UNFCCC “tradition” continues: Let’s you and him fight!

It’s never been an easy task to find one’s way through the dense fog of acronyms (and word-salads) or the ever expanding maze created by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) which is a parent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – and creator and promulgator of scary stories since 1972.

But, last week, while I was attempting to track down all the “mechanisms” (translation: send more money, now) that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, the “main client” of the IPCC) has succeeded in introducing over the years, I came across an item in the “annotated” portion of the Agenda for the now recently ended Warsaw Concerto that struck me as being somewhat curious. On p. 12 of this pdf (officially known as FCCC/CP/2013/1), I found:

10. Second review of the adequacy of Article 4, paragraph 2(a) and (b), of the Convention

This was followed by a 294 word paragraph which begins as follows:

Background: Article 4, paragraph 2(d), of the Convention provides that a second review of the adequacy of Article 4, paragraph 2(a) and (b), shall take place not later than 31 December 1998. At COP 4, the President informed Parties that it had proved impossible to reach any agreed conclusions or decisions on the matter. [emphasis added -hro]

And there they were, 15 COPs later, still trying to “reach agreement”. Needless to say, not one of these 294 words provides the slightest clue as to what might be contained in these two inadequate (or at least one might reasonably presume that they may be “inadequate”) paragraphs. Nor, by the way, are there any hyperlinks to any of the arcanely referenced other documents. Such “transparency”, eh?!

UPDATE 11/26/2013 12:51 AM PST: The IISD summary report is now available. Of particular interest is the following which pertains to Item 10 on the Agenda, which I discuss below. To the surprise of few, I suspect:

Parties agreed to apply the draft rules of procedure (FCCC/CP/1996/2) with the exception of draft rule 42 on voting. The COP then adopted the agenda (FCCC/CP/2013/1), with the agenda item on the second review of the adequacy of Convention Articles 4.2(a) and (b) held in abeyance. Parties also agreed to the accreditation of observer organizations (FCCC/CP/2013/2).

But, undeterred, my mouse and I went off in search of “the problems”! And here’s what we found. Article 4, btw, is all about “Commitments”. First the “preamble” to these presumed problematic paragraphs – about which “agreement” on the “adequacy” of which has not been reached for many a COP:

2. The developed country Parties and other Parties included in Annex I commit themselves specifically as provided for in the following:

Now for the apparently “inadequate” paragraphs that have been under review since 1998. Each is one long paragraph, which I’ve split into multiples for ease of virtual reading.

(a) Each of these Parties shall adopt national1 policies and take corresponding measures on the mitigation of climate change, by limiting its anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and protecting and enhancing its greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs.

These policies and measures will demonstrate that developed countries are taking the lead in modifying longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions consistent with the objective of the Convention,

recognizing that the return by the end of the present decade to earlier levels of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol would contribute to such modification,

and taking into account the differences in these Parties’ starting points and approaches, economic structures and resource bases, the need to maintain strong and sustainable economic growth, available technologies and other individual circumstances,

as well as the need for equitable and appropriate contributions by each of these Parties to the global effort regarding that objective.

These Parties may implement such policies and measures jointly with other Parties and may assist other Parties in contributing to the achievement of the objective of the Convention and, in particular, that of this subparagraph;

Footnote 1 reads as follows:

This includes policies and measures adopted by regional economic integration organizations.

Gee, I can’t imagine why it’s taken fifteen years with no agreement on the “adequacy” of the above, can you?! Oh, well … here’s the second paragraph that is evidently problematic:

(b) In order to promote progress to this end, each of these Parties shall communicate, within six months of the entry into force of the Convention for it and periodically thereafter, and in accordance with Article 12, detailed information on its policies and measures referred to in subparagraph (a) above,

as well as on its resulting projected anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol for the period referred to in subparagraph (a),

with the aim of returning individually or jointly to their 1990 levels these anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol.

