Thursday, April 15, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: COP Out? Boris Johnson battles to save COP26 climate conference


China, India & Brazil reluctant to cave in to US pressure on climate

In this newsletter:

1) COP Out? Boris Johnson battles to save COP26 climate conference
The Sun, 14 April 2021

2) China’s Xi Jinping has not committed to Biden’s climate summit. 
New York Post, 13 April 2021

3) India hits out at US on linking climate issues to economic recovery
Press Trust of India, 13 April 2021
4) John Kerry says U.S. will hold China to account on climate pledges
The Wall Street Journal, 13 April 2021

5) China, India & Brazil reluctant to cave in to US pressure on new climate targets
The New York Times, 13 April 2021
6) Holman W Jenkins: Climate Media vs. Climate Science
The Wall Street Journal, 14 April 2021 
7) And finally: UN Secretary General backs bashing the rich
Gaia Fawkes, 14 April 2021

Full details:

1) COP Out? Boris Johnson battles to save COP26 climate conference
The Sun, 14 April 2021

Boris Johnson is now battling alone on the world stage to save the COP26 climate conference this year as other countries demand it be delayed.

Ministers are reluctant to put the international summit on Zoom instead, meaning a delay for a second year running looks more and more likely.

Government sources stressed they want an in-person and "inclusive" event to bring world leaders together to fight climate change.
But insiders admitted it's up in the air thanks to rising Covid cases around the world.

A diplomatic source told The Sun: "Britain is increasingly isolated on this front. 

"No one in Europe thinks it's going to happen and the US are increasingly sceptical it can happen without a delay."

President Biden is hosting a virtual climate summit for Earth Day next week which could pile on more pressure to put it off.
Britain has vaccinated over half the adult population so far, but other countries around the world are lagging behind and seeing another wave of the virus.

It came as climate warrior Greta Thunburg said this week she would boycott the Glasgow event and called for it to be delayed until global jab rates have risen.

She's attended every major climate event since rising to fame over her eco-protests.

Downing Street insists no final decisions have been taken on whether to delay the event, which will see people coming from nearly 200 countries around the world.
A Government spokesperson said: "We are working on the basis of COP26 being held in person this November, while closely monitoring the covid situation.

"The summit team is working closely with all partners and exploring what different scenarios might mean for COP26 and how we plan for that, whilst putting the health of the participants and the local community first.
"We are not looking to postpone the summit."
2) China’s Xi Jinping has not committed to Biden’s climate summit. 
New York Post, 13 April 2021
Amid escalating tensions between the United States and China, Chinese President Xi Jinping has not committed to joining a virtual climate change summit hosted by the United States later this month.

Special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry told CNN’s Jim Sciutto that Xi hasn’t said he would participate in next week’s virtual summit but called on the country to be proactive to combat climate change.
“We cannot resolve the climate crisis without China being at the table and without China’s cooperation,” Kerry said. “It is absolutely critical.”
“China is the largest [carbon] emitter at about 28 to 30 percent. We’re the second-largest at about 15 percent, so just between two of us, we have 45 percent of the world’s emissions.”
In addition to Xi, Biden extended an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin as tensions also escalate between Washington and Moscow. Kerry noted that “over 40 heads of state” are set for the two-day virtual summit on April 22 and 23.
The Washington Post reported last week that Kerry is set to travel to China in an effort to create unity in combating the climate crisis. The meetings in China would mark the first major visit by a Biden administration official to China.
The Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of Uyghurs and Hong Kongers, as well as trade sanctions and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have resulted in strained relations.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was dismissive of China’s non-committal stance, insisting the United States is still finalizing details for the summit during her daily press briefing Tuesday.
“We are engaged at a range of levels, we are approaching our relationship as not one of conflict, but of competition,” Psaki said Tuesday at the White House. “We believe that the most important steps we can take is to rebuild and support our own economy here at home and to also be candid about areas where we have concerns.
“Whether it’s human rights abuses or technological abuses, that is certainly how we approach our relationship.”
China’s Communist government has previously smacked down Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s appeals to work together on climate change after he said he agreed that the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims amounted to “genocide.” 
In a statement released on Twitter in January, China’s Foreign Ministry accused Blinken of “interfering in its domestic affairs and undermining its interests” after he backed predecessor Mike Pompeo’s declaration that it had launched “a systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs.”
“China is willing to work with the US on climate change. But such cooperation cannot stand unaffected by the overall China-US relations,” the statement read.
“It is impossible to ask for China’s support in global affairs while interfering in its domestic affairs and undermining its interests,” it added.

Full story
3) India hits out at US on linking climate issues to economic recovery
Press Trust of India, 13 April 2021
New Delhi: India has denounced attempts to link climate issues to economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic at the forthcoming G20 talks, saying it will impose a huge developmental cost on developing countries.


The US administration has been pushing for a strong climate agenda as part of the process of recovery from the pandemic.

