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McKibben denounces COP15 as sham

Are talks in Copenhagen stalled? Did Hillary’s offer of US aid ford the turbulance in time for an Obama second coming? The Guardian has obtained a COP15 internal note which reveals that negotiators know their stated goals do not add up. Poor nations want a temperature rise limited at 1.5C, rich nations are offering measures to max at 2C, but know confidentially their best offer will produce a disastrous 3C. Bill McKibben of 350.ORG declares conference an elaborate sham.
Confidential preliminary assessment-internal-note-secretariat

Forget yelling at the First World Annex I delegates. They know. Forget too, the goal of 350 PPM. While government representatives pretend their best efforts will cap atmosphere carbon levels at 550 parts per million, their own calculations predict we’ll reach 770.

The developing nations (the non-Annex I Parties) who will suffer the most by climate change want the damage limited to 1.5C and they need pledges of countermeasures and disaster relief commensurate to those expectations. But the First World negotiators are offering half the money needed to address a rise of 2C, knowing warming will get as bad as 3C.

Here’s the document’s conclusion (highlighting mine):

VI. Conclusions

The pledges made by a number of Annex I Parties for emissions reductions below base year levels and announcements made by a number of non-Annex I Parties for voluntary actions to address emissions in the lead-up to the COP in Copenhagen could bring significant emission reductions and help to reduce the gap between the current reference emission levels in 2020 and the required level of global emissions of 44 Gt in the same year which is estimated at around 10.5 Gt. Even if Parties agreed to deliver in accordance with the upper range of their pledge, this will leave a gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt.

Unless the remaining gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt is closed and Parties commit themselves to strong action prior and after 2020, global emissions will peak later than 2020 and remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550 ppm with the related temperature raise around 3C. equal or above 550 ppm. This in turn will reduce significantly the probability to stay within a temperature increase of 2C.

If you’re tracking Treehugger or Grist for the lowdown on Copenhagen, grab a yardstick from 350.org. Bill McKibben, by the way, wrote The End of Nature in 1989, one of the earliest books to address global warming for a general audience. The American Museum of Natural History’s Nature Defense Fund published Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast in 1992. Columbia professor Wallace Broecker coined the phrase in the 1970s –for deniers who thought the conspiracy was a recent one.

By the way, COP15 is not named like the G8 or G20, for 15 key players meeting, by coincidence in Copenhagen. COP15 stand for the 15th international gathering of the Conference Of the Parties. The parties, non-Annex I and Annex I, we know now as the plaintiffs and the liars.

cop15-graph-350org-climatescoreboard

And from the Climate Score Board:

One thought on “McKibben denounces COP15 as sham

  1. Did you notice, like the Deniers are sure to point out (YEAH, Right!) that at the protests outside, people on both side were scrapping it out in the streets of Copenhagen in their shirtsleeves? Not… Wearing… Heavy… Coats….

    In… DENMARK… in… Mid-December…

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