This information will be reviewed by the Conference of the Parties, at its first session and periodically thereafter, in accordance with Article 7;

For the record, Article 12 is all about “Communication of Information Related to Implementation” while Article 7 is all about “The Conference of the Parties”. It is also worth noting, that while “intergovernmental” gets 5 mentions (including one of the IPCC) in the text of the Convention, finance/financial/financing get 17. By contrast, in the “plain languageFirst steps to a safer future: Introducing The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. the IPCC gets two mentions:

Sets a lofty but specific goal.

The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system.” It states that “such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.”

How do we know what is “dangerous anthropogenic interference”? See IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report


Kicks off formal consideration of adaptation to climate change.

The Convention acknowledges the vulnerability of all countries to the effects of climate change and calls for special efforts to ease the consequences, especially in developing countries which lack the resources to do so on their own. In the early years of the Convention, adaptation received less attention than mitigation, as Parties wanted more certainty on impacts of and vulnerability to climate change.

When IPCC’s Third Assessment Report was released, adaptation gained traction, and Parties agreed on a process to address adverse effects and to establish funding arrangements for adaptation. Currently, work on adaptation takes place under different Convention bodies. The Adaptation Committee, which Parties agreed to set up under the Cancun Adaptation Framework as part of the Cancun Agreements, is a major step towards a cohesive, Convention-based approach to adaptation.

I have absolutely no idea what a “cohesive, Convention-based approach to adaptation” is supposed to mean. But I’m fairly certain that if anything “gained traction” with the publication of this 2001 “Third Assessment Report”, it was the infamously iconic “hockey-stick”, for whose proponents “adaptation” was – in all likelihood – not part of their vocabulary. And notice how they skipped from 2001 to Cancun (2010) with no mention of wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen in 2009!

In this regard, it may (or may not!) be worth noting that while this “plain language” version does provide a generic link for their mention of:

How do we know what is “dangerous anthropogenic interference”? See IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report

There is no link offered for:

When IPCC’s Third Assessment Report was released, adaptation gained traction […]

If one didn’t know better, one might be inclined to conclude that the powers that be at UNFCCC would much prefer that anyone who might stumble across their self-serving exercises in “revisionism” not be provided with any useful means of verifying their deliberately distilled and distorted “message”. But I couldn’t possibly comment;-)

Notwithstanding any and/or all of the above, nothing succeeds quite like a UN abysmal failure. On the strength of which, in this instance, the latest last-minute “agreement” which has resulted in the birth of yet another “mechanism”, henceforth to be known as the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts … official acronym coming soon, no doubt.

YMMV, but I’m inclined to agree with Dr. Judith Curry’s assessment:

Now, with the new Warsaw pact, multiply this by the number of developing countries, all vying for a piece of the Loss and Damage fund. Strategies to succeed are based on torquing every problem to be caused by AGW, and so to exaggerate or minimize existing problems to fit into some preconceived AGW damage magnitude, and relatively ignore other potentially more serious problems. And the developed world will pay the bills, often for things that do not help address the real problems. [emphasis added -hro]

In their last “bulletin“, IISD had announced that their:

ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the Warsaw Climate Conference will be available on Monday, 25 November 2013, online at: http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop19/enb/

But, as of 11/25/2013 08:49 PM PST, it ain’t there yet. Perhaps they’re waiting for the acronym committee to provide … an acronym for this latest UNEP/UNFCCC induced recycling of their traditional game: “Let’s you and him fight!”

Here’s a link to the carry on fighting “agreement“.

Such a “strategy” is bound to guarantee another 20 years of COPs which foster an inability to deal with natural disasters – and/or with other adverse effects of so-called “green” policies and practices.

Not to mention the effects of such non-evidence-based “torquing” on the economies of those countries which are expected to shell out money they do not have in order to solve a “problem” for which – notwithstanding gazillion words and “academic” papers to the contrary – no empirical evidence (as opposed to computer-generated “hockey-sticks” and similar creations, re-recreations and reconstructions) of any “primary cause” actually exists.

But to end on a somewhat lighter note, what it all adds up to is …

Put another billion in
In the UN’s billion bin
All they want is scr*wing you
So choose it, choose it, choose it.

