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Discussion > The Paris Accords and INDCs

Article 23

1. The provisions of Article 16 of the Convention on the adoption and amendment of annexes to the Convention shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement.

2. Annexes to this Agreement shall form an integral part thereof and, unless otherwise expressly provided for, a reference to this Agreement constitutes at the same time a reference to any annexes thereto. Such annexes shall be restricted to lists, forms and any other material of a descriptive nature that is of a scientific, technical, procedural or administrative character.

[For ease of reference, here is Article 16 of the Convention:

"Article 16


1. Annexes to the Convention shall form an integral part thereof and, unless otherwise expressly provided, a reference to the Convention constitutes at the same time a reference to any annexes thereto. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 14, paragraphs 2 (b) and 7, such annexes shall be restricted to lists, forms and any other material of a descriptive nature that is of a scientific, technical, procedural or administrative character.

2. Annexes to the Convention shall be proposed and adopted in accordance with the procedure set forth in Article 15, paragraphs 2, 3 and 4.

3. An annex that has been adopted in accordance with paragraph 2 above shall enter into force for all Parties to the Convention six months after the date of the communication by the Depositary to such Parties of the adoption of the annex, except for those Parties that have notified the Depositary, in writing, within that period of their non-acceptance of the annex. The annex shall enter into force for Parties which withdraw their notification of non-acceptance on the ninetieth day after the date on which withdrawal of such notification has been received by the Depositary.

4. The proposal, adoption and entry into force of amendments to annexes to the Convention shall be subject to the same procedure as that for the proposal, adoption and entry into force of annexes to the Convention in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 above.

5. If the adoption of an annex or an amendment to an annex involves an amendment to the Convention, that annex or amendment to an annex shall not enter into force until such time as the amendment to the Convention enters into force."]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 24

The provisions of Article 14 of the Convention on settlement of disputes shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement.

[For convenience I set out Article 14 of the Convention below:

"Article 14


1. In the event of a dispute between any two or more Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, the Parties concerned shall seek a settlement of the dispute through negotiation or any other peaceful means of their own choice.

2. When ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to the Convention, or at any time thereafter, a Party which is not a regional economic integration organization may declare in a written instrument submitted to the Depositary that, in respect of any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, it recognizes as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation:
(a) Submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice; and/or
(b) Arbitration in accordance with procedures to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties as soon as practicable, in an annex on arbitration.
A Party which is a regional economic integration organization may make a declaration with like effect in relation to arbitration in accordance with the procedures referred to in subparagraph (b) above.

3. A declaration made under paragraph 2 above shall remain in force until it expires in accordance with its terms or until three months after written notice of its revocation has been deposited with the Depositary.

4. A new declaration, a notice of revocation or the expiry of a declaration shall not in any way affect proceedings pending before the International Court of Justice or the arbitral tribunal, unless the parties to the dispute otherwise agree.

5. Subject to the operation of paragraph 2 above, if after twelve months following notification by one Party to another that a dispute exists between them, the Parties concerned have not been able to settle their dispute through the means mentioned in paragraph 1 above, the dispute shall be submitted, at the request of any of the parties to the dispute, to conciliation.

6. A conciliation commission shall be created upon the request of one of the parties to the dispute. The commission shall be composed of an equal number of members appointed by each party concerned and a chairman chosen jointly by the members appointed by each party. The commission shall render a recommendatory award, which the parties shall consider in good faith.

7. Additional procedures relating to conciliation shall be adopted by the Conference of the Parties, as soon as practicable, in an annex on conciliation.

8. The provisions of this Article shall apply to any related legal instrument which the Conference of the Parties may adopt, unless the instrument provides otherwise."]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 25

1. Each Party shall have one vote, except as provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article.

2. Regional economic integration organizations, in matters within their competence, shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of their member States that are Parties to this Agreement. Such an organization shall not exercise its right to vote if any of its member States exercises its right, and vice versa.

[I assume this means that - for now - the EU has 28 votes.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 26

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the Depositary of this Agreement.

Article 27

No reservations may be made to this Agreement.

Article 28

1. At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary.

2. Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.

3. Any Party that withdraws from the Convention shall be considered as also having withdrawn from this Agreement.

[Article 28 is the one which means that although the USA has (just) given written notification of withdrawal, it might not actually manage to withdraw if Trump loses the next Presidential election (assuming the Democrats haven't successfully impeached him by then) and is replaced by a pro-Paris Agreement President. It almost looks as though the 3 years plus one year provision (equivalent to a US Presidential term) provisions were inserted by Obama for this very reason.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Article 29

The original of this Agreement, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

DONE at Paris this twelfth day of December two thousand and fifteen.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized to that effect, have signed this Agreement.

