A second Trojan Horse in U.N. climate change negotiations boosted in Doha, Qatar

Blog, Environment, Tom Harris

“The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy” by Domenico Tiepolo (1773), inspired by Virgil’s Aeneid

Despite lamentations from impatient climate campaigners, the United Nations Climate Change Conference just completed in Doha has significantly advanced the dangerously misguided U.N.  climate change agenda.

The most obvious accomplishments were:

1 – an agreement to extend the Kyoto Protocol to 2020. Since no developing countries have emission limits under Kyoto and Canada, the U.S., Japan, New Zealand and Russia have all refused to participate in Kyoto phase 2, only the EU and some other European countries and Australia will be held to emission limits. These countries are responsible for about 15% of world emissions, so, while it was not the grand “solution” climate campaigners had been hoping for (a naïve wish at this stage in the negotiations), it is nevertheless a significant victory for them.

Perhaps the strangest part of this “advance” is that Australia has agreed despite not knowing what their targets will be, a note-worthy change from 1997 when Kyoto 1 was agreed to. Then, shrewd Australian negotiators used macro-economic models to assess U.N. requests for reduction limits and so managed to secure far more favorable terms than Canada. Our representatives had no such models and signed on merely to “beat the Americans”, to paraphrase messages from the PMO released a decade later.

The Kyoto extension means Europe and Australia will keep up strong pressure for the rest of the world to sign on to an agreement as described in #2.

2 – At last year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, it was agreed that all parties would work towards establishing an agreement by 2015 that would include legally binding targets for all countries, to begin in 2020. As I discussed in a my November 10 FCPP blog post, developed countries are being hoodwinked since developing countries have an out clause that allows them to agree to emission cuts but then never have to actually carry them out. Nevertheless, Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent and American Climate Envoy Todd Stern have committed fully to working with the U.N. and member nations to bring such a treaty into effect. Kent summarized advances made in Qatar in his December 9 closing statement in conclusion of the Doha conference:

“We came to Doha to negotiate towards a new, single, international climate change agreement that includes meaningful and transparent commitments from all major emitters by 2015, to be implemented by 2020. Despite difficult negotiations, Canada is encouraged by the progress outlined in the Doha Climate Gateway which agreed to a pathway for negotiating a new global agreement to tackle climate change that will lead to greater ambition by all major emitters.

3 – The third advance concerns mitigation and adaptation funding in developing countries, paid for by developed countries, of course. To quote Kent:

“Countries also agreed on a process to mobilize scaled-up finance to developing countries. Since Canada signed on to the Copenhagen Accord, we have taken quick and vital action to deliver on our financial pledges and meet our greenhouse gas emission (GHG) targets.”

Canada has now completed its donation of $1.2 billion to the Copenhagen Accord’s “fast-start financing commitment.”

However, there is second Trojan Horse in the process (the first being the out-clause for developing countries).

Calling it, “the greatest international aid scheme ever”, New Scientist magazine, strong promoters of the dangerous anthropogenic climate change hypothesis, sums it up as follows:

“developing countries won a promise from developed ones that they would compensate them for losses and damage caused by climate change. The deal offers the promise of large amounts of climate aid.  Before Doha kicked off, the charities ActionAid, CARE International and WWF released a report arguing that rich countries should compensate poor countries for such damages. Tackling the Limits to Adaptation points out that climate change will cost countries dearly, both economically and in less tangible ways such as the loss of indigenous cultures.”

The idea was well laid out in Doha when a coalition including China, the Alliance of Small Island States and the G77 group of developing countries promoted a document entitled the “Multi-Window Mechanism to Address Loss and Damage from Climate Change Impacts. “ Their scheme would decide when countries had suffered climate harms, and compensate them.

They do not pull their punches. As extracted from the proposal:

In the “On Source of funds” section:

“External support is needed, as the increasing climate change impacts represent an additional burden on developing countries from the effects of past developed country emissions.

“Convention Adaptation Fund – funding should come from Annex I Parties [that’s us], preferably through the Convention Adaptation Fund proposed by AOSIS, which includes assessed contributions based on the level of countries GHG emissions, taking into account their respective levels of development and ability to pay as well as historical responsibilities, with

  • greenhouse gas emissions as a measure of responsibility and
  • Gross Domestic Product as a measure of capability.”

In the “On Guiding Principles” section, the proposal’s legal foundation is specified:

• “Principle of State Responsibility – States have the responsibility to ensure that activities under their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other states or areas beyond national jurisdiction (Principle 21 of the Stockholm Declaration; Principle 2 of the Rio Declaration). Where there is a breach of this international obligation, there is a duty to cease and to make reparation.

• “Principle 13 of the Rio Declaration – States shall cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control to areas beyond their jurisdiction.

• “Polluter Pays Principle

• “Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities

• “Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and minimize its adverse effects

• “Principles of equity and intergenerational equity

• “International solidarity”

Developed nations did not agree on specifics but made a definite promise to set something up concerning compensating developing countries for “losses and damage” due to climate change next year.

Such a qualitative commitment may seem unimportant at first glance. But, remember, the whole U.N.-driven climate scare began when, in 1988, tiny Malta presented a motion to the U.N. General Assembly that the atmosphere and the climate be declared “common good”, the common property and responsibility of all nations as international law declared the oceans. The General Assembly passed the motion, Resolution 4353, “Climate Change as a Common Concern of Mankind”. Thus, the legal foundation of the most expensive hoax in the history of science was laid.

I will discuss the implications of this significant and worrisome “loss and damage” development in future FCPP blog postings.


Tom Harris is Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition – http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/ and an advisor to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.