G-20 poised to signal retreat from Paris climate pledge

Posted: March 11, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, government, Politics

Once America’s new leader poured cold water on the Paris ‘deal’ it didn’t take some (all?) of the other G-20 members long to get cold feet about stumping up the ‘pledged’ cash. Looks like the political showboating was just that. Who is surprised any more by this well-worn routine?

Finance ministers for the U.S., China, Germany and other members of the Group of 20 economies may scale back a robust pledge for their governments to combat climate change, ceding efforts to the private sector.

Citing “scarce public resources,” the ministers said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris climate accord, according to a preliminary statement drafted for a meeting that will be held in Germany next week.

The statement, obtained by Bloomberg News, is a significant departure from a communique issued in July, when finance ministers urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.

“It basically says governments are irrelevant. It’s complete faith in the magic of the marketplace,” John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto’s G-20 Research Group, said in an interview. “That is very different from the existing commitments they have repeatedly made.”

Mnuchin’s Debut
The shift in tone comes as U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, prepares for his first G-20 meeting, scheduled for March 17 to 18 in the spa town of Baden-Baden. While European nations including Germany have been at the forefront of combating global warming, Trump has called climate change a hoax.

The Republican president vowed during his campaign to “cancel” the Paris agreement but has said little about the deal since taking office.

His cabinet members, meanwhile, have sent mixed signals. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. should keep a seat at the table for international climate talks. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Thursday expressed doubt that humans were to blame for global warming and called the Paris agreement a “bad deal” for the U.S.

Full story: G-20 Poised To Signal Retreat From Paris Climate Deal Pledge | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  1. oldbrew says:

    ‘ceding efforts to the private sector’ – really? Where will it find $100 billion or even one billion?

  2. tallbloke says:

    The wheels are coming of the IPCC’s bus.

  3. oldmanK says:

    Quote “The wheels are coming of the IPCC’s bus.” I thought it was a train.!

  4. Paul Vaughan says:

    The train on a different track…

    “ceding efforts to the private sector”

    Is that the answer to changes in democratic voting patterns?
    Put the control where the electorate can’t so easily touch it?

    An alternate means of taxation?
    If the banks would actually do this that would be a somewhat foreboding signal that elite hubris is naively pushing (whether by accident or design) for fragile instability.

    China is normally pro-stability, so something doesn’t make sense here…
    Maybe it wouldn’t take much more instability to cross a tipping point that would rip up lots of agreements. Agreements suddenly don’t mean anything if there are big changes in balance of power.

    The simplest explanation is that China is being misrepresented in western media (certainly wouldn’t be surprising), but we’ll know better by what far eastern banks do. Maybe they’ll just put stability on trigger-point without pulling the trigger (using mature restraint as a sharp method of calculated deterrence).

    If the banks take over, the balance of power shifts east 80/20 over west. The dominant rely on stability. It’s the same as in a forest of climax species. If the forest burns down, pioneers take over and dominance keeps shifting until succession again climaxes (if disturbance doesn’t again reset).

  5. rishrac says:

    I wonder how many countries would show up at a climate conference ( like Paris or Hoaxahagen) if the US wasn’t forking over the dough. Is the window of opportunity finally shut ?

  6. oldbrew says:

    Reality is catching up with German climate policy…

    Date: 11/03/17

    The fact that the federal government now seems intend to pursue only targets that are uniform throughout the EU may be due to the gradual realisation that Germany has adopted over-ambitious targets that cannot be achieved.


  7. Paul Vaughan says:

    Lesson not learned yet, western European elite are banking on the Canadian influence of Carney, McCallum (banker ambassador), and Trudeau in China. They imagine liberal Canada as the front line in a political war. They underestimate Chinese wisdom by orders of magnitude. In China they’ll find polite reception of dreamy western sales-pitch, but we can trust that real eastern action will be practical. It’s not practical to naively undermine global stability.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Cries of ‘show us the money’ can’t be far away…

    “The takeaway is it clearly puts less emphasis on climate finance as a priority than last year’s did,” Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview. “It doesn’t talk about government action. That is a significant step back from what countries agreed to in Paris.”