Dec 3, 2012

Doha(rd) 2012: in an aircon-loving state, more climate delay

The world is talking in the airconditioned confines of Doha, but nobody expects action that matches the science. Renew Economy's Giles Parkinson reports from Doha.

The first slogan to greet arrivals at Doha Airport in Qatar are as optimistic as those that greeted delegates to the climate change talks in Copenhagen in 2009. “Welcome to 12 days that could have an everlasting effect,” it pronounced.


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25 thoughts on “Doha(rd) 2012: in an aircon-loving state, more climate delay

  1. Person Ordinary

    Without a global price on emissions, the dollar value of the fossil fuels makes burning them irresistible – regardless of any other measure. But with a global price, say one that rises year by year, the economics will automatically create the transition to lower emissions energy sources. No other policy is needed. No other policy is meaningful.

  2. Person Ordinary

    The major obstacle to getting a global price is the question of whether developing countries should pay the same price as developed countries. The developing countries argue that having to pay a higher price to reach “developed” status than others did is unfair. This is true. The developed countries argue that having to pay a higher rate now than the developing countries puts them at a competitive disadvantage. This is also true.

    What is the compromise? The magic formula?

    If the US and China could only agree on such a compromise, they could set up a world wide body to enforce it, regardless of the will of all other nations … Together they have the clout to create a WTO/IMF/World Bank style stand-over organisation, and manipulate energy policy just as brutally as those organisations currently manipulate global trade and finance. It is not ideal, and it is not what the Left have tried for a long time to achieve on the back of the climate imperative, but it may be the best hope for real action …

  3. Andybob

    Isn’t euthanasia supposed to be illegal ? Why should mass suicide be any different ?

  4. Mike Flanagan

    Warern J
    Having waded through a considerable number of reports available on the net from universities, Met Departments, NASA, IPCC, USA, British and Aussie defence department etc, that are peered reviewed, I would be interested in the links to the papers you reference.
    Perhaps the COP structure initiated by the UN is not the optimum framework to initiate our collective reactions to what our best brains in the area are telling us. The initial emissions agreements, between twenty odd nations under the EC umbrella, to arrive at Kyoto, were a painful exercise.
    Maybe more emphasis to arrive at a collective decision could be better advanced by the UN, through the fostering of regional, and or, common economic groups of nations to negotiate among themselves.
    Cop 15-20 have, and are, all proving to be about political posturing and positioning for national economic advantages as perceived by groups and individual nations. They have all proved to be failures to create international mechanism to avoid what our scientists have been projecting and have left a good many of the public confused and disappointed by their inactivity.
    About all these COP gatherings offer, is a timeline to complete more studies and reports, all of which have been even more alarming than the last. It must be said these reports are valuable and the gathering number of reports from the economic(IMF World Bank) and accounting (PWC et al) bodies indicate that our financial sector (banks) are reacting in their business programs to these scientific reports. This could be far more significant than even the feeble efforts done by our political masters.
    While, Ms Gillard, Combet and co, should be congratulated for standing up to the vitriolic response of their political opposition it is clear, from the science, they have only dipped their toe in the ocean of dilemmas that climate change will cause, and require changes to both individual and national aspirations and practices.
    It is not just GHG we have to reflect and modify our ways to resolve, we only have to pass cursive eye of the implications of our destruction of the oceans, pesticide application and regulation and we can add innumerable industrial process and modern human practices that need to be reviewed with the long-term bio-implications in mind.

  5. Rohan

    Mike Flanagan, why waste the time responding to a denialist brain dump?

    By engaging you implicitly lend them credibility.

  6. Mike Flanagan

    In most instances I agree with you Rohan. But I do think that the more eloquent of this group that make assertion, using an undefined or nameless academic treatise to support their assertion, I think should be engaged.

  7. Steve777

    It is clear that little or no effective action on mitigating the causes of anthropogenic climate change will be allowed until the effects start to impact on the profits of major corporations. At that time, business interests will start demanding that governments do something about it and that somebody else pays for it.

  8. Person Ordinary


    The way that “the effects start to impact on the profits of major corporations” is a global price on emissions, is it not?

  9. Steve777

    Person Ordinary – agreed. A price on carbon and global arrangements to manage it makes perfect sense, as even John Howard and his team seemed to agree just 5 years ago. I was just expressing a view that it was unlikely to happen because of the powerful vested interests, including the Fossil Fuel industry, pushing to block or delay a price on carbon or any other effective action to mitigate climate change. And our Opposition, which will probably be our government next year, have decided to play politics with the issue for short term gain. Once they take government, Australia will resume the ‘spoiler role’ it played in international forums on climate change under Howard.

  10. Person Ordinary

    “… it was unlikely to happen because of the powerful vested interests …” – Agree absolutely.

    So the only real prospect I can imagine is if the two most powerful vested interests that exist, the Chinese government and the American elite, consider that an aggressive compromise serves their common self interest. Unfortunately, this seems unlikely too – we may actually, in all rationality, be doomed.

    The only force that could overcome even those two heavyweights is public opinion, and the political will it could generate, but with the state of the media in both China and the West, we are collectively too deluded to demand any real, adequate action …

    Here, I can’t see the coalition winning government with Abbott at the helm, but if we do swing to the Right, we may effectively be deciding to commit biocide – kidding ourselves that even if we do nothing for a while, we can fix it all later …

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