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Ambition Impossible

26 Jun 2024 | News Roundup

The implausible president of COP29, Mukhtar Babayev of Azerbaijan, was at the recently-concluded UN’s Bonn Climate Change Conference in June to try to galvanize the COP29 corpse, and claimed to have “a two-pillared plan to ‘enhance ambition and enable action’.” To which again we say been there, done that. Twenty-eight times and counting, in fact… if you’re only counting the main gatherings not the endless intermediate ones. Given the grandiose rhetoric ambition hardly needs enhancing since everybody has it, in amounts that make it a drug on the market. The real question is why action needs “enabling” since nothing’s obstructing it, other than nobody wanting to impose disastrous costs on their own people to no purpose.

Nations are able to act. They just aren’t motivated to, and an agenda full of high-falutin’ ambition won’t change that situation. The Edge (Singapore) explains in vain that lead Azerbaijani climate negotiator Yalchin Rafiyev:

“says the COP29 Presidency also aims to broker a ‘fair and ambitious new climate finance goal, finalise Article 6, strengthen global financial institutions and ensure the private sector commits to climate action’.”

Ensure? That we’d like to see. Well no, we wouldn’t. And we aren’t going to, no matter what was said at the Bonn Show. Which in fact was yes we failed again let’s um uh well see that is, as Climate Home News lamented in a closeout piece that makes you wonder whether covering the story was worth it:

“Apart from smiles and flowers in an emotional farewell for a longtime UNFCCC staffer, the mood at the closing session of the Bonn climate talks on Thursday night was sombre. Frustration and finger-pointing dominated interventions by delegates representing both developed and developing nations, as they lamented the collapse of key talks on the Mitigation Work Programme – the main channel for curbing planet-heating emissions. ‘We have failed to show the world that we are responding with the purpose and urgency required to limit warming to 1.5 degrees,’ said Samoan negotiator Anne Rasmussen, speaking for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Disappointment also ran high over minimal progress towards a new post-2025 finance goal due at November’s COP29 summit in Baku, with rich countries refusing to put numbers on the table. And there were grumblings about the narrow scope and opaque process of work on integrating climate science into the UN talks in Bonn. All of that left UN climate chief Simon Stiell with little option but to give countries a stiff talking-to as he beseeched them not to ‘leave the hardest work to the eleventh hour’ before COP29. ‘Business-as-usual is a recipe for failure, on climate finance, and on many other fronts, in humanity’s climate fight,’ he warned them.”

Um that was business as usual. And the 11th hour. But they can fix the weather, honest. And will in Baku. This time for sure.

7 comments on “Ambition Impossible”

  1. The real purpose of all the climate summits is not to do anything about climate but to get rich countries to feel sufficient moral pressure from their most gullible citizens to persuade them to send large gobs of cash to other countries. And do I need to point out that much of that cash will remain firmly in the hands of the rulers of said other countries?
    Am I being cynical? Yes, but am I being cynical enough?

  2. Prime Minister Trudeau and his cohort of yes people have been pushing and increasing the carbon tax, his much ballyhooed pet cause, for years now. It has not reduced emissions at all, which would have made no difference if it had, since Canada's emissions are a sliver of a sliver of China's annual increase. But it makes him feel good.

  3. I think that you are displaying an appropriate level of doubt when you consider the track record of these "leaders" when handling free money from "rich" countries!

  4. Excellent article, well written and entertaining! I believe that the hot air has escaped from the global climate warming change balloon and everybody knows it! Upcoming headline "The emperor has no clothes"!

  5. All these COP pigfests do is kick the can down the road.Because no one and no country really wants to foot the outrageous bill to try to mitigate a
    non-existent climate crisis.And I doubt very much that Azerbaijan is going to sacrifice its cash cow,the petroleum industry,in the name of "fighting carbon pollution",like our moronic Liberal government here is trying to do.

  6. Virtually all attendees at these conferences are in it for the perks. It’s like being an employee of the UN or the EU. Virtually no useful work is done, and thousands of able people are swallowed up in a pointless gabfest.

  7. I wonder what marvellous commitment Trudeau will present at his last COP for his successor to pick up. Trudeau has been committing billions of tax dollars to future Defence and other budgets *while cutting current ones back) and will likely continue his destruction of Canada into the future in absentia.. It will benefit Canada to assure the UN now that no Trudeau promises are sacred.

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