UN climate policy now dangerous

chimneys pouring out smoke

Several people drew my attention to James Delingpole’s attack on the UN economic and social survey. Examine the report for yourself — scratch its toxic socialist surface — and you’ll easily discover that its policy prescriptions, rather than being proposals for voluntary action suggested in all humility for our best welfare, are destined to become mankind’s inescapable future if the UN is permitted to continue its relentless pursuit of world domination, and our opinion will be neither considered significant nor requested.

World Economic and Social Survey 2011

This is a report from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (DESA) dedicated to something they call “The Great Green Technological Transformation.”

The authors a) cannot conceal their sense of self-importance in their chosen role of directing the rest of us and b) reveal their intention to specify policy while maintaining the public fiction that they don’t.

Of themselves, the report says:

The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat is a vital interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action. The Department works in three main interlinked areas: (i) it compiles, generates and analyses a wide range of economic, social and environmental data and information on which States Members of the United Nations draw to review common problems and to take stock of policy options; (ii) it facilitates the negotiations of Member States in many intergovernmental bodies on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges; and (iii) it advises interested Governments on the ways and means of translating policy frameworks developed in United Nations conferences and summits into programmes at the country level and, through technical assistance, helps build national capacities.

Those “public servants” in the world’s foremost body of bureaucrats call themselves ‘vital,’ which is unlikely, if predictable, but they correctly place themselves between the source of “global policies” and action at a national level, for that is the arena in which they want to be effective.

So they produce information about global problems, make countries talk about them and prescribe remedies. There’s no mention here of where “common problems” are defined or who comes up with the “policy options” countries must “take stock of.” There’s no hint that DESA itself actually offers policy advice, since they continue to pretend that they don’t.

But that third area concerns “translating policy frameworks into programmes.” What does that mean? What is a policy “framework,” how does one translate it into a programme and what effect could it have? Is it a clever way of not mentioning that the UN itself is propagating its own policies?

One gets the horrible sense of a specific agenda being brought into reality. Underpinning this agenda is the belief that economic growth and protection of the environment are mutually exclusive; you cannot have both of them.

Growth or environmental protection — you must choose

Actually, this document says both “may well be feasible”, so we start out with that hope. Soon, we discover that they are not feasible and we must institute energy rationing.

Rapid economic growth, based on existing technology, generally requires more input and generates more waste. Because of this factor, it is often suggested that there will be a trade-off between economic growth and environmental protection. However, this need not be the case. The precise objective of investing in greater resource efficiency and sustainable development is to overcome the need for such a trade-off. Moreover, as such investments will generate new economic activities, continued economic growth (especially for developing countries) may well be feasible without surpassing the limits of environmental sustainability.

James Delingpole points out that the idea of “green growth” is considered by the UN to be an oxymoron, but here’s the mention of green growth. Notice how it’s hemmed around by optimistic-sounding statements and one mysterious comment that public investments would need to be “frontloaded” to “unleash” private sector financing.

A recent report of the United Nations Environment Programme (2011) estimates that 2 per cent of current world gross product (WGP) would need to be invested annually between now and 2050 in order to shift development onto a path of green growth and thereby address the current broad range of environmental concerns. Utilizing model-based projections, the report determines that the green economy scenario would permit the sustaining of higher—not lower—GDP growth than under the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario. These required investment estimates may be at the lower end, however. The World Economic and Social Survey 2009 (United Nations, 2009) and chapter II of the present Survey, report that about 2.5 per cent of WGP (or about $1.6 trillion) per annum would need to be invested to effect the energy transformation necessary to meet climate change mitigation targets alone. This analysis further suggests that public investments would need to be frontloaded in order to unleash private sector financing. Moreover, simulations using the United Nations Global Policy Model showed that such a green investment scenario would accelerate economic growth in developing countries.

The survey contains 251 pages. Perhaps other things might be said about it later.

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4 Thoughts on “UN climate policy now dangerous

  1. Richard C (NZ) on 11/07/2011 at 5:34 pm said:

    So they want about 2.5 per cent of WGP to be “invested” as in:-

    “……about 2.5 per cent of WGP (or about $1.6 trillion) per annum would need to be invested to effect the energy transformation necessary to meet climate change mitigation targets alone”

    Seems out of context with either of these 2 meanings:-

    1. Expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture.
    2. Buy (something) whose usefulness will repay the cost

    I think they really mean “would need to be [spent]”.

    With the caveat – “with no guarantee of any real benefit to society”.

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 12/07/2011 at 9:01 am said:

    What’s Groser on about here?

    “The world is short of food. Climate change policies will impact on food availability and price”


    Huh ?

    Is he alluding to bio-ethanol production?

    Carbon taxes and ETS on fuel?

    Is he obliquely admitting that the world is sacrificing reasonably priced and available food in a futile quest to modify the climate?


    • Andy on 12/07/2011 at 10:13 am said:

      Poitico-speak, hard for us plebs to understand

      Maybe he is referring to this:


      Virgin wants planes to fly on eucalyptus

      There is sufficient existing sustainable biomass to support a local bio-derived jet fuel industry,” said the report, commissioned by the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, which includes Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin, as well as aircraft manufactures Boeing and Airbus.

      The aviation industry aims to be carbon neutral by 2020.

      Qantas currently has biofuel feasibility studies with two US-based companies, Solazyme and Solena.

      We’ll all be paying more for food because we’ll be burning it in jet engines.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/07/2011 at 1:34 pm said:

      Eucalyptus is Koala food Andy.

      We might pay more for Vicks VapoRub though.

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