[And that's it. Congratulations (or commiserations) if you have read this far. Conclusion - far more of the Agreement is concerned with administration and housekeeping than with substance, and the part that is concerned with substance fails to match the rhetoric - no meaningful mandatory provisions, whether with regard to GHG emissions or funding or timescales in respect of so many of the housekeeping provisions. No, if I were a climate alarmist, I would be deeply dissatisfied with this Agreement. However, while many countries talk big about climate change, the bottom line is that apart from a few developed countries in the west, the world isn't actually signed up to the goal of reducing emissions at all.]

Aug 5, 2017 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

After all my cynicism about the Paris Agreement and the INDCs submitted in pursuance of its objectives, I though I'd take a quick look at the Green Climate Fund.

From their website:

"Responding to the climate challenge requires collective action from all countries, cities, businesses, and private citizens. Among these concerted efforts, advanced economies have formally agreed to jointly mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020, from a variety of sources, to address the pressing mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries.

Governments also agreed that a major share of new multilateral, multi-billion dollar funding should be channeled through the Green Climate Fund. At the G7 Summit in June 2015, leaders emphasized GCF's role as a key institution for global climate finance. Many developing countries, too, have explicitly expressed their expectations from the Fund in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)."

So, how's that going?

"As of July 2017, the Green Climate Fund has raised USD 10.3 billion equivalent in pledges from 43 state governments. The objective is for all pledges to be converted into contribution agreements within one year from the time at which they are made."

"As of July 2017, the Green Climate Fund has raised USD 24.3 million equivalent in pledges from 3 regional governments. The objective is for all pledges to be converted into contribution agreements within one year from the time at which they are made."

"As of July 2017, the Green Climate Fund has raised USD 1.3 million equivalent in pledges from 1 municipal government. The objective is for all pledges to be converted into contribution agreements within one year from the time at which they are made."

Not terribly well then, especially against the requests for financial assistance in the INDCs, which make the $100 Bn figure look like chicken feed. Oh well....

Aug 5, 2017 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Remember that not many countries in their INDCs actually committed to absolute reductions in GHG emissions, rather than merely "reductions" against a Business as Usual scenario.

One of them was Australia. How's that going?

Australia's greenhouse gas emissions are rising and forecast to miss 2030 target

Australia’s emissions are rising and projected to keep doing so to 2030, meaning the country will fail to meet its 2030 emissions targets, according to government figures.

The official quarterly figures, showing growth in year-on-year emisssions, confirms independent projections from Ndevr Environmental, released earlier this month by Guardian Australia, which predicted Australia’s emissions would be rising.

The government figures also confirm emissions are predicted to rise to 2030. Emissions that year are projected to be 10% higher than the year to June 2016.

By 2030, the report estimates Australia will have emitted 1bn tonnes more than it is allowed to, according to its 2030 commitments.

The figures were released on Thursday, just days before Christmas, despite the results being finalised in September, according to documents released on Wednesday night to the Australian Conservation Foundation under freedom of information laws.

The report from the Department of Environment and Energy clearly indicated that current policies would not allow Australia to meet its 2030 emissions targets.

Aug 5, 2017 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

We've already noted that Norway promised to cut emissions by 40% by 2030, but Reuters tells us that "Norway's greenhouse gas emissions rise, despite promised cuts"

And now Paul Homewood has this at his site, again quoting from Reuters:

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Burning coal for power looks set to remain the backbone of Germany’s energy supply for decades yet, an apparent contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambitions for Europe’s biggest economy to be a role model in tackling climate change.

Merkel is avoiding the sensitive subject of phasing out coal, which could hit tens of thousands of jobs, in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election, in which she hopes to win a fourth term.

Although well over 20 billion euros are spent each year to boost Germany’s green energy sector, coal still accounts for 40 percent of energy generation, down just 10 points from 2000.

To avoid disruption in the power and manufacturing sectors, coal imports and mines must keep running, say industry lobbies, despite the switch to fossil-free energy.

“(Coal) makes a big contribution to German and European energy supply security and this will remain the case for a long time to come,” the chairman of the coal importers’ lobby VDKi, Wolfgang Cieslik told reporters last week.

