon in the Philippines. Another term would be reparations.
Attending as an official NGO observer, I came away with a much better understanding of the political dynamics of U.N. meetings and how the U.S. puts itself in a position to be rolled by the rest of the world. For one thing, much like Congress, countries have formed into groups representing factions. The largest calls itself “the G-77and China” representing the so-called “developing world.” They have set themselves against the U.S. and Europe.
There are two main areas of contention at each conference. The first is “commitments,” that is, what commitments countries are willing to make to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In practical terms this means commitments from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The second, and by far the biggest issue, is money. Money from the “wealthy” countries to the “poorer” countries to “mitigate” the effects of the “sacrifices” they will have to make to reduce fossil fuel use, etc.
Ironies abounded at this particular conference. Host country Poland is one of the few that does not always go along with the program as it relies on coal for much of its energy needs. In fact, they sacked their Environment Minister in the middle of the conference for not doing enough with Poland’s shale gas reserves. Then there is Australia, the former poster child for the global warming movement. As a result of recent elections reinstating the conservatives, they announced no high level ministers would be coming because they were “too busy repealing their carbon tax.” Then there is Japan, birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol. Having shut down 150 nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster caused by the Tsunami, Japan announced they could not adhere to the Protocol and could only promise a three percent increase in their emissions, rather than a reduction.