Dec 10, 2012

Doha(rd) 2012: should we ditch the UN climate process?

The United Nations' climate summit in Doha tied up a few loose ends over the weekend but was, at best, a patch-up job. Is the UN process worth the time and effort?

The UN’s climate summit in Doha was a success — on one front at least. A decision by the Qatari organisers to make it a “paperless” summit saved more than 250 trees.

The summit didn’t save much else.

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11 thoughts on “Doha(rd) 2012: should we ditch the UN climate process?

  1. Mark Duffett

    Typical Giles Parkinson, trumpets Saudi schemes for concentrated solar, fails to mention their plans for 18 GW of equally low-emission nuclear power by 2032:



    Or maybe it was edited out to fit the recent Crikey narrative of nuclear energy decline?

  2. John Bennetts

    I agree with Mark.

    Giles comes across as a tourist, rather than as an analyst. Next, he will be serving up weather reports and describing the local marketplaces as though they have some relevance to the issue at hand.

    Come on, folks! If the subject of hastening the date of the end of the world as we know it isn’t meaningful then I don’t know what is. It’s past time that we got moving on all available options, including renewables and nuclear power and anything else that can help to decarbonise our energy industries.

  3. Scott

    I find it funny that we have tied ourselves to the Europeans when Gillard is constantly talking about the Asian century, especially when there are no asian countries cutting their emissions under Kyoto.
    All our biggest global competitors are free to emit at will (Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Canada, US, Indonesia, China etc), yet we (in our infinite wisdon) have decided to join this little gang of 37 (which includes such carbon belching giants as Monocco, Malta and Liechenstein) representing just 17% of global emissions.
    I really wonder what we gain from signing up to a protocol that looks dead in the water.

  4. Ian

    What do we gain from not doing so Scott? Either way we are doing next to nothing and it’s costing us about the same – next to nothing.

  5. David Hand

    The benefit of cancelling these summits would be the prevention of climate activists such as WWF et el, undertaking carbon belching junkets to exotic locations on an annual basis so they can tell us we are all doomed (unless we act drastically noww!!!) with all the conviction of a door to door encyclopedia salesman.

    If the hyperbole in last weeks alarming report is right, it’s already too late. The world is going to warm and civilisation is going to come to an end. Relax folks, it’s over.

  6. Stephen

    Yes, we should ditch the process.

    All UN and EU climate change processes are designed by economists to protect the market and business-as-usual.

    Ditto the Australian CPRS.

  7. Giles Parkinson

    Mark, John
    How did you know I am a tourist? I am in Paris at the moment, it’s cloudy, about 3C, and forecast to possibly snow in the afternoon.
    Being in France, it means that this email is around 70 per cent nuclear powered. But even the French now want to downgrade their nuclear share – not so much because they don’t like it, but they can’t figure out how they are going to pay for it. You guys can trumpet nuclear all you like, but until you can find someone to invest in it, it’s all a little pointless. And the reason i didn’t mention nuclear in this story is because Qatar is not interested and the Saudis did not even mention it during their briefings at Doha.

  8. John Bennetts

    Giles, you are a b it brave to stick up for unaffordable, highly mollycoddled antinuclear options on the basis if “can’t afford it”.

    That is BS and you know it.

    If the end of the earth means anything at all to you, it means that all means available must be used to act against it. Nuclear power is now and has been for 40 years cheaper, safer and more readily available than some of the toy alternatives which are truly unaffordable, yet you continually advocate solar and wind at any price.

    If climate change matters, and it does, then nuclear power generation options must be considered on at least a level playing field, yet you, Giles, are personally responsible for doing whatever you can to present counterfactual argument to the contrary and I am getting very very angry that this is the case.

    We should be on the same side, but instead you have chosen to be part of the problem and not of the solution. Tell your kids and grandkids in 20 years what you did when there was still time. Then ask them for forgiveness.

  9. Hamis Hill

    The nuclear option is intrinsically connected to the “Gold Plated Grid Syndrome” where its proponents seek to be “maintained in the manner to which they have become accustomed”.
    Hence the angry denunciation of “stand alone” technology as “toys”.
    Increasingly, investments on energy will become the decision of communities rather than the “Grid Tsars”, put in place by superannuation funds seeking a locked-in long term market, soporifically insensible to the economics of sustainability or climate change.
    Finally, is there or is there not a market for Australian uranium?
    If there is a burgeoning market for uranium, can we be spared the paranoid bleating and anger about a lack of support for nuclear power generation?
    This hypocritical stench of self-interest, cynically dressed up as heartfelt concern for the planet and humanity,is capable of permeating even the electromagnetic spectrum of the internet.
    It is an insidious and apparently, persistent form of unnecessary pollution.
    Give it a miss, please.

  10. Mark Duffett

    Giles, are you sure they didn’t mention it, in so many words? Would this be the same briefing at which the Saudi minister said “All sources of energy are needed to meet future demand”? What do you think he meant by that? Their previous public pronouncements have made it quite apparent that they consider ‘nuclear energy’ to be a subset of ‘green energy’. Food for thought.

    And your contention on the reasons that France is looking at downgrading their nuclear share is utterly at odds with everything else I’ve read, which strongly gives the impression that the new policy of the incoming Socialist government was entirely politically driven (which is to say, not to put too fine a point on it, enough French people have bought the line spun by the likes of you, see JB above under ‘part of the problem’), and nothing to do with economics.


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