He also stressed it was crucial for steel manufacturing in Germany, the seventh biggest producer in the world, that use a quarter of the country’s coal imports.

Critics point to the irony in Merkel’s tacit support for coal given that she criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for ditching the Paris climate accord after pledging to voters he would lift environmental rules and revive coal-mining jobs.

“Merkel … has no right to criticize the disastrous climate production policy of U.S. President Trump … figures in this country speak for themselves,” said former Green lawmaker Franz-Josef Fell, referring to Overseas Development Institute (ODI) figures showing the extent of public money going to coal.

Utilities such as RWE, Uniper and EnBW with coal generation on their books fire back by saying their output is covered by them holding carbon emissions rights certificates, while much of their historic profitability has been eroded due to competition from renewables.

Apart from the environmentalist Greens, who want coal generation to end by 2030, none of the main political parties have set phase-out target dates.

Huge vested interests are stifling debate, whether it is potential job losses that alarm powerful unions or the effect on industrial companies relying on a stable power supply.

Industry figures show renewables accounted for 29 percent of power output in both 2015 and 2016, up from 7 percent in 2000. But plants burning imported hard coal still make up 17 percent and brown coal from domestic mines 23 percent of power output.

Cheap coal lets them run at full tilt when necessary while the weather dictates if wind and solar produce anything at all.

Cieslik said he expected hard coal alone to retain a share of 15 percent by 2030.

VDKi warns that nuclear energy, accounting for 14 percent of power, will remove even more of the round-the-clock supply when it is phased out by 2022.

Wind and solar cannot even fill current gaps and a system run mainly on green power would fail to provide guaranteed supply over a winter fortnight, it says.

Power grid operator Amprion has said German networks came close to blackouts during settled and overcast conditions in January when renewable plants produced almost nothing.

Even environmental groups acknowledge the fossil fuel lobbies have a point, arguing there must be remedies to the problem of intermittent renewable supply.

“Old coal plants can be made flexible at a reasonable cost and allow countries with a high share of coal-to-power a soft transition to a climate friendly energy system,” said a study commissioned by Agora thinktank, which backs the energy switch.

Meanwhile the Clean Energy Wire report that German CO2 emissions are likely to rise again this year, following last year’s rise:

Germany’s rising consumption of oil, gas and lignite in the first half of 2017 indicates that the country of the Energiewende will see another increase in emissions in 2017 after a rise in 2016, said Agora Energiewende* head Patrick Graichen. “The data translates to a one-percent increase of energy-related emissions, compared to the same period last year. This corresponds to about 5 million tonnes of CO₂,” Graichen told Clean Energy Wire. New data released by energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB) saw energy consumption in Germany increase 0.8 percent in the first half of 2017, due to positive economic development and slightly cooler weather at the beginning of the year. “The hope that 2017 emissions will be below last year’s levels fades visibly. Rather, this is ground for concern that – just like in 2016 – we will see emissions rise in 2017,” said Graichen.

Aug 5, 2017 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I see that Professor Dieter Helm is to carry out (from the BBC website):

"An independent review looking at ways to reduce energy costs has been launched by the government.
The study will examine how the UK can keep household bills down while also meeting its climate change targets.
Oxford University professor Dieter Helm, who is carrying out the work, said he would "sort out the facts from the myths about the cost of energy"."

I thought I would look him up. THis is what he has to say about the Paris AGreement on his website:

"The Paris Agreement is, if you believe the political leaders who took an active part, a game changer. It is, on this view, a triumph. As Obama put it, it will save the planet. But you should not believe them: the reality is that Paris demonstrated how big the international failure has been, and provided little by way of comfort that its framework will do the necessary job. You can see it everywhere: climate change has slumped down the list of priorities for companies and governments.

A cold hard reality check on all the rhetoric is needed. Here are the facts. The ambition set out at the Durban Conference was that Paris would see a legal binding global agreement binding the main world players to targets which would jointly keep global warming below 2 degrees. What happened? Most countries came up with their proposed national targets, just as they had for the Copenhagen Agreement. They are voluntary, not legally binding, and they do not add up to the 2 degrees. In the case of the big players, China offered to cap emissions by 2030 (after another 15 years of potential emission growth), India has no real meaningful cap, and the US is embedding the switch from coal to gas. For all three, what will happen has little or nothing to do with Paris. The one bit of good news is incidental: China’s economy may slow down rapidly.