They’ll do naught at all for you
Nothing that you want them to
All they want is scr*wing you
So choose it, choose it, choose it

Wind farms and solar power
The nicest part of any green decree
Is when they’re dancing round a tree

So put another billion in
In the UN’s billion bin
All they want is scr*wing you
So choose it, choose it, choose it.

(to be sung to a melody that’s almost before my time)

11 thoughts on “UNFCCC “tradition” continues: Let’s you and him fight!

  1. It’s turning into Frankensteins monster isn’t it. Every drop of rain that falls, or doesn’t, will be caused by the west and will only cause distress. Every degree warmer or colder will need compensating for and it will be an ill wind indeed that doesn’t blow some western good their way. What a hose.

    I loved the nickelodeon lyrics by the way Hilary.

  2. This author correctly draws attention to aggravation by acronym in the UNFCCC/IPCC climate process
    However, what I am unclear about is whether this author does this from a contrarian or a non-contrarian perspective. Could you be clearer about that please?

  3. Aubrey;
    Hilary is a very contrary type, with a superhuman tolerance for digging through dense verbiage and officialese, ferretting out petards intended to demolish defenses against global rule by bureau.

  4. Forgive me – I wasn’t clear. I see that Hilary is as you describe. Anti-bureaucratic – fair enough. What I still don’t see is whether she takes the actions she does on the basis of accepting that human-caused climate change is a reality that humanity should try and take steps to reduce, or on the basis of not accepting that human-caused climate change is a reality that humanity should try and take steps to reduce.

    • Aubrey, I find it curious that you should be so interested in well, pigeon-holing and/or labelling me and/or my observations. Perhaps you could explain why this is important to you.

      Does it derive from a belief that only those who share your own variety of tenets are worthy of your notice or from some other thought process on your part?!

      P.S. I’m also not quite sure what “actions” you seem to think I might have taken.

    • A Glorious Thanksgiving Day, from rainy Cost Rica’
      Audrey’s email ? address suggests she has a connection to Queensland University. http://www.gci.uq.edu.au/

      Please join me in congratulating GCI on its new residence: “The Global Change Institute is hosting a series of events, seminars and exhibits to celebrate its extroadinary [sic] new residence. Register and attend any of the events for your chance to win a solar backpack… ” Too late for a chance at a solar backpack, and I, also, have no energy: “Zero carbon. Zero Energy Glimpse into the future inside the new Global Change Institute Living…” I am exhausted thinking about glimpsing into a ‘Zero Energy:’ future……… must nap,

  5. Hilary

    Fear not [and I know you must know this] you need no permission/approval or anything of that kind from me.

    An interested friend asked me what I thought of your comments. I told this person I wasn’t sure.
    I said Hilary’s comments [actions] appear always to be only reactionary and deconstructionist.

    After 23 years of interacting with IPCC/UNFCCC, atmospheric CO2 concentration has accelerated further upwards [from 353 to 400 ppmv, with words and belief systems of all varieties matching that growth rate.

    For what they are worth, GCI ‘s ‘constructions’ related to that are shared here: –

    You are welcome to deconstruct that if you wish. However, by answering my questions only with more questions, you project further what you are against and not what you are for.

    Until now I hadn’t come to a view, but now I have and this is what I shall tell the ‘interested friend’.

    • Welcome, Audrey; Australians have spoken clearly about ‘interacting.’
      in re “”After 23 years of interacting with IPCC/UNFCCC, atmospheric CO2 concentration has accelerated further upwards [from 353 to 400 ppmv, with words and belief systems of all varieties matching that growth rate. My reading of this sentence – ‘concentration,’ and all varieties of ‘words and belief systems’ have similarly accelerated.
      Is interaction with IPCC/UNFCCC causing an unwelcome acceleration?
      If you reconstruct your statement, I and others may be able to help.

  6. Hilary I admire what you do. Appropos transparency,’arcane’ is likely
    ter equal sub-terfuge …what are you doing when …?

    Yer my kind of gal, Hilary, tho’ I am a serf.*

    *Used ter be a cow girl. )

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