NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 7, 2010

The Copenhagen global warming conference involved 193 nations getting together to discuss the threat that global warming poses to our planet and what can be done about it.  The goal was to create a global agreement that extended and expanded the Kyoto Protocol so that a global organization could influence and monitor all nations' efforts to reduce their CO2 emissions, says Pete du Pont, a former governor of Delaware and Chairman for the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Global warming believers did not get their way, either in extending the Kyoto agreement or in forming any global organization to tell all of the world's people how to lead their lives.  But developing nations did get something, says du Pont:

  • A promise of support for $30 billion over the first three years and a goal of growing it to $100 billion annually by 2020.
  • The developing nations saw climate change as an enormous financial bonanza if, under the banner of the environment, they could get wealthy nations to transfer wealth to them.
  • The wealthy nations of course saw this as a trap: Why would they want to depress their economic growth by giving money to developing nations?
  • The truth of the Copenhagen agreement is that developing countries want cash from other countries with few strings attached.

So the final Copenhagen deal did not establish greenhouse gas emission targets or specifically address how nations must limit temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, but it did agree that CO2 emissions could be measured, reported and verified by . . . well, someone.  That, in China's terms, means "developed countries must take the lead" in making emission cuts and providing financial and technical support for developing countries.

In truth, the world dodged a bullet in Copenhagen, says du Pont.  There could have been significant damage to many nations' economies if the warming alarmists' full agenda had been adopted.

But of course the game has not ended.  Here in America, President Obama, Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency all seem committed to regulating our behavior and consumption under the guise of addressing a crisis that is not a crisis.  They will do so in a way that will not meaningfully reduce global temperatures, but will substantially hurt the economies and opportunities of the world's people, says du Pont.

Source: Pete du Pont, "Copenhagen's Dodged Bullet," Online Journal, January 5, 2010.

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