This did not stop the negotiators doing two things: first, making the circus of Paris a regular 5-year event, and thereby keeping all the UN-led bureaucracy and all the NGOs up and running; and setting a target of 1.5 degrees. If you can’t get a legally binding set of targets that add up to 2 degrees, why not set the target at 1.5 degrees anyway?"

It's nice to know I'm in good company. I await the outcome of his review with interest. By the way, the Guardian doesn't seem to be very happy about his appointment:

Their headline gives the flavour of the article:

"Renewable power critic is chosen to head energy price review
Government’s preferred choice of Oxford economist Dieter Helm is controversial owing to criticism of wind and solar power"

Aug 6, 2017 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Meanwhile I see they're all gearing up for COP23 in Bonn. It's a hard life being a COP attendee:


Bonn, as the seat of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, has hosted more than twenty sessions of the UNFCCC negotiations (Subsidiary Bodies) and countless meetings and workshops. It has become a “second home” to many delegations and participants, who have their long-standing local hosts, favourite restaurants and beaten paths between hotels and meeting venues. Eager to return to Bonn, many participants have already made their arrangements for COP23.

Bonn and the surrounding region offer a wide variety of accommodation, from five star hotels to bed-and-breakfast lodging and many homestay opportunities. Nine thousand hotel beds exist within Bonn city limits, and neighbouring counties and cities between Cologne to the north and Koblenz to the south offer another 56,000 beds within a radius of 50 km.

For participants who haven’t yet booked for COP23, please note that the November sessions are expected to attract much larger numbers than the Subsidiary Bodies meeting, so that all participants are encouraged to make their arrangements as early as possible.

Accommodation can be booked directly with hotels and other providers, or through travel agencies and online services. Participants seeking comprehensive personal advice and assistance are invited to contact Tourismus & Congress GmbH.

Tourismus & Congress, Bonn and the region’s tourism agency, has agreed with the Government of Germany to assist with the coordination of the supply of accommodation during COP23. Apart from helping participants find suitable hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc., Tourismus & Congress also facilitates contacts with Bonn citizens who volunteered to offer free homestay opportunities to COP participants (go to Private Host COP23 for more information).

The Government of Germany and the Climate Change Secretariat are working hard to ensure that COP23 adheres to the highest possible international standards of sustainability. Tourismus & Congress will inform participants of green features and eco certifications of hotels within its portfolio, so participants can make educated choices and help reduce the conference’s environmental footprint.

Public transportation

The region is well connected through public transportation, with trains, metros/ trams and buses running at short intervals. From most places in the region, no more than one change of transport needs to be made to arrive at the conference centre.

Metro/ trams and buses are usually the preferred choice of transport for conference participants staying in Bonn, plus in the areas of Siegburg, Sankt Augustin, Beuel, Koenigswinter, and Bad Honnef, and along the intercity tram lines between Bonn and Cologne, including in the southern districts of Cologne. The metro (U-Bahn) stop closest to the Bula Zone of the November 2017 sessions is “Heussallee”, located 500m from the main entrance to the World Conference Centre. The “Deutsche Welle” bus stop (610 and 611 lines) is 100m away.

Participants staying in downtown Cologne, west of Bonn towards Euskirchen, south of Bonn along the Rhine all the way to Koblenz, or in the picturesque wine-growing Ahr valley, can take any regional train (RE and RB) and will be able to get off at the brand-new train station “UN Campus” located only 800m from the Bula Zone’s main entrance.

The conference’s two zones - the Bula Zone and the Bonn Zone - will be connected with each other, with the new train station and the “Heussallee” metro stop by dedicated electric shuttles. In addition, several hundred bicycles will be available at the Bula Zone and the Bonn Zone for free rental and use within the city.

By courtesy of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia and the German Federal Government, transportation by bus, tram, metro and regional trains (RB, RE) will be free of charge in Bonn, Cologne and in-between (“VRS” area) for all registered participants in the two-week sessional period. It is planned to also include the Ahr valley and Koblenz south of Bonn.

Fast and high-speed long-distance trains (IC, EC, ICE) from, e.g., Cologne, Koblenz, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf airports and farther away stop at Bonn Hauptbahnhof/Central Station, Bonn-Beuel, or Siegburg/Bonn, from where metro, tram or bus take travellers to their hotels and the conference zones.

For a map of the region and directions to the United Nations Campus and the World Conference Centre Bonn, please see the Maps and Directions page on our website. The “Directions” and the “Schedule Explorer” tools in the map entitled “World Conference Centre Bonn” are most useful to learn about routes, commuting times and time schedules between the conference centre and any place in the region.

