When they see COP 19 in the news, many people may assume it’s another TV show like Car 54, Where Are You?
Unfortunately, COP 19 is the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that just completed its meeting in Warsaw, Poland.
The United States ratified the UNFCCC treaty so it attends these meetings, consisting of thousands of people, from around 195 countries and innumerable NGOs.
Each country has one vote, so the United States is frequently out voted by countries who either don’t like the United States, or who see the United States as being able to pay for programs the other 195 countries support.
Every COP meeting is focused on climate change.
In this most recent meeting, the objective was to set the stage for COP 21 in Paris, where COP members expect to establish the follow-on treaty to Kyoto. COP 20, the next step leading to COP 21, is to be in Lima, Peru.
Here is how the UNFCCC web site described the meeting’s outcome.
“The Warsaw Climate Change Conference 2013 concluded successfully!
“Key decisions adopted at this conference include decisions on further advancing the Durban Platform, the Green Climate Fund and Long-Term Finance, the Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus, the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage and other decisions.”
Here’s a quick synopsis of these accomplishments.
- Advancing the Durban Platform means to advance establishing a successor to Kyoto, i.e., a new Kyoto treaty.
- The Green Climate fund is a fund to which developed countries will contribute, including the United States, to pay for mitigation in developing countries, including China and India.
- The REDD agreement, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, requires developed nations to pay developing nations for curbing deforestation.
- The Mechanism for Loss and Damage attempts to have developed nations insure developing nations for damage caused by global warming. It was highly promoted by China and India in support of the bloc of 132 developing nations.
The Mechanism for Loss and Damage would require the United States, for example, to help pay for damages the Philippines sustained from Typhoon Haiyan. This would be over and above the aid the United States is already providing voluntarily.
You may have noticed there is an underlying theme to these COP meetings: Have the United States taxpayer contribute to the Green Climate Fund, pay for REDD , and then pay for damage caused by climate change in developing countries, including China and India.
The Obama administration is on record in support of having the United States cut its CO2 emissions 80% by 2050. At COP 19 it announced support for all nations to declare their targets for reducing CO2 emissions … something China and India are unlikely to do, even though they want the United States to pay for the proposals mentioned above.
The Senate ratified the UNFCCC treaty because it believed the treaty was unenforceable, as explained in Carbon Gauntlet.
A few nations are beginning to step back from the UNFCCC, while the United States sends delegations to each COP meeting. For example, Australia decided not to send a delegation to COP19.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected recently to undo the damage of a carbon tax, told the Washington Post “The carbon tax was basically socialism masquerading as environmentalism and that’s why it’s going to get abolished.”
At the moment, the United States supports cutting CO2 emissions 80% by 2050, and is at risk of becoming involved in a new Kyoto treaty.
Perhaps, we should follow the lead of Australia, and cancel the UNFCCC treaty, before becoming inexorably entangled in a new Kyoto treaty.
A new Kyoto treaty would result in tax payers footing the bill for every new program devised by the UNFCCC, even if we oppose them, while crippling the United States economy by cutting CO2 emissions 80% by 2050 … something this administration is already trying to accomplish.
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