Senior government officials feel that imposing “green” conditionalities on trade, investment, financing for development, etc. amid the “worst economic impact of a lifetime would be adding insult to injury as far as poor and developing countries are concerned”.
Sanjeev Sanyal, the principal economic advisor to the Ministry of Finance, said climate change is a serious issue but it should not be confused with the immediate objective of an economic revival.
“India is definitely adhering to its climate commitments and we are willing to do more, but I am uncomfortable with bringing it on to G20 platform because we haven’t got an agreed language there,” he said during a seminar organised by RIS, a Delhi-based think tank that examines global trade and financial issues, on Friday.
He was responding to deputy director of OCED Development Centre Federico Bonaglia who said relief to developing countries should be linked to their climate policies.

“Climate crisis has contributed to the emergence of COVID-19 crisis. These issues should be addressed together,” Mr Bonaglia said.
Countering him, Mr Sanyal said the link between pandemics and climate change is far from established. “Whether or not we have climate change, global pandemics happen from time to time.”
P Harish, additional secretary (economic relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, criticised efforts to establish a goalpost outside the Paris framework in the G20.
He mentioned that India is the only G20 country that has met its Paris commitments and nationally determined contributions.
It won’t be correct to ignore the historic caseload and developmental situation where India’s per capita GDP is only 5 per cent of that of G7 and fraction of the G20 GDP, and per capital energy consumption as compared to global average is far lower.
“We have many years ahead of us where we come up to the world average in terms of energy consumption and per capita GDP. Constraining our options at this point through extra conditionalities will not only impose a financial cost but also a huge developmental cost,” the senior official said.

“Imposing conditionalities amid the worst economic impact of a lifetime by seeking green recovery…in a range of areas, on trade, investment, financing for development, this would be adding insult to injury as far as the poor and developing countries” situation is concerned,” he said.
Full story

4) John Kerry says U.S. will hold China to account on climate pledges
The Wall Street Journal, 13 April 2021

Ahead of trip to Shanghai, climate envoy says U.S. could use satellites to monitor greenhouse-gas emissions globally

WASHINGTON—U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said the Biden administration won’t compromise with China on economic issues or human rights in its attempts to negotiate a deal to address climate change.
Mr. Kerry, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, said his team is committed to finding ways to force China to be accountable for pledges it makes in continuing negotiations to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

An industrial powerhouse, China is the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gases. Mr. Kerry said satellites and other new technology will allow the U.S. to monitor national emissions around the globe, and noted that European countries have discussed levying a special tax on imported goods based on emissions from their production.
“You need accountability,” Mr. Kerry said in his office at State Department headquarters. “We will have enormous visibility, and that visibility has been very effective at creating accountability.”
Mr. Kerry made his comments before departing from Washington for three days of scheduled meetings with senior Chinese officials in Shanghai on climate change and economic issues.

Rep. Garret Graves (R., La.)., the top Republican on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, agreed that Mr. Kerry must press China to curb emissions. But he expressed skepticism that Mr. Kerry could ultimately get China to accept efforts to verify that it is fulfilling any promise to lower emissions.
“China’s going to do what’s in China’s interest,” Mr. Graves said. “So do I think they may be able to get something on paper where China agrees? Yeah, I think that’s possible. Do I think there’s any chance in hell that China actually follows through on those obligations? No, not a chance.”
State Department officials said the goal of the trip is to get China to reduce emissions more quickly. Mr. Kerry said he has already been in talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, and other Chinese officials.
“We are talking to China about talking,” Mr. Kerry said. “We need, obviously, to have China at the table in order to be able to resolve this challenge.”
Mr. Kerry’s visit to Shanghai will make him the first senior Biden administration official to visit China. It comes on the heels of contentious talks last month between the two countries’ top-ranking diplomats in Alaska.
Mr. Kerry has been on a series of trips ahead of a virtual climate summit that President Biden is hosting with world leaders next week. Mr. Kerry met previously with European allies and last week with leaders in India and the Middle East. [...]

Action by the world’s two largest economies—and sources of greenhouse gases—has long been considered central to addressing the effects of climate change, but that cooperation became tricker as the two countries engaged in a trade war, China asserted itself as a global rival and U.S. officials concluded that China has committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” toward the Uyghur ethnic group.
“The climate issue is a free-standing issue. It’s not for trade against the other critical differences that we have with China right now,” Mr. Kerry said, adding that he had effectively negotiated with China on the Paris agreement. “Those have got to be channeled separately. Climate is about the survival of the planet (sic!).”

