Recognizing that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet and thus requires the widest possible cooperation by all countries, and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, with a view to accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.
This is strong stuff “a potentially irreversible threat to the planet”… And the remedy….
54. Further decides that, in accordance with Article 9, paragraph 3, of the Agreement, developed countries intend to continue their existing collective mobilization goal through 2025 in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation; prior to 2025 the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall set a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries;
OECD GDP on a PPP basis was $47.5 trillion in 2013. $100 billion represents 0.2% of GDP. I have reached the conclusion, and I may be wrong, that the OCED has pulled off a diplomacy and propaganda coup wrong footing the UN, Greens and developing nations. Let’s face it, if OECD governments really believed there was a grave threat to the planet they would be throwing a Hell of a lot more than 0.2% of GDP at developing economies – at least I sincerely hope they would be. Hence I surmise that the OECD official summarisation is that the planetary risks are slight. Below the fold I have pulled out a few headlines of the agreement.
1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:
(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;
(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate- resilient development.
1. In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
1. Parties hereby establish the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal referred to in Article 2.
1. Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.
1. This Agreement shall be open for signature and subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States and regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Convention. It shall be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. Thereafter, this Agreement shall be open for accession from the day following the date on which it is closed for signature. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.
1. At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary.
This seems to be a toothless accord designed to provide thousands of bureaucrats and lawyers with jobs. A specific goal of keeping temperature rise below 2˚C with only a vague plan on how to achieve it. Individual countries come up with their own plans that will be monitored by armies of bureaucrats, but if the countries don’t like the way things are going they can simply quit.
While it is difficult times to re-introduce the concepts of peak oil, gas and coal, it remains a fact that these are finite resources and that technology cannot for ever be relied upon to access the decreasing grades of resource that remains. Deeper, thinner, more remote coal seams. Deeper smaller, oil and gas fields. A thermodynamic limit determined by ERoEI will be met one day where too much energy, effort and money is required to access a dwindling resource and economics will lead us to choose alternatives like nuclear and perhaps solar. I know this will sound crazy to some, but will we really be producing 100 Mbpd oil in 2099? I don’t think so. Our use of fossil fuel may decline at some point this century regardless of Paris.
And the long term trend in surface temperatures, that remains intact, is about +0.5˚C per century. It seems possible that temperatures may warm by another half a degree by 2099, without Paris. Perhaps a bit more as the activity of 7 billion + souls weighs on the planet. The structure of the global temperature record seems clearly linked to natural cycles in the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation, that will one day soon switch to cooling mode.
HadCRUT4 temperature data oscillate around the liner regression (solid red line). Subtracting the linear regression from HadCRUT4 de-trends the data as shown in the next graph.
De-trended HadCRUT4 compared with the AMO index that is based on de-trended NA SSTs. AMO index from NOAA
Time is not on the side of climate science. For every year and decade that passes, sceptics can check the forecasts against reality. One of the more important data sets is the satellite record of lower troposphere temperatures that continue to diverge from the continuously adjusted surface temperature record. HadCRUT3 was on a flat, slowly rising trend (+0.18˚C per century). HadCRUT4 is on a much more steeply rising trend of +0.59˚C per century. With a stroke of the brush, the pause was written out of history.