Two days ago, the 18th United Nations conference on climate change wrapped up. As they did at the previous 17 conferences, developing nations demanded that the United States and other developed countries pay them for the climate’s effects.
In short, the joke’s on us. And these U.N. conferences are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Poor nations, including small islands, are seeking a new “international mechanism” to have developed nations pay for storm damage to their countries. This is based on the assumption that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes, typhoons, and the like, which is still unproven.
The main result of this year’s conference was extending the Kyoto Protocol, the international climate change agreement that has been in force since 1997, through 2020. The United States has never signed on to this agreement, which restricted greenhouse gas emissions in 37 industrialized countries.
But the Kyoto agreement has never put restrictions on China and India—two densely populated countries with growing economies—and other nations with emerging economies. Even with perfect compliance and U.S. participation, Kyoto would not significantly arrest projected global warming.
Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia opted out of the new extension last week. The Associated Press reports that this means the treaty now “covers only about 15 percent of global emissions.”