Full story
5) China, India & Brazil reluctant to cave in to US pressure on new climate targets
The New York Times, 13 April 2021

The administration is closing in on deals with some close allies, but agreements with powers like China, Brazil and India are proving difficult.
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is nearing agreements with Japan, Korea and Canada to bolster carbon emission reduction targets in all four countries ahead of a closely watched summit of global leaders on Earth Day, April 22.
But in the latest sign of how difficult it will be for President Biden to make climate change a core part of his foreign policy, similar deals with China, India and Brazil, economic powerhouses that together produce more than a third of global emissions, remain elusive.
John Kerry, Mr. Biden’s global climate envoy, is preparing to make a last-minute trip to China and South Korea ahead of the summit, which Mr. Biden will be hosting. Mr. Kerry arrives on Wednesday, with multiple high-level meetings in Shanghai expected on Thursday. The cooperation of the world’s largest emitter of climate-changing pollution is vital to slowing down global warming, but Beijing is also Washington’s biggest rival on the world stage.
With Brazil, the Biden administration’s efforts to negotiate an Amazon rainforest protection plan with Brazil’s conservative president, Jair Bolsonaro, have bitterly divided environmental advocates, given the Bolsonaro administration’s dismal environmental record.
And in India, where Mr. Kerry recently wrapped up three days of negotiations that did not yield any specific promise to strengthen New Delhi’s climate ambition, the administration must weigh its need for cooperation with its concerns over human rights. Indian leaders, meantime, have been unsettled by pressure to deliver an announcement in time for Mr. Biden’s summit next week after spending the past four years working with a U.S. administration that abandoned the rest of the world’s efforts to tackle global warming.

Full story ($)

6) Holman W Jenkins: Climate Media vs. Climate Science
The Wall Street Journal, 14 April 2021
Joe Biden has put a presidential imprimatur on climate change being an existential threat, and he doesn’t mean in the Jean-Paul Sartre sense of man’s search for meaning in an uncomforting universe.
He means the end of humanity, a claim nowhere found in climate science.

This is odd because the real news today is elsewhere. Its movement may be ocean-liner-like, the news may be five years old before the New York Times notices it, but the climate community has been backing away from a worst-case scenario peddled to the public for years as “business as usual.”
A drumroll moment was Zeke Hausfather and Glen Peter’s 2020 article in the journal Nature partly headlined: “Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome.”

This followed the 2017 paper by Justin Ritchie and Hadi Dowlatabadi asking why climate scenarios posit implausible increases in coal burning a century from now. And I could go on. Roger Pielke Jr. and colleagues show how the RCP 8.5 scenario was born to give modelers a high-emissions scenario to play with, and how it came to be embraced despite being at odds with every real-world indicator concerning the expected course of future emissions.
In a simple model of the world, authority figures say absurd and false things, and the media calls them out. The reverse happened this time, with the climate crowd reacting to the media’s botched coverage of the Fourth National Climate Assessment in 2018, itself a strained compilation of extreme worst-case scenarios that still couldn’t deliver the desired global meltdown.

Even David Wallace-Wells, the author of 2019’s climate-crisis book “The Uninhabitable Earth,” was moved to call on fellow activists to revise their advocacy “in a less alarmist direction.”
To this day, the print edition of the New York Times has never mentioned RCP 8.5, the unsupported emissions scenario on which so many of its climate jeremiads rest.
The Washington Post has used it twice, once to say it portended a climate disaster and more recently to suggest its falling out of favor didn’t mean the climate wasn’t headed for disaster.

How did we get from reality to Greta Thunberg, Joe Biden and a Bloomberg columnist who says Exxon “threatens the continuation of human life on earth”? Decades ago, casual theorizing suggested global warming might cause the oceans to stop circulating and North America to freeze over, giving rise to the 2004 cinematic and scientific disaster of a movie known as “The Day After Tomorrow.”
Al Gore touted the same scenario but later dropped it, and climate catastrophism has had to survive ever since without scientific underpinning.

The strain of holding realism at bay is starting to tell. John Kerry, the new climate czar, recently blurted out that the Biden green agenda will have no effect on climate unless countries like China and India join, which they already declared they won’t.

A bigger moment of truth will come with a book by Steven Koonin, a theoretical physicist and chief scientist of the Obama Energy Department, demonstrating what the science—the plain, recognized, consensus science—says about climate change: It won’t be catastrophic. It’s unlikely to be influenced in a major way by policy actions. The costs will be large in relation to everything except the future, richer economy that will easily pay for them.
Full post
7) And finally: UN Secretary General backs bashing the rich
Gaia Fawkes, 14 April 2021
To the usual roll-call of eco-extremists you can now add UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. 

Loony leftie Claudia Webbe’s tweet that the “Earth is overpopulated; there are too many rich people. To solve the climate crisis; the rich must be abolished” has justifiably attracted a lot of mocking. She’s not the only one who thinks the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to bash the rich. To the usual roll-call of eco-extremists you can now add UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is calling on national governments to impose wealth taxes to combat inequality exacerbated by the pandemic:

“I urge governments to consider a solidarity or wealth tax on those who have profited during the pandemic, to reduce extreme inequalities. We need a new social contract, based on solidarity and investments in education, decent and green jobs, social protection, and health systems. This is the foundation for sustainable and inclusive development.”
Even the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, is calling for minimum corporate tax rates across the world’s major economies, presumably to pay for Biden’s mega-deficit-making stimulus splurge. The political and intellectual classes are pushing for a global paradigm shift, away from the low tax and free-market policies that, since the collapse of Soviet Communism, have seen global living standards rise at the fastest pace ever.
They are using the pretext of the pandemic and environmental alarmism to justify the undemocratic policies they have long wanted to implement. Big states with high taxes and controlled by a technocratic elite – “for our own good”.

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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