Climate: The Road to Paris Hits a Glacier

The climatistas are gearing up to a big summit in Paris at the end of November, where it is hoped and expected that a major new global climate treaty will emerge—the successor to the failed 1997 Kyoto Protocol. As we get closer to the summit, I’ll go through the Obama Administration’s “potluck dinner/stone soup” strategy to ensure that this summit doesn’t collapse in failure like the Copenhagen summit in 2009. In a sentence, it involves agreeing to a Potemkin Treaty that the climatistas can herald as a “breakthrough,” since they are so desperate for “progress.” Key to everything will be getting China, India, and other developing nations to agree to some kind of fig leaf to signal that they are now “on board” with the international community.

But the whole scheme may have hit a glacier earlier this week. While Obama’s visit to Alaska received a lot of general press for his climate change handwringing (and renaming Mt. McKinley), getting less attention is the diplomatic failure of the U.S.-led Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER). The State Department described the meeting as “focused on changes in the Arctic and global implications of those changes, climate resilience and adaptation planning, and strengthening coordination on Arctic issues.” In other words, a typical diplomatic gabfest.

Obama dropped in on the conference to give it a boost, but when it came time for everyone to sign a “joint statement” that entailed an unspecified “commitment” to save the arctic from the ravages of climate change, China, India, and Russia decided not to sign. (More here from The Diplomat.)

Question for the class: If China, Russia, and India won’t sign a symbolic, non-binding agreement, what makes anyone think they’ll go along with a global agreement calling for emission restraints in Paris three months from now?  As The Diplomat points out, “the failure to come to an agreement at the GLACIER conference sends a troubling signal for the Paris summit, and for U.S.-China cooperation in general.”