Aug 6, 2017 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

"[...]This did not stop the negotiators doing two things: first, making the circus of Paris a regular 5-year event, and thereby keeping all the UN-led bureaucracy and all the NGOs up and running; and setting a target of 1.5 degrees. If you can’t get a legally binding set of targets that add up to 2 degrees, why not set the target at 1.5 degrees anyway?""

Yup. And then we also see the report of Dieter Helm receiving a green stick for his analysis. Not because he didn't sign up for their ideals, but simply for telling them that their solutions are not working and cannot work.

In the UK it often seems that reality left the building a long time before the green-agenda people even started writing the laws and regulations that they have been allowed to pass, seemingly unhindered. But many in Germany are more skilful at the Realpolitik game than their UK counterparts. Thus, much of the energiewende costs were passed directly onto German citizens paying electricity bills, in the full knowledge that most of them will not leave Germany, never mind leave Europe. German industry (apart from the traditional generators) has so far been given a pass on many of the worst costs. Unlike the UK, Germany will not risk losing too much industry. They (German policymakers) figured to win more in the wind/solar sector than they lost in the decline of traditional generation industries, many of whom are anyway focussed on exports to nations who will not follow the Paris climate spiel in anything other than words.

A politician guided by skilful bureaucrats will not actually commit to something stupid in an irreversible way. Someone forgot to tell UK politicians that they are not actually supposed to believe the global warming twaddle.

Aug 6, 2017 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

stewgreen has already alluded to this on Unthreaded, but it's directly relevant to this thread. I was on the verge of raising the issue of the accuracy of GHG inventories submitted by participating countries to the UN (noting that they self-certify) and the related questions of how the inventories are drawn up and how trustworthy they are, when Matt McGrath (of all people) has beaten me to it with this article on the BBC website:

'Dodgy' greenhouse gas data threatens Paris accord

Potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found.
Air monitors in Switzerland have detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy.
However, the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount of the substance being emitted.
Levels of some emissions from India and China are so uncertain that experts say their records are plus or minus 100%.
These flaws posed a bigger threat to the Paris climate agreement than US President Donald Trump's intention to withdraw, researchers told BBC Radio 4's Counting Carbon programme.
Bottom-up records
Among the key provisions of the Paris climate deal, signed by 195 countries in December 2015, is the requirement that every country, rich or poor, has to submit an inventory of its greenhouse-gas emissions every two years.
Under UN rules, most countries produce "bottom-up" records, based on how many car journeys are made or how much energy is used for heating homes and offices.
Image caption
Scientist Dr Stefan Reimann has been recording high levels of warming gases over the Swiss Alps
But air-sampling programmes that record actual levels of gases, such as those run by the UK and Switzerland, sometimes reveal errors and omissions.
In 2011, Swiss scientists first published their data on levels of a gas called HFC-23 coming from a location in northern Italy.
Between 2008 and 2010, they had recorded samples of the chemical, produced in the refrigeration and air conditioning industries, which is 14,800 times more warming to the atmosphere than CO2.
Now the scientists, at the Jungfraujoch Swiss air monitoring station, have told the BBC the gas is still going into the atmosphere.
"Our estimate for this location in Italy is about 60-80 tonnes of this substance being emitted every year. Then we can compare this with the Italian emission inventory, and that is quite interesting because the official inventory says below 10 tonnes or in the region of two to three tonnes," said Dr Stefan Reimann, from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology.
"They actually say it is happening, but they don't think it is happening as much as we see.
"Just to put it into perspective, this greenhouse gas is thousands of times stronger than CO2.
"So, that would be like an Italian town of 80,000 inhabitants not emitting any CO2."
The Italian environment agency told the BBC its inventory was correct and complied with UN regulations and it did not accept the Swiss figures.
Another rare warming gas, carbon tetrachloride, once popular as a refrigerant and a solvent but very damaging to the ozone layer, has been banned in Europe since 2002.
Image caption
Coal use in China has been subject to major revisions in the country's statistics
But Dr Reimann told Counting Carbon: "We still see 10,000-20,000 tonnes coming out of China every year."
"That is something that shouldn't be there.
"There is actually no Chinese inventory for these gases, as they are banned and industry shouldn't be releasing them anymore."
China's approach to reporting its overall output of warming gases to the UN is also subject to constant and significant revisions.
Its last submission ran to about 30 pages - the UK's, by contrast, runs to several hundred.
Back in 2007, China simply refused to accept, in official documents, that it had become the largest emitter of CO2.
"I was working in China in 2007," said Dr Angel Hsu, from Yale University.
"I would include a citation and statistics that made this claim of China's position as the number one emitter - these were just stricken out, and I was told the Chinese government doesn't yet recognise this particular statistic so we are not going to include it."

Let's just read that again:

"These flaws posed a bigger threat to the Paris climate agreement than US President Donald Trump's intention to withdraw, researchers told BBC Radio 4's Counting Carbon programme."

Indeed they do. Are the BBC and the powers that be finally waking up to what a farce this all is?

Aug 8, 2017 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

For some reason the whole of Matt McGrath's article had failed to load on my pc. I have it now. It concludes with this:

"A report in 2015 suggested one error in China's statistics amounted to 10% of global emissions in 2013.
The BBC investigation also discovered vast uncertainties in carbon emissions inventories, particularly in developing countries.
Methane, the second most abundant greenhouse gas after CO2, is produced by microbe activity in marshlands, in rice cultivation, from landfill, from agriculture and in the production of fossil fuels.
Global levels have been rising in recent years, and scientists are unsure why.
For a country such as India, home to 15% of the world's livestock, methane is a very important gas in their inventory - but the amount produced is subject to a high degree of uncertainty.
There are huge uncertainties over methane emissions from India and other countries
"What they note is that methane emissions are about 50% uncertain for categories like ruminants, so what this means is that the emissions they submit could be plus or minus 50% of what's been submitted," said Dr Anita Ganesan, from the University of Bristol, who has overseen air monitoring research in the country.
"For nitrous oxide, that's 100%."
There are similar uncertainties with methane emissions in Russia, of between 30-40%, according to scientists who work there.
"What we're worried about is what the planet experiences, never mind what the statistics are," said Prof Euan Nisbet, from Royal Holloway, University of London.
"In the air, we see methane going up. The warming impact from that methane is enough to derail Paris."
The rules covering how countries report their emissions are currently being negotiated.
But Prof Glen Peters, from the Centre for International Climate Research, in Oslo, said: "The core part of Paris [is] the global stock-takes which are going to happen every five years, and after the stock-takes countries are meant to raise their ambition, but if you can't track progress sufficiently, which is the whole point of these stock-takes, you basically can't do anything.
"So, without good data as a basis, Paris essentially collapses. It just becomes a talkfest without much progress."

Can't argue with that concluding sentence!

Aug 8, 2017 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I've been thinking about McGrath's article this morning, and while I give him full credit for writing it, I'm afraid I have to bash the BBC again.

This morning the article was (admittedly low down) on the main news page of the BBC website. By lunchtime, it was 10th in "most read". But by lunchtime, it had also been removed from the front page, and relegated to "science & environment", which is clearly read by far fewer people. It has already dropped out of the "most read" section, as clearly fewer people are now reading it since it was demoted from the front page.

I've just listened to the World at One on Radio 4, and this story didn't even receive a mention.

Now the article contains this claim:

"These flaws posed a bigger threat to the Paris climate agreement than US President Donald Trump's intention to withdraw,"

Remember how the BBC and the MSM went bonkers about Trump withdrawing the USA from the Paris Agreement? Headline news, dominating the output for days. And apparently this is a bigger threat, but merits barely a mention from the BBC, and I've seen nothing elsewhere.

While I give Matt McGrath credit for writing the article, I suspect that instead of drawing the conclusion I draw - the Paris Agreement is an expensive farce that should be stopped forthwith - he and his employers at the BBC will draw instead the conclusion that the Paris Agreement is threatened, and we all need to do much, much more....

Aug 8, 2017 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, trying for the moment to adopt a neutral position, are the two positions not complimentary? Either side of the same coin. The Paris Accords are 1) flawed so 2) need to be fixed?

Aug 9, 2017 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Mark. McGrath sees the flaws and wants actions to fix them. Sceptics see flaws as fatal to the whole process. In no way is McGrath's article supportive of the sceptic position.

Aug 9, 2017 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll


As usual, we are in broad agreement. I accept that McGrath's article is not in support of a sceptic position, but it does provide lots of evidence to support our position. The scary thing for me is that in writing the article he apparently can't see that it supports our position, and it almost certainly was written to support a push to give more weight to making the Paris Agreement succeed, when it simply cannot do so.

