Our Prime Minister was rightly concerned that Julie Bishop should not go unchaperoned to the Lima climate conference late last year. She went anyway and blew $200 million on the UN’s Green Climate Fund. The funds came out of our foreign aid budget, so they were going to be wasted anyway.
All a bit of a lark, but things are going to get very serious very soon. A recent conference in Geneva produced the negotiating text for the climate conference to be held in Paris in December. The Geneva meeting was conducted in a rush with no opening statements, even by head of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres, whose expectation of the climate treaty-to-be is that it will be “a centralised transformation” which will “make the life of everyone on the planet very different”.
Just how different is shown by snippets of the Paris negotiating text. Let’s start with this one from page 5:
“All Parties to strive to achieve low greenhouse gas climate-resilient economies and societies, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their historical responsibilities, common but differentiated responsibilities/evolving common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in order to achieve sustainable development, poverty eradication and prosperity for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, taking fully into account the historical responsibility of developed country Parties.”
Orwell’s Animal Farm was a cautionary tale about communism. The UN has taken “All animals are created equal but some are more equal than others.” and turned into “All countries are common but some are more differentiated than others.”
How will the UN determine how much one country might be differentiated from another? That is explained on page 35:
“In reviewing and revising Annex I to the Convention, the total amount of greenhouse gases, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent, emitted by a Party to the Convention since 1750 A.D. shall be added and divided by the current population of that Party. Based on the thus obtained per capita greenhouse gas emissions and population size of each Party to the Convention, the average global per capita emissions of greenhouse gases shall be used to evaluate the status of the greenhouse gas emissions of a Party to the Convention. Each Party to the Convention whose per capita greenhouse gas emissions exceed the global average per capita greenhouse gas emissions shall be proposed to be inscribed in Annex I to the Convention, and the remaining Parties shall not be proposed to be inscribed in Annex I to the Convention.”
Why 1750? Are the sins of the fathers are to be visited their sons even unto the 11th generation, which is us? Climate treaties used to be based on 1990 as the start date because that was convenient to the Europeans as the fall of Communism in that year had curbed the Continent’s coal consumption. The European countries were going to be the easy treaty compliers while the US was punished. That was the plan at the beginning. But now it is changed to 1750.
The significance of Annex 1 is that if you are on it, you will be paying for the whole circus – US$100 billion per annum destined for kleptocracies. What if you don’t want to be on Annex 1, perhaps because you know that global warming is nonsense or you are reluctant to hand over your hard-earned to mendicant corruptocrats? A hint of what might can be found on page 8:
“Option 4: Decides that the developed country Parties shall not resort to any form of unilateral measures against goods and services from developing country Parties on any grounds related to climate change, recalling the principles and provisions of the Convention”
The option says that developing countries are not to have unilateral measures taken against them, but who would bother doing that? The implied target is elsewhere. Countries allocated to Annex 1 and don’t cough up the cash might have unilateral measures taken against them by “developed country Parties”.
Kevin Rudd signed us up for the UN Climate Treaty in 2007. Canada pulled out in 2011 while Russia and Japan have rejected new targets after 2012. Perhaps the US will keep us free, sticking to the approach that saw Ms Figueres brand the US Congress as “very detrimental” to the fight against global warming.
For Australia to be safe and secure and free, we must also risk Ms Figueres’ wrath by going the other way with a substantial increase our carbon dioxide emissions. We could and should be replacing all our oil, petrol and diesel imports with fuel made from coal. That will take our coal mining and burning from 10% of China’s current level to 15%. China is installing over one million barrels per day of coal-to-liquids capacity and we should not deny ourselves what China is having in this instance.
Keeping to the Federal government’s current plan to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 5% by 2020 precludes liquid fuel security and puts our nation at risk.
It is a case of one or the other. We can have liquid fuel security or the current idiotic climate plan with its ultimate insistence on submission to the UN climate treaty.
Choose wisely, Mr Abbott. Getting this one wrong and the consequences are utterly dire.
David Archibald, a visiting fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of Twilight of Abundance (Regnery, 2014)