Fantasy pervades many aspects of climate alarmism. One of its core beliefs is that if the UN holds enough meetings agreement will be reached on a set of CO2 emission reductions that all parties can agree on (as required in many aspects of the UN world) that will actually significantly reduce world CO2 emissions. An agreement was reached in 1992 in Kyoto Japan, but only after a last minute decision that only developed countries (DCs) would be required to reduce emissions. The Kyoto Protocol was never ratified by the US and has been unsuccessful in bringing about a substantial reduction in emissions from DCs. But the climate alarmists never seem to give up hope of achieving their CO2 reduction fantasy.
Opposition of the the Less Developed Countries to Reducing CO2 Emissions
Climate alarmists believe it is essential to reduce CO2 emissions in order to avoid alleged catastrophic global warming, subsequently changed to climate change, and now extreme weather. Given that most of the increases in world emissions are coming from the less developed countries (LDCs), global emissions cannot go down in any significant way without major LDC reductions. The issue of what to do about LDC emission reductions remains unresolved to this day because most LDCs are (rightfully in my view) unwilling to reduce their emissions or even stabilize them because of the adverse effect this would have on their primary goal–economic development. One of the basic ingredients of development is the substitution of fossil fuel energy for human and animal labor. This becomes much more expensive if non-hydro “renewable” sources must be used as the alarmists insist, thus delaying development, making it more costly to achieve, and keeping more people in poverty longer.
This collision between the DCs and the LDCs came to a head at the 2009 Copenhagen UN meeting. Some of the developed country delegates, including the US, suggested that large payments from the developed countries would solve the problem. Substantial such payments are still another climate fantasy. They are simply not going to happen and for obvious reasons.
LDC Demands for Large Financial Transfers
This brings us to the December, 2015 meeting in Paris, which is supposed to reach the long sought significant CO2 reduction agreement including LDC reductions this time. This is the alleged reason advanced by USEPA for decreasing US emissions according to their “Clean Power Plan” or CPP (which I call their Skyrocketing Rates Power Plan or SRPP). They argue that if the US reduces emissions, then all the other countries will agree to reduce theirs. The LDCs, however, have made it clear that the only way they might agree to significantly reduce their emissions is if the DCs delivered on their vague promises of large financial transfers at Copenhagen.
In addition, the US and many other DCs have voted for the idea that the DCs should compensate LDCs for damages from extreme weather. This is based on the highly dubious claims by the Obama Administration and many DCs that extreme weather is increased by higher CO2 levels despite the absence of any objective basis for the extreme weather claim or even support for it from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The higher atmospheric CO2 levels, they claim, have been caused by DC CO2 emissions.
Only in the fantasy world of climate alarmism does anyone think that very large payments will actually be made by the DCs to the LDCs by way of the UN in order to secure their votes for a new climate protocol. But fantasy thinking pervades most aspects of climate alarmism.
A much more detailed explanation of many of these issues as well as extensive documentation can be found in my new book, Environmentalism Gone Mad (available here).