Clive Spash got monstered a few years back in Australia, for simply telling the truth. Some (Labor) politicians did not like this. Well, he’s clearly not learnt his lesson, because he’s telling the truth again.
For a Manchester take on this, see the interview with Professor Kevin Anderson on the subject of the outcomes of Paris, conducted in January.
Imho, we’re toast. #carpethediems.
This Changes Nothing: The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality
CLIVE L. SPASH
WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria
ABSTRACT At the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris, France, 30 November to 11 December 2015, an Agreement was reached by the international community including 195 countries. The Agreement has been hailed, by participants and the media, as a major turning point for policy in the struggle to address human-induced climate change. The following is a short critical commentary in which I briefly explain why the Paris Agreement changes nothing. I highlight how the Agreement has been reached by removing almost all substantive issues concerning the causes of human-induced climate change and offers no firm plans of action. Instead of substantive cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as soon as possible, the intentions of the parties promise escalation of damages and treat worst-case scenarios as an acceptable 50:50 chance. The Paris Agreement signifies commitment to sustained industrial growth, risk management over disaster prevention, and future inventions and technology as saviour. The primary commitment of the international community is to maintain the current social and economic system. The result is denial that tackling GHG emissions is incompatible with sustained economic growth. The reality is that Nation States and international corporations are engaged in an unremitting and ongoing expansion of fossil fuel energy exploration, extraction and combustion, and the construction of related infrastructure for production and consumption. The targets and promises of the Paris Agreement bear no relationship to biophysical or social and economic reality.
Keywords: climate change, public policy, UNFCCC, COP
“In reality, the Paris Agreement is a compilation of nationally determined intended contradictions.
The UNFCCC Secretariat advanced no plan of action and its latest Agreement is totally
divorced from the operations of the current economic and political systems. Human-induced
climate change can now conveniently slip off the political and media agenda until the time
comes for the next major cop-out due in 2023 when a ‘stock-taking’ exercise is scheduled.
By then few, if any, of the politicians responsible for this farce are likely to be in office, and
neither they nor the bureaucrats and negotiators who have celebrated this great success will
ever be held accountable. An acceleration of climate change impacts seems to be the only
thing that will now alter the complacency of the global community.”
The message coming from NGOs at the side events in the Public Area, was that the USA, Norway, Saudi Arabia and quietly, even the EU were fighting for a weak agreement. An agreement, that would keep the multi-national corporations happy. That is why, I could not believe the hype, that COP21 had been a success? Especially as there was a rush, to further exploit fossil-fuels, especially the unconventional types, as shale gas and coal-bed methane, since Paris COP 21!
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