The Paris talks have come and gone with a double triumph.
Nothing significant was agreed to. No binding agreement eventuated with the lofty goals of Copenhagen and hope of binding countries to emission reduction targets similar to the Kyoto Protocol now well abandoned.
Everyone seems happy and content with agreeing to do not very much, even the Green’s James Shaw was gleeful that something was agreed to, even though the agreement is to do nothing in reality.
The politicians have done a very good job of nullifying the problem with NZ’s emission target taken to Paris of 30% below 2005 levels actually meaning no reduction at all because the 2030 target is set using gross emissions and is met using net emissions. Our net emissions today are already 30% below our gross emissions today so we don’t have to do anything. If we do nothing it will not stop any global warming which means we have just agreed in Paris not to stop global warming, how is that a success?
The Government gets away with it because of total lack of scrutiny by analysts and media and in any case no one really wants to know. A lot of people might want to be worried about global warming and might want the Government to do something, but it is not the Government which produces these emissions, it is us, and even people who worry about global warming like burning oil. So they are happy as long as they think something is being done and they can carry on.
The post Paris talk was all about how great the Paris talks were and that something was agreed. This is good enough for most.
So we survive another climate conference and it appears that it is the last in which any attempt at a significant agreement was going to be attempted. So crisis over. Not the global warming crisis but the crisis that our government might inflict severe financial pain on us in a futile attempt to halt the rising sea.
That is cause for celebration and guarantees a happy new year.
Now it just remains for all these concerned people to get together and puff even more enormous quantities of CO2 in to the atmosphere as they fly to a signing ceremony later this year. If you were really worried about global warming wouldn’t you just send the agreement out in the mail for signing?