Delayers today, deniers tomorrow

At Durban’s COP 17 climate conference, the EU secured a road map aiming at an international agreement by 2015, to be ratified by all parties by 2020.

Although there was much arm-waving celebration of this “extension” of the Kyoto Protocol, nobody actually believes any legally-binding replacement can be sewn up during the next decade. Some of the most important players think 2020 is too ambitious. The “delayers” include USA, Canada, Japan and Russia.

Really interesting, however, are the views of Brazil and India. Neither of these giant emitters wants to spend the next three years trying to reach a global consensus. Brazil wants a “reflection phase” while India is calling for a “technical/scientific period.”

A scientific period? This must surely mean that, at least as far as India is concerned, the science is not settled – the scientific debate is not over.

This is the same message as Minister Ramesh delivered to the Indian Space Research Organisation in June, when he urged Indian scientists to undertake more studies and publish them vigorously to prevent developing countries being “led by our noses by Western climate scientists who have less of a scientific agenda and more of a political agenda.”

India’s Environment Ministry believes that galactic cosmic rays have a much greater impact on climate than human activities.

India and Brazil are not alone. The BASIC Group (which also includes China and South Africa) insisted that further progress on emissions reduction should be deferred until after the next IPCC report is available in 2014.

All this suggests that the BASIC countries will be taking a very close interest in the IPCC process, particularly if the IAC recommendations continue to be ignored. Recent publications by Donna Laframboise and Ross McKitrick will not have gone unnoticed. Both authors find shortcomings in IPCC procedures and call for either its reform or its abolition.

The attitude of the BASIC countries makes perfect sense. They remained fairly passive during 1993-2005 while OECD countries were squabbling about methods of handicapping themselves under the Kyoto Protocol. They perked up after COP 13 in Bali promised large wealth transfers from developed countries to the developing world, but put in a stopper at Copenhagen’s COP 15 two years ago when pressured to adopt Kyoto-style measures themselves.

Now these big emerging countries feel the heat finally being turned on them, they say the time is ripe to have a closer look at this “Western” climate science which has never been explained to the satisfaction of the “East” or the “South.” They will do their own research and challenge the IPCC to refute it.

There may be some very large “deniers” at the 2015 Conference.

Visits: 49

5 Thoughts on “Delayers today, deniers tomorrow

  1. Clarence on 17/12/2011 at 5:18 pm said:

    There might be a very large number of Asian expert reviewers for AR5!

  2. Australis on 17/12/2011 at 5:30 pm said:

    The tone and content of the SREX draft (final due out in February) seemed a whole lot less hysterical than the previous IPCC report on Renewable Energy, even though work on both papers overlapped.

    Maybe I’m a pollyanna, but this gives me some hope that the Bureau might be getting more cautious. They cant keep taking unanswerable hits like the friendly IAC report, Donna’s amazing book and Ross McKitrick’s thoughtful critique without feeling somewhat vulnerable.

    On top of all that, the two Climategates have alerted lead authors to the fact that they could easily end up explaining things to an Enquiry. And the obvious damage from Himalayagate, Amazongate, etc must make them more cautious about grey sources and evidence-free hyperbole.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 17/12/2011 at 7:12 pm said:

    Spot-on commentary Richard T. I had a chuckle over “….squabbling about methods of handicapping themselves” and “….perked up after COP 13 in Bali promised large wealth transfers”.

    At least one ace still remains up-sleeve (kimono sleeve that is) and I’m sure there will be a lot of in-house research being carried out over the next 4 years as you say.

  4. Huub Bakker on 17/12/2011 at 9:20 pm said:

    As I recall India’s Ramesh was saying that India should form its own IPCC after the Himalaygate scandal; it shouldn’t trust anyone else to do the work. Maybe Pachauri’s comment about “voodoo science” started that particular train in motion. That would be ironic (not least the railway allusion!)

  5. Australis on 19/12/2011 at 6:41 pm said:


    “More importantly for international agreements, many scientists in Russia openly question the IPCC as do, increasingly, scientists in China and India. Angered by the false claims of the IPCC and the arrogant dismissal of contradicting evidence by India’s fine experts on the melting of Himalayan glaciers, India has formed its own national panel on climate change.

    Unlike prior reports, the IPCC AR-5 is unlikely to be accepted by everyone as a definitive study. Perhaps, being forewarned, the IPCC may produce a superior, unbiased, study on the causes of climate change, both natural and human. But, what Roger Pielke Sr terms, the oligarchy remains firmly in control and it is difficult to overestimate the arrogance of international bureaucrats.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation