Saturday, December 07, 2013

WaPo: "fantasy" that any global climate deal will be legally binding; large-scale climate reparations unlikely; future of the climate decided in part by "off-the-record bilateral meetings"

How to make a global climate change deal - The Washington Post
negotiators need to drop the fantasy that whatever treaty they come up with will be legally binding.
Developing nations must also get real about the amount and type of climate-related money that they will get from the West. Europe and the United States are not going to fund an expensive system to compensate poor nations for effects they might ascribe to global warming. That’s because putting a price on the particular effects of climate change in one country or another is scientifically dubious. More important, Western nations are cash-strapped and their people won’t pay, anyway. Public and private financing should be mobilized for such things as stopping deforestation. But large-scale reparations are unlikely.
The future of the climate is not going to be decided at one big meeting, or by an ailing Europe and a weary United States ponying up massive sums of money. Barring some technological revolution that makes green energy extremely economical, it’s going to be decided piece by piece in national legislatures and committee meetings, in off-the-record bilateral meetings and Group of 20 summits, and by politicians pushed at home and abroad to act.

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