The Glasgow Climate Summit is Grand Larceny on a World Scale

by | Nov 4, 2021 |

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In the 1996 movie Jerry McGuire, football player Rod Tidwell has a single demand regarding what his agent must do to keep him as a client. He shouts, Show me the money,” repeatedly in a line that made movie history.

The cover image comes from the Indian Punchline, with this image description. The Glasgow summit on climate change has been a media extravaganza. The ruling elites from all continents, cooped up in their national capitals due to the raging pandemic, finally got a break to throw away their masks and take to their private jets to fly off to “Global Britain” to display their leadership qualities.

In the lead-up to the 26th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) now underway in Glasgow, Scotland, thousands of bureaucrats burning fossil fuel in their chartered jets, are screaming, “Show us the money.” These developing countries have made exactly the same demand during the last 25 Conferences of Parties. If the developed countries, mainly of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), want to achieve from this conference, a global commitment to sharply reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before 2050, they will have to accommodate the non-OECD countries demands for money – lots of it. 

There is nothing that any of these countries can ever do will alter the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide content matters not at all. The conference organizers have admitted this many times. The Paris Accord and every conference that followed is simply about wealth redistribution and creating a one-world socialist government.

In July of this year, 100 developing countries published a plan that they characterized as easy-to-measure” actions needed by the OECD countries to finance climate mitigation and adaptation measures. The key portion was to provide reparations for the role of the developed countries in producing past GHG emissions. The document, entitled A Five-Point plan for Solidarity, Fairness, and Prosperity, sets out actions needed in five areas:

  • Cutting emissions consistent with attaining the UN’s 1.5 degrees C reduction goal, “led by those with the biggest responsibility and capacity.”
  • Adaptation, with financial help to the most vulnerable
  • Payment of reparations for loss and damage to the developing countries for the developed countries’ “historic failure to cut their emissions adequately.”
  • Increasing finance, including at least $100 billion per year up to 2024 and more thereafter.
  • Implementation of rules for transparency, carbon trading, and common timeframes for accelerating action

It is very hard to take any of this seriously. If you are not laughing, you have no sense of humor.

For the first part, cutting emissions, the plan selected five rich” countries plus the European Union to commit to actions consistent with fair shares accounting.” According to the plan, Fair shares accounting allocates emissions cuts to countries based on their historical responsibility and capacity to act,” as judged by the less developed countries. This obligation can be expressed as a combination of a national emission cut and a financial contribution to the developing world’s mitigation and adaptation efforts. According to the plan:

  • The United States should commit to reducing emissions by 195% below 2005 levels by 2030. “This could comprise a 70% reduction in domestic emissions and a further 125% reduction achieved by providing finances to the developing countries in the order of $80 billion per year.” (This makes the April 2021 commitment by US President Biden to increase climate aid to $5.7 billion annually by 2024 look rather paltry by comparison.)
  • The EU should increase its 2030 mitigation target to at least 65% below 1990 levels and increase its annual climate aid to developing countries to $33-$36 billion.
  • The United Kingdom should cut domestic emissions to at least 75% below 1990 levels by 2030, and provide annual climate aid averaging $46 billion (33 billion British pounds) 
  • Canada should increase its mitigation target to 140% below 2005 levels by 2030. This could comprise a reduction of at least 60% in domestic emissions along with climate aid of at least US $4 billion annually. (This would increase Canada’s foreign aid budget to at least $11 billion annually.)
  • Australia should reduce its emissions by at least 65-80% below 2005 levels by 2030 and provide at least US $2.5 billion annually in climate aid.
  • Japan should increase its mitigation of domestic emissions to at least 45-50 % below 1990 levels by 2030 and increase its climate aid to at least $ US $9-10 billion annually.

Now you are surely aware that the lead committee forging this document sat in a room thick with whatever they were smoking laughing their asses off. It is absolutely astounding these folks ever saw what they were unilaterally doing as more than a joke for the world to enjoy. Not a single one of their directives will ever come to pass.

Interesting, but not surprising, despite its status as the largest GHG emitter in the world and one of its wealthiest countries, China was not identified as requiring any changes of its emissions and so-called climate aid targets. Unknown to the rest of the world, China likely finances the costs of these bureaucratic vacations where they live the life fantastic for a week or more playing imaginary kings of the world.

Beyond the numbers listed above, demands for funding continue to grow. India is demanding $1 trillion, and Africa wants $3 trillion to implement its emission reduction plans. I feel like I have seen this movie where a gang of thieves argues over how to divide the loot from the bank robbery they are about to commit.  

Why do they keep having these meetings? The answers should be obvious. 1-The opportunity for socialist bureaucrats the world over to vacation in sumptuous surroundings at their governments’ expense. 2-To try and keep the human-caused climate change fraud alive. 3-To continue to promote a One World Socialist Government. Don’t expect these useless meetings to end anytime soon.

My colleague, economist Robert Lyman took an accountant’s calculator to the numbers tossed around above. In the July 2021, pre-conference held to discuss financial issues before COP26, Barbara Creecy of South Africa, speaking on behalf of the developing countries, stated that the developed countries must increase their annual financial support to the developing countries to at least $750 billion per year. How does one say such a number with a straight face? The answer must be practiced practice, the same way a musician makes his or her way to Carnegie Hall. 

If the developing countries’ demands were met, the US population now at about 333.5 million and likely to grow to 337 million by 2030 when any of this fairy tale could take place, the US share of the cost of the $750 billion in 2030 would be US$262.5 billion. That would equate to US$780 per person or US$3,120 for a family of four. This amount would be paid every year until the climate goals were met, which is the indefinite future. To portray that figure differently, US$262.5 billion is about the same as the US federal government’s combined discretionary spending on health and income security programs in 2020. Why do the media and its followers take any of this in a single moment of serious consideration? Well, it is no more absurd than the lie that human emission of carbon dioxide impacts the Earth’s temperature in any way.

An amusing side issue is that the developing countries have also resisted the United Nations’ proposals that climate aid recipients report how the climate aid is spent. In their view, such accountability represents a new form of colonialism; how funny is that.

While the western countries will not agree to meet the developing countries’ demands, the tens of thousands of climate campaigners in Glasgow will try to embarrass them for failing to do so.

There are a few leaders who will pay into the fund in order to virtue signal like Obama in the past and perhaps Biden in the future to appease their Marxist followers. Few others have the money or need for their country’s support. 

While it is not formally on the agenda, the parties will not be able to ignore the elephant in the room, which is the continuing growth in global GHG emissions due to increasing populations and economic growth in developing countries. Based on present trends, 2021 will mark the second-largest growth in global emissions in history. Both the International Energy Agency and the United States Energy Information Administration, the two most authoritative energy market forecasters in the world, have recently projected that global emissions will grow, not decline, from now to 2050. The UN staff, in its analysis of the updated emissions reduction plans for 2030 submitted by the Parties to the Convention, found that, if every planned action were taken, global emissions in 2030 would still be 16.3% above 2010 levels, not 45% below, as the more radical climate campaigners claim is necessary.

The other elephant” is the near-global crisis in energy markets which is driving electricity and natural gas prices in Europe to unprecedented levels, causing chaos in coal markets in Asia, and risks leaving millions of people freezing in the dark this coming winter. Much, although not all, of the blame for that, can be placed on the climate policies of individual countries. 

We are witnessing what in theater is called a FARCE. It is literary work containing ridiculous plots, exaggerated characters, over the top situations, all for comic effect. So lose no sleep and get a good laugh.

NOTE: Robert Lyman, who served as an economist for the Canadian government for 37 years, contributed to this essay.

Dr. Jay Lehr

Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

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