The fact that the BBC has down-played the article and given it minimum publicity suggests to me that some higher-up the pecking the order than Mr McGrath can see that his article has the potential to undermine their position, so they're not pushing it. Unusually the BBC website gave it a "Have your say" and a number of people have commented. Apart from the usual "deniers are dinosaurs" comments from the oh-so-articulate and intelligent true believers, there are a lot of sceptical comments. Maybe the BBC are using it as a straw in the wind and didn't like what they saw from the public response?

Aug 10, 2017 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I've been following a discussion on a thread over at cliscep, and I picked up on a link posted by aTTP to the Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers (aka IPCC AR5) and thought I'd look at it to see what it has to say about population growth as a driver of AGW. As I've said throughout this thread, population growth seems to me to be the elephant in the room for those wanting to reduce GHG emissions, and one which the Paris Agreement (and the INDCs submitted under it) completely ignore.

So here are a few quotes from AR5:

"SPM 1.2 Causes of climate change - Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth...".

Page 5 - "Globally, economic and population growth continued to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. The contribution of population growth between 2000 and 2010 remained roughly identical to the previous three decades...".

SPM 2.1 Key drivers of future climate - "...Anthropogenic GHG emissions are mainly driven by population size, economic activity, lifestyle, energy use, land use patterns, technology and climate policy."

Page 20 - "Without additional efforts to reduce GHG emissions beyond those in place today, global emissions growth is expected to persist, driven by growth in global population and economic activities."

One more example of the failure and pointlessness of the Paris Agreement - by the IPCC's own reckoning, population growth is one of the biggest issues relating to GHG emissions, yet the Paris Agreement mentions it not once.

Aug 22, 2017 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Are the BBC and the powers that be finally waking up to what a farce this all is?
Oh, I think they have known this for a long time now, which is why they have been so industrious in keeping it from the proles. They cannot let something as insidious and simple like the truth deviate them from their goals.

Aug 22, 2017 at 2:17 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I was impressed by Brazil's INDC when I read it, to the extent that it prompted one of the few positive comments I made about any of the INDCs submitted under the Paris Accords:

"It actually reads like one of the most impressive documents I have so far seen.
First of all, I don't see them asking anyone for money.
This looks like a real reduction, not a fake one which is really an increase, but made to sound like a reduction, by using a Business as Usual scenario. No, they seem to be serious".

But then I read this:

"Brazil opens vast Amazon reserve to mining":

Brazil's government has abolished a vast national reserve in the Amazon to open up the area to mining.
The area, covering 46,000 sq km (17,800 sq miles), straddles the northern states of Amapa and Para, and is thought to be rich in gold, and other minerals.

A decree from President Michel Temer abolished a protected area known as the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca).
Its size is larger than Denmark and about 30% of it will be open to mining.

"The objective of the measure is to attract new investments, generating wealth for the country and employment and income for society, always based on the precepts of sustainability," the ministry said in a statement.
But opposition Senator Randolfe Rodrigues denounced the move as "the biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years", O Globo newspaper reported (in Portuguese).
Maurício Voivodic, head of the conservation body WWF in Brazil, warned last month that mining in the area would lead to "demographic explosion, deforestation, the destruction of water resources, the loss of biodiversity and the creation of land conflict".

According to the WWF report, the main area of interest for copper and gold exploration is in one of the protected areas, the Biological Reserve of Maicuru.
There is also said to be gold in the Para State forest, which lies within the area.
The WWF says there is potential for conflict too in two indigenous reserves that are home to various ethnic communities living in relative isolation.
WWF's report said that a "gold rush in the region could create irreversible damage to these cultures".
"If the government insisted on opening up these areas for mining without discussing environmental safeguards it will have to deal with an international outcry."

Perhaps the reality is that money will always trump environmentalism. It's a shame that my positive views about Brazilian seriousness have been diluted so quickly.

Aug 26, 2017 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, once again my hat's off to you. I'm inclined to suspect that you may well be one of the very few people on the planet who has actually read all these exercises in creative writing ... sorry, "submissions".

But speaking of "money will always trump environmentalism" ... the UNFCCC's most favoured "source" of "science" is, of course, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which will be holding its 46th Session - along with gatherings of the great and the good of Working Groups I, II & III - Sept. 6-10 in Montreal.

Included in the documents for the IPCC session is the report from the AD HOC TASK GROUP ON FINANCIAL STABILITY OF THE IPCC.

This "ad hoc task group" was co-chaired by IPCC Vice Chairs Thelma Krug and Youba Sokona. And true to the IPCC's passion for "transparency", none of the other members of this task group were named.

