Paris climate accord dead in the rising water

A push by vulnerable nations to limit global warming to 1.5degC has been dealt a blow with key scientific research blocked at major climate talks in Paris.

Tensions between developing nations escalated on Thursday (local time) when Saudi Arabia played a key role in blocking the conclusions of a two-year review into the adequacy of the agreed two-degree goal.

Vulnerable countries, including the Pacific Islands, are pushing for a more ambitious target, concerned the damage at two degrees would be too severe.

The block means crucial research won’t be submitted to the United Nations climate change summit and can’t be used as evidence to back the call for 1.5degC.

Pascal Girot, a member of the Costa Rica delegation, says the review is a critical link between science and policy and believes the negotiating process has politicised the science.

“Now we don’t have the scientific arguments to push forward an ambitious agreement,” he told AAP in Paris.

“It doesn’t bode well for substantiating the need for more investment in adaptation or even worse, for loss and damage.

“Because some will ask ‘where’s the evidence?’ and now the science has been blocked out of the negotiations.”

The bottom line is that few countries actually believe this is either a problem or that it is a manageable one.  The sabotage is deliberate – there is no way you can get everyone to agree to accept crippling restrictions on their economies and taxpayers in exchange for a long shot at fixing a problem that may not be fixable, and lots of the countries don’t really think is actually a problem.  

Climate financing is a key issue at the Paris talks, with poorer nations demanding the rich hand over funding for adaptation and mitigation.

Pacific Island nations are digging in their heels over loss and damage, which could also be seen as compensation and is a “red line” for developed countries like the United States.

The Philippines, as chair of the collection of vulnerable nations known as the CVF, was furious the negotiations on the two-year review had “taken a bad turn”.

“The parties who stand in the way of recommending a sound decisions based on the information available will be remembered by the children of today for the failure in Paris, the delegation said at the concluding session of the review.

“And we will shout it from the roof tops.” …

Australia and New Zealand aren’t publicly supporting the 1.5 goal, however it’s understood the Australian negotiators aren’t opposed to having some reference to the aim in the final agreement.

New Zealand needs to be a good world citizen by at least pretending to do most of the right things, but it should be a reluctant implementer of conservative measures, rather than aggressively pursuing ambitious targets that will inevitably not fix the planet but will hurt our economy.

The lack of progress in Paris will leave most of the attendees cold, but not for long.  The planet will warm a little more as they all hop on planes and fly back home.


– NZN via 3 News

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.