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CAP’s Andrew Light predicts interim political deal will be signed at Copenhagen

By Joe Romm on December 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm

"CAP’s Andrew Light predicts interim political deal will be signed at Copenhagen"

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Optimism breaks out at COP-15 following Clinton’s arrival and tough negotiations, but confusion reigns about impact of a potential deal on ultimate planetary warming

Here is CAP Senior Fellow explaining what he expects over the next 24 to 36 hours (video here, in case embed code acts up):

I found similar optimism in my evening conversations with Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) and many senior environmental leaders.  More on that tomorrow.

The BBC report tonight was similarly optimistic:

A deal at the UN climate summit looks more likely following a frantic day of behind the scenes diplomacy.

China signalled concessions on monitoring of emission curbs, and the US said it would commit money for developing countries.

Leaders are likely to have big choices to make when they meet on Friday.

There is some confusion on the likely outcome:

However, a leaked document from the UN climate convention indicates the best deal likely here will not keep the temperature rise below 2C (3.6F).

Even if countries implement their biggest pledges, a rise of 3C (5.4F) is indicated, it concluded.

First off, Light made clear to me in a late-night conversation that the leaked document didn’t analyze the treaty.  Second as I explained at length here — Is it just too damn late? Part 1, the Science — the major developing countries, including China or India, haven’t yet agreed to cap their emissions, let alone to ultimately reduce them.  Until that happens, no model of global commitments is going to keep us anywhere near 2°C (3.6F).  But that doesn’t mean they won’t agree to a treaty that sets the 2°C target.  As modeler Andrew Jones said of a similarly misleading story, the headline could read:

“New Analysis Shows Growing Commitment to a Global Deal Will Help Stabilize Climate.”

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3 Responses to CAP’s Andrew Light predicts interim political deal will be signed at Copenhagen

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed and/but would also like to point out a tangential point about a consideration that is very quickly coming down the path toward us:

    As we know, this (climate change) is a problem that we need to, and should, address. If part of addressing it necessarily involves some large amount of financial assistance, investment, funding, or what have you from developed nations to developing and at-risk nations, so be it. With that said, here is the point …

    There is something “not quite right!” — and indeed intolerable, from my standpoint — in the following scenario:

    * ExxonMobil continues to fuel and exacerbate the problem, i.e., global warming. (to name one company, but the same problem applies to a number of others as well)

    * The media continue their largely passive and ignore-ant stance on that part of the problem, even as they continue to carry ExxonMobil’s confusing and deceiving ads.

    * The US (public and private sources) contribute tens of billions of dollars, annually, as part of the deal to address climate change.

    In other words, if we are going to address climate change with one hand (as we should do, with BOTH hands), let’s NOT contribute to it with the other hand. Let’s NOT have one part of our bank account be funding something that is working AGAINST what another part of our bank account is funding.

    Let’s NOT fuel ExxonMobil, so to speak, and let them get away with “climate murder”, so to speak, and have them earn tens of billions of dollars selling us products that put CO2 INTO the atmosphere, while at the same time we pay other countries to address the problems brought about by global warming. Let’s NOT be funding BOTH sides of the matter. Let’s fund the solutions, not the problem.

    You get the point. The ExxonMobil problem (and others) are now problems that can’t be ignored, by the media or by the public, or by the government. BEFORE (or at least in conjunction with) tax dollars go(ing) toward these deals (which are apparently necessary in the overall scheme of things, I suppose), there should be a complete cessation of highly misleading and inaccurate messages from ExxonMobil, carried by the MSM, and the media should shine a bright and intelligent light on those sorts of problems and companies. And, of course, we should have our own plans in place for dramatically getting ourselves off of the hydrocarbon habit. If some tax dollars are being used to help the developing countries address the matter (and I’m not arguing against that, to be clear), then we should also have HIGH fuel efficiency requirements here, we should be insisting that the auto companies convert to electric vehicles and so forth, we should address the coal problem, promptly, we should switch to clean renewables, and we should address matters such as ExxonMobil and so forth. And, the media should be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    If the broad public is to help fund the solution, while The New York Times is still making money from huge and deceiving ExxonMobil ads, and while ExxonMobil is still “doing its thing” that contributes to the problem, and sending billions to its execs and shareholders, and to oil-producing nations, … well, that combination of events does not make sense, nor is it just or sustainable.

    Fuel efficiency standards should be (not being precise here!) 50 or 60 mpg, and we should be preparing to rid ourselves of our dependence on coal, and we should be converting to electricity for transportation purposes. These changes should — and must — go hand in hand with helping to fund solutions to global warming worldwide. Solutions must have “integrity”, and the big picture should make sense. Enough of this Orwellian stuff that we embark upon, far too often.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed regarding Copenhagen.

    Be Well,

    Jeff

  2. Tom Street says:

    Regardless of the deal, it will not be implemented. And as we see, we are well on our way to catostrophe. However, the money offered by Clinton does show that all the protests by the poor countries and others had an impact.

    People need to understand what this means for the planet and the fact that their leaders have condemned millions to die and suffer.

    Going forward, the question is, will the activists give up. It appears to me that this was our last chance.

  3. Chris Dudley says:

    I agree that the distance to go to get to 450 ppm or 350 ppm is in the commitments of India and China. This is what Stern has been saying and he has the math about right. I would be very pleased with a result that has 350 ppm as the stabilization target and another couple rounds to get the needed commitments. There may be sequestration options that can help out as well; biochar looks interesting. A final agreement may well need provisions for that kind of effort once emissions have fallen.