The United Nations will tell us to consume less, while leaving behind a carbon footprint that could choke a horse
TORONTO – A week from now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a gaggle of provincial premiers, territorial leaders and opposition politicians will fly in to the United Nations’ latest international meeting on climate change in Paris.
The conference, to be attended by more than 80 world leaders and 50,000 participants, including 25,000 official delegates, will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
In those 12 days, including air flights to and from Paris, this meeting, ostensibly devoted to reducing man-made global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to climate change, will generate enough GHGs to power a small African country for a year.
While the UN will no doubt claim the purchase of “carbon offsets” will reduce the meeting’s massive carbon footprint, the truth is that if these people actually believed their rhetoric that the world faces an imminent, existential threat from climate change caused by GHG emissions, they would stay home and hold the meeting by videoconferencing.
As it is, the example they are setting for the world is appalling in its hypocrisy — a UN meeting that is an ostentatious display of excessive consumption, whose message is we must consume less in order to save the planet and ourselves.
Instead of walking the walk on reducing consumption, the UN will repeat what it has been doing for almost a quarter century on climate change, ever since its Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.
That is, holding meetings in virtually every popular tourist destination on earth, including Geneva, Kyoto, The Hague, Montreal, Bali, Copenhagen, New York, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Nairobi, Marrakech, Milan, New Delhi, Cancun, Durban, Doha, Lima, Bonn and now, Paris.
In other words, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, the definition of insanity.
Because the UN’s approach to addressing climate change by imposing top-down, global treaties to reduce GHG emissions, has been an abject failure.
Between 1990 — the base line year for global GHG emissions established by the Kyoto accord — and 2011, global emissions increased 42%. (Canada’s, 19%.)
Nothing that has come out of these endless UN meetings — from the international carbon credit system which is overrun by fraud and organized crime, to carbon pricing schemes like cap-and-trade and carbon taxes, to wind and solar power — has worked.
The only time global GHG emissions slowed — briefly — since 1990, was in the wake of the 2008 global recession, caused by massive financial fraud by Wall Street banks in the subprime mortgage derivative scandal.
That led to a global credit freeze and a world-wide recession.
The reason the 2008 recession slowed emissions — as opposed to the UN holding endless meetings anywhere there are five-star hotels and three-star restaurants — is that in a recession people have less money to buy the goods and services produced using fossil fuel energy that generates GHGs.
Thus, when consumption declines, so do GHG emissions.
While Europe portrays itself — and will again in Paris — as the global leader in reducing GHG emissions, the only reason it can make that claim is through smoke and mirrors.
That’s because Europe crafted the 1997 Kyoto accord — which expired in 2012 — to recognize 1990 as the base year for reducing GHG emissions.
By using 1990, a year before the Soviet Union disintegrated and its industrial GHG emissions dramatically dropped because its economy collapsed, Europe was able to claim much of this emissions drop for itself, as major parts of the former Soviet empire were absorbed by European countries.
It was an accounting trick. Nothing more.
The purpose of the Paris meeting is to produce a new global treaty on reducing GHG emissions to replace the Kyoto accord.
Because such political heavyweights as U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending, the UN will declare whatever deal comes out of it a great success that will save the planet.
Then the more than 80 world leaders scheduled to attend — including Trudeau — will return home and pretend to implement whatever it is they agreed to, without actually lowering GHG emissions.
Canada has been doing that ever since Jean Chretien was prime minister.
That’s why, if Trudeau was to implement Canada’s current GHG reduction plan that has been submitted to the UN, he’d have to shut down the equivalent of 58% of Canada’s oil and gas sector by 2020 and 100% by 2030.
Which is a good illustration of the fantasy world the UN lives in when it comes to climate change.