The Foreword includes:

The world has never needed the IPCC more than it does now. The effects of climate change are already severe, posing a real threat to human society and natural systems and undermining a sustainable future for all. [...]

There are many reasons why the IPCC finds itself in this difficult financial situation [...]

We do not, however, believe that the IPCC has been hit by this crisis because of a sudden decline in support and trust. On the contrary, the IPCC is recognized globally as the pinnacle of science/policy interfaces, providing governments, stakeholders and academia at all levels of society with a solid evidence base for further action to combat climate change.

Well, they would say all that, wouldn't they?! But get this:

We have heard from IPCC members that it is important that the IPCC remains impartial and steers clear of potential conflict of interest.[...]

And to make sure no one misses the urgency of this matter, the Foreword concludes:

We are mindful that a decision on future direction of funding and fund-raising of the IPCC needs to be taken now so as not to put the delivery of the already agreed AR6 products at risk.

To my eye, one highlight of this send-more-money-now-please 18-pager with pretty graphs and a few charts, the footnotes to which were almost illegible, was the omission in the following - either by accident or by design - on page 6:

The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2007 for its ‘efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change’

Now if one did not know better, one would think that the IPCC must have garnered all the Peace Prize $$ that year. But this was definitely not the case, as the prize was officially designated as shared with that paragon of hype and hoopla, Al Gore.

What an inconvenient oversight on the part of the actual writer(s) of this particular plea, eh?!

Aug 27, 2017 at 5:54 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Thank you Hilary - report duly bookmarked and saved for reading later.

So it's not just the countries submitting INDCs who was sent us to send them money, then...

Aug 27, 2017 at 8:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

The IPCC plea gets bigger:

"In this worst case scenario the IPCC would in 2018 be faced with a funding need of CHF 8.4 million and no reserves left. Hence, there would be funding gap in 2018 of approximately 5.7 million and without an increase of the income the IPCC will not be able to implement its programme of work."

I note from a barely legible table included in the report that the UK contributes to the IPCC at least twice and arguably 3 times - once as the UK, once again since the EU contributes, and the EU is part funded by the UK, and once more by the UNFCCC, which is presumably funded by the UN, to which the UK also makes substantial contributions.

Aug 29, 2017 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Maybe if they all travelled a little less, they'd have a bit more money and would emit fewer CO2 emissions (this could take over from the COP22 attendees thread!):

IPCC-46, Montreal, Canada, 6 - 10 September 2017

IPCC-45, Guadalajara, Mexico, 28 - 31 March 2017

IPCC-44, Bangkok, Thailand, 17 - 20 October 2016

IPCC-43, Nairobi, Kenya, 11 - 13 April 2016

IPCC-42, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 5 - 8 October 2015

IPCC-41, Nairobi, Kenya, 24 - 27 February 2015

IPCC CWT-5 and IPCC-40, Copenhagen, Denmark, 24 - 31 October 2014

IPCC WGIII-12 and IPCC-39, Berlin, Germany, 7 - 12 April 2014

IPCC WGII-10 and IPCC-38, Yokohama, Japan, 25 - 29 March 2014IPCC-37 (adoption and acceptance of 2 Methodology Reports), Batumi, Georgia, 14 - 18 October 2013

IPCC WGI-12 and IPCC-36, Stockholm, Sweden, 23 - 26 September 2013

And that's just the last 5 years. There's much more in this vein all the way back to:

4th Session of the IPCC, Sundsvall, Sweden, 27-30 August 1990 Report

3rd Session of the IPCC, Washington D.C., 5 - 7 February 1990

2nd Session of the IPCC, Nairobi, 28-30 June 1989

1st Session of the IPCC, Geneva, 9 -11 November 1988

As their financial situation deteriorates, however, their response is not to have less frequent and/or less exotic locations for their meetings. Of course not - it's to ask for more money!

Aug 29, 2017 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

The IPCC is faced with a cash flow crisis. Their limitless use of Unprecedented superlatives, has proved that the bottomless pit of taxpayer funding has a bottom after all. Taxpayer bottoms are blowing back at Climate Scientists, led by a powerful Trump.

How much money has been wasted trying to prove Mann's Hockey Stick whilst people still die from lack of clean drinking water?

The Cold War ended when the USSR ran out of money.
The Warmist War will end, when Warmists run out of money.

Trump has caused genuine alarm to spread, and a tipping point is near. A death spiral is inevitable, if Climate Science predictions of consequential doom are to be trusted.

Aug 30, 2017 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie