There are high expectations for the next UN climate summit taking place in Paris in late November and early December. Obama is determined to get a “binding” international treaty to succeed the failed Kyoto Protocol. One of the major sticking points all along has been the reluctance of developing nations, especially China and India, to commit to significant emissions reductions which would reduce their economic growth. So China, India, and other nations were exempted from the Kyoto Protocol, and now China is the top emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The strategy for the next treaty will be not to try to impose uniform emissions reduction targets like Kyoto, but to ask what every nation could do (sort of like a pot luck, or stone soup), wrap it with a bow, and call it a “treaty” (though Obama will certainly call it another “executive agreement” so he can get around Congress). This is thought to make it harder for China and India to say No.
Developing nations have said that they might be willing to accept emissions reductions—if the wealthy developed nations coughed up lots of foreign aid to pay for it. Here’s a short squib from the Cooler Heads Coalition that notices India’s price tag for going along:
On 1st October, India submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (or INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The 38-page document recounts India’s climate policies to date and lays out its plans to reduce emissions 33-35% by 2030. According to the INDC, India will need $2.5 trillion of foreign aid in order to take the appropriate steps. For reference, that is slightly less than a year and a half of India’s current GDP. Of this $2.5 trillion, only $883 billion would be used to reduce emissions. The rest would be used to fund “adaptation action” designed to reduce the effects of climate change on Indians. While there has been much said in the mainstream media about how ambitious India’s goals are, very little has been said about how much it will cost taxpayers in developed countries to achieve those goals.
I hope India will demand this in writing, with binding language that forces rich nations to cough up the cash. Yeah, that’s going to happen. What are other developing nations going to charge for going along with this farce?