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Perturbed About Paris
The Chorus of Climate Discontent Swells

France is hosting a climate summit this December that’s been billed as the most important gathering on the issue yet, but the country’s leadership is apparently quite skeptical of the UN-led process. French president François Hollande recently expressed alarm at the pitiful participation rate among members who have been charged with submitting national climate action plans (just 37 of 196 member states have so far submitted the required Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs). Now, environment minister Ségolène Royal is going public with her own criticisms of the push to sign a Global Climate Treaty. The FT reports:

“The procedure isn’t really suited to what we need for climate change,” Ms Royal told reporters in London on Thursday, saying negotiators had made little progress on the main text of the Paris agreement, despite working on it for months.

“If you tried to run a business like that it would have gone bust long ago,” said Ms Royal, a former candidate for the French presidency. “The main obstacle [to the Paris agreement] is the procedure.”

The draft text that negotiators hope to ratify in Paris this December has ballooned to more than 80 pages, as various stakeholders have pushed for delicately-worded clauses replete with redundancies and carefully-chosen jargon. Delegates will meet three times between now and the December summit to pare down that text, but with so many interests involved they’ll face a daunting task—this sort of thing has a natural tendency to grow as layers of bureaucratic technobabble accrue.

The UN hopes that those notionally required INDCs will provide assembled nations a better starting point from which to work towards international consensus, but the abysmal rate at which countries are submitting these plans is a discouraging sign, to say the least. UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, has been hard at work hedging and downplaying expectations for the Paris meeting.

This December’s summit is just the latest iteration of a decades-old movement to conjure up an international response to climate change, but the quest for a binding Global Climate Treaty has proven itself quixotic over the years. Greens have high hopes that this time things will be different, but from where we’re sitting it seems likely Charlie Brown is going to whiff the football again.

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  • Corlyss

    Note to Ms. Royal: don’t piddle on the thing before the delegates get there and spend $$$. Save it for the MFR or the closing harangue to get out and do more.

    • JR

      I say it again, I am willing to show how much I care about global warming by being flown first class to Paris, put in a 5 star hotel while being wined and dined extensively. Come on, I feel like we can get a nice group of us, caring, concerned citizens, going…

      • Corlyss

        Your generosity and self-sacrifice is commendable. I would vote to send you to Paris in a nano-second if given the opportunity.

        • JR

          This AGW conferences are turning into a government version of FIFA. It is a way for people to live well on somebody else’s dime going to conferences like this. I’m OK with that. Keep them occupied shuffling paper around.

          • Corlyss


  • Fat_Man

    Paris in time for Christmas shopping. What could be bad. The conference will be a great success for the family members of the attendees.

    • Kevin

      Exactly. I’d go debate how many angels could stand on the head of a pin as part of an all expense paid trip to Paris.

  • Rick Johnson

    Ahhh. Christmas in Paris. What could be more attractive to a Green crusader with their snort firmly implanted in the taxpayer’s trough.

    I have no idea why TAI keeps going on about submissions and treaties. You guys are normally very good at understanding the true motives that lie behind the BS.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “Global Warming” is the greatest Hoax in history, and the Politicians, Scientists, and Environmental activists that have all promoted this Fraud should be prosecuted.

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