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Leading Nowhere: The Futility and Farce of Global Climate Negotiations

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Leading Nowhere: The Futility and Farce of Global Climate Negotiations

October 16, 2015
Energy & EnvironmentClimateGeopolitics
EconomicsRegulations

Abstract

COP 21, the international climate negotiations that will be held in Paris, November 30–December 11, 2015, will conclude the twenty-first round of talks under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). President Obama has committed the U.S. to showing international leadership by taking aggressive domestic action to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The ultimate objective is, purportedly, a successful international agreement by which all countries commit to substantially reducing emissions.

Key Findings

  • Whatever ineffectual "deal" may emerge from the Paris talks will only underscore what has been true all along: no negotiated agreement will significantly reduce global emissions of CO2.
  • The U.S. Congress should pass a resolution preemptively rejecting any agreement that omits enforceable developing-nation commitments to emissions reductions or that transfers substantial wealth to the developing world.
  • Constraining the options in Paris to either a genuine and enforceable agreement, or no agreement, will have a valuable, clarifying effect on the future of international climate policy.

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