Farcical COP27 Debacle Ends In “Tears And Frustration” As Furious Eco-Delegates Realize Who’s In Charge
Last week we said that the latest greenwashing virtue-signaling eco-boondoggle, the COP 27 UN climate summit Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh ended in failure as participants couldn’t even agree on a fossil fuel pledge. The only reason it wasn’t a total disaster is because it introduced Greta Thunberg’s far more effective replacement – Iranian Sophia Kianni – to the world.
But it wasn’t just us that had a cynical, jaded view on what was the biggest eco-event of the year: the Financial Times doubled down and in an article titled “COP27 ends in tears and frustration: ‘The world will not thank us”, it describes how Tuvalu finance minister Seve Paeniu – choking back his emotions – held up a photo of five youth delegates from his country and expressed his “deep regret and disappointment” that COP27 had been a “missed opportunity”.
Exposing just how hypocritical the virtue signaling by all the western “green” nations truly is – some would say on par with the effective altruism of sociopath Sam Bankman-Fried – more than 80 countries had supported a proposal to phase down the use of fossil fuels at the UN climate summit in Egypt, Paeniu said.
Ultimately, however, the agreement by almost 200 nations reached after all-night discussions did not go further than the weakened Glasgow COP26 pledge to phase down polluting coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
While the FT was at least credible in its assessment of the debacle, the eco fanatics from Bloomberg (owned by a billionaire owned who jets around on his private jets and helicopters to and fro his numerous beachside mansions), came up with the laughable summary: “UN Adopts Historic Pact on Payments for Climate Damages.” Ah yes, “historic pact” for which all taxpayers will end up paying: because anything that successfully avoids virtue-signaling billionaires getting fleeced is viewed as “historic.”
In any case, back to the FT, which noted that several of the frustrated and exhausted negotiators from western nations blamed the oil- and gas-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia, emboldened by the global energy crisis (odd how nobody blamed the biggest polluter of all, China).
Indeed, it was China, alongside many of the world’s biggest fossil fuel producers that succeeded in staving off the demands for bolder action on climate change as the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh drew to a close on Sunday, in spite of a dramatic threat of an EU walkout the day before (yes, even more poseurs).
And while the final agreement did included a broad and undefined commitment for a new fund to help pay for climate-related damage suffered by poorer countries (for which taxpayers in richer countries will have to pay, of course), a broad range of nations lamented the lack of any real progress during the two-week summit on how to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster.
“The world will not thank us when they hear only excuses tomorrow,” said the EU’s green chief Frans Timmermans. “This is the make or break decade but what we have in front of us is not enough of a step forward.”
This from the guy whose continent is backsliding at a feverish pace away from “green” energy to coal now that its main energy artery out of Russia has been cut off to facilitate the US state department’s ambitions in Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia had been “playing hardest” in its resistance to faster progress in cutting emissions, said one person involved in the eleventh hour discussions. Of course, China was the real culprit to “hold back progress” but since China is also the backer for most non-western nations, few will dare speak out against it.
Emotions were on display and resentments obvious during the last 24 hours of the summit: Glasgow COP26 president Alok Sharma marched furiously away from a negotiating room late on Saturday evening, after a failed attempt by a wide coalition of countries including the UK to link global warming targets to the agreement for a loss and damage fund.
Closing the loop on just how meaningless the entire event was, the US lead climate lawyer Sue Biniaz – whom the SBF-endorsing NYT recently dubbed the “closer” in its latest fawning puff piece – shuttled from one room to another with multiple mobile phones, and achieved… absolutely nothing. Oh, and as for Biden’s private-jet globetrotting climate envoy, John Kerry… well, he worked from his hotel room where he was isolating after being diagnosed with Covid.
To be sure, it could have been even worse: at several stages, the final agreement appeared in jeopardy.
A draft text circulated by the Egyptian presidency in the early hours of Saturday said countries should not need to increase their emissions reduction targets, according to two people familiar with the matter. That was “exactly the opposite of what should happen,” said one.
Next, it got even more absurd: by Saturday morning, the EU threatened to walk away. The bloc cited fears about weakening plans to cut emissions fast enough to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep global warming well below 2C from pre-industrial times, and ideally 1.5C. Temperatures have already risen at least 1.1C. But no luck, and as the early hours of Sunday approached, the Arab group of nations and Russia resisted wording that emphasised the need for renewable power.
Saudi Arabia pushed for the UN agreement to allow for carbon capture and storage technology, which would limit emissions and enable continued oil and gas production.
Pushing in the other direction, a growing number of countries, including the US and Australia, said they would support a commitment to phase down all fossil fuels. In the end, the US did not get its way and what emerged early on Sunday morning was a document that had no mention of phasing out fossil fuels as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia triumphed once again.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 22, 2022
Some western participants accused the fossil fuel producers of taking advantage of their relationships with host country Egypt. “You have to ask yourself: is this an African COP or an Arab group COP,” said one, clearly forgetting that just a few years ago, whatever the US wanted, the US got. Those days are gone.
Veteran UN climate summit observer Alden Meyer, a senior associate at the E3G think-tank, said the playbook was familiar. “They [the oil states] traditionally play hard ball in the end stages,” he said. “Clearly they have more influence with this presidency than they have with some others.”
Egypt itself benefited as the host nation on several fronts. It was applauded by African and non-African nations alike for shepherding the creation of the “loss and damage” fund. It was also able to strike a deal with US and Germany to fund a $500mn initiative to help Egypt deploy renewable energy while closing old, leaking gas-powered facilities.
Of course, ending in abject failure, it was time for the spinmasters to do their job and keep the world from realizing just how powerless the “western liberal democracies” had become: COP27 president Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian foreign minister, maintained that the agreement had not “backtracked” on the previous Glasgow pact. “The level of ambition all over the world is equal,” but financial constraints limited what developing countries could do, he said. Nations including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are classified as developing nations under the UN system dating back to 1992.
Shoukry’s comments echoed the formal remarks to the UN plenary by Saudi Arabia, whose representative thanked the presidency on behalf of the 22 Arab League countries for “titanic efforts . . . to bring about common ground.”
“Technology transfer and funding are essential to allow the developing states to honour their commitments,” said its representative. “We would like to emphasise that the convention needs to address emissions and not the origin of emissions.”
But Tuvalu’s Paeniu, whose country is among the small island states vulnerable to what some ecolists claim to be a sea level rise – which apparently those who build mansions on the beach at Martha’s Vineyard are somehow immune to – said it was “regrettable” not to have an agreement about those emissions peaking in 2025 to prevent a rise in temperatures beyond 1.5C.
He had brought the youth delegates with him to demonstrate “the rich cultural heritage of our people, our community, in the Pacific,” he said.
“We do not want to compromise their future and we need to work hard now so we can leave a legacy as good as we have had.”
Actually no, you do, because if there is anything this latest eco-boondoggle taught us, is that not only is the US and Europe no longer calling the shots, but – even more embarrassing – China, Russia and Saudi Arabia successfully get western taxpayers to pay poor countries while western propaganda media had the gall to call this a historic outcome.
And now we wait until near year’s COP28 when a bunch of billionaires will fly in their private jets spewing tons of CO2 around the globe, only to storm out furious as they accomplish nothing and China, Russia and Saudi Arabia once again get their way…