Down to the wire – Was the Lima decision better than nothing?

On Sunday, December 14th, 2014 in Blogs, News

(LIMA) - As you likely have heard, the COP20 talks wrapped earlier this morning at around 3:30 AM. The deal was done in seconds following the break for countries to review a new text tabled by the President just before midnight. He then suspended the session to give parties an hour to read the new draft. The final ADP decision is four pages long. It should be understood not as a new “deal” for the climate, but as a 12-month work plan leading to COP21.

The new text bent in a few critical places to reflect the over-whelming concern from developing countries that the Lima decision not be allowed to weaken the 1992 framework convention. It improved language about taking action before 2020 and meeting all previous pledges to reduce emissions.

That said, it is still a weak text.

After an hour to read and consider it, the President, Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal called the plenary back to order and then (within seconds) announced he saw consensus in the room and the text was adopted. Wild applause ensued, while climate activists reacted with shock and dismay.

However, on balance, I think the Lima decision is better than nothing. The threat from the US that it might pull out of the talks and find some other forum to negotiate climate action was chilling though subtle. Maybe it was all the more chilling for its subtlety. We need to keep the multilateral process moving forward. This text does that, but without the momentum we need.

Between now and next year at COP21 we need to keep a focus on the climate. We need to demand that Canada meet the weak pledge Harper made in Copenhagen. We must insist that Canada meet the agreed upon goal for all developed nations tabling with the UN our pledges for the new treaty to be agreed upon in Paris — and to do so in the first quarter of 2015. We cannot let focus on climate disappear again only to be covered once an over-hyped Paris conference is about to begin.

And above all else, we need to make sure that climate change is an election issue. For those of you who have tracked these talks, seeking out my blog in the absence of mainstream news coverage in Canada, thank you. Please share your thoughts right now with your local newspapers. Write letters to the editor about how this very significant conference should have had more thorough coverage. Write about what you expect from your government at COP21. Whatever strikes you as critical, please find ways to amplify your voice and share your concerns.

Together we can make the next treaty the one that drives the world’s economy and all governments to begin the transition in earnest to get off fossil fuels. This is a moment that allows us to think like a human family. We need to make the most of 2015.

Best wishes for the holidays and thanks for staying with me in Lima.

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  • Peter P

    Thank you for being the real voice for Canada.

  • Gary Fraser

    Thank god this man-made climate hokum is getting less and less play in Canada and is at the bottom of every list of concerns in international polling. Everyone knows now that at the very least the climate change religionists got it wrong in all their doom and gloom, the dire stuff didn’t happen, and the real agenda is wealth redistribution. We’re on to you climate nutbars – you can only the fool the folks for so long.

    • Informed Voter

      Gary, I didn’t realize that you had more credibility on the climate change issue than 98% of climatologists! Climate change is about the scientific process not a belief system. I do suggest looking at some of the scientific evidence available. Yes, developed countries will have to and should play a significant role in solving a problem that they are largely responsible for creating in the first place. That is only fair and to be expected.
      For the record the issue of climate change is at or near the top of the list of issues for informed and educated citizens around the world. It is sadly generally not on the radar for those who form their opinions on blind ideology.

      • Cris Paunescu

        Yeah, your name here should be “uninformed” voter, for the simple reason that you don’t have a clue.
        For the record:
        The 97% consensus (not 98) is a lie – the numbers were faked.
        Gary Fraser posted a detailed report above. Read it.
        Recently, more than 31,000 professionals, many of them scientists (and many climatologists – which Suzuki and Gore aren’t), have signed a petition against the way CO2 is presented as a danger to humanity, I guess you didn’t know about that.

        Second, the issue of climate change is NOWHERE NEAR the top of the list. According to a UN report on their survey, it’s way down to the bottom.

        Indeed, the man-made climate change (former AGW) cult is running on “blind ideology”.

        • Informed Voter

          Cris, a conspiracy theory eh? Go to something called peer-reviewed scientific studies and you’ll see that I’m right. Are you suggesting that thousands of professional publications are all wrong? If so, please explain how and why this would be the case.

        • Informed Voter

          By the way who is Gary Fraser? What UN Survey are you referencing? If you follow the UN at all you’d know that Ban Ki Moon has been very outspoken about the need for action on the climate issue and against Canada needing to start taking responsibility at the federal level. THe UN is also very aware of the interconnection between climate and peace and conflict issues. Climate change is about science and using the best available research to draw conclusions. Those denying it seem to not understand science and are in fact the ones operating on blind ideology. Harper is a great example.

          • Cris Paunescu

            At least he has the guts to use his own name, something you might not be able to match.

            About the 97% lie, here


            and here


            About the UN: do you know what the purpose of all the COPs is? MONEY! The UN is asking for 100 Billion per year in the name of climate change. The survey I refer to was published in just about all the newspapers not too long ago, find it yourself.
            Btw, an organization who has Syria on the Human Rights Council has no credibility whatsoever.

            Now, since you seem so high on “real science”, and one of those who understand it, let’s focus on that”

            There were many AGW models created by your so-called “scientists”, telling us how bad CO2 was for the planet and how many bad things will happen.
            Please, tell us one prediction – just one – made by these models that was verified by reality.
            Hint: Despite what Greenpeace said, Santa is in no danger of drowning.

            Oh, and also by the way, I noticed that – for an individual so demanding of information (links, studies, etc) you failed to post a single piece of valid information except for the MISTAKEN “98% of climatologists” crap. It’s “97% of scientists” and, as you can see if you follow the two links I gave you, it’s a lie.

    • Barry Epstein

      Ah, the old ‘everyone knows’ argument, widely recognized the world over as proof positive of the validity of your point of view. The Flat Earthers are really getting desperate.

      • Gary Fraser

        Actually you know that the climate change religion is on the decline, and it is the enviros that are getting evermore shrill and desperate, thank god.

        • Informed Voter

          Gary, 98% of climate scientists support the human connection to climate change since the industrial revolution. Do you have more credentials than these people on the topic of climate science? If not, you are essentially admitting that you have no understanding of or respect for the scientific process. It’s almost as silly as a patient going to multiple medical specialists who all give the same diagnosis and then arguing against their conclusion.

          • Gary Fraser

            Informed Voter: OK, let’s try this. Take a walk on the wild crazy side and assume for all of say, 30 minutes that I’m right and you’re wrong. Do a google search and see if you can see any climate scientists that disagree with the IPCC 97% stuff. They are out there, trust me, (and then trust google) and read what they have to say. There are good, solid, peer-reviewed, credible, long standing professionals who believe that there are well-paid self-interested bureaucrats and some scientists who are living well off the billions flowing into the climate-change camp. Instead of trying (and failing) to run me down as ill-informed, try informing yourself wrt where so much opposition is coming from, even if just for shits and giggles. This isn’t an emotional issue for me – rather it’s more a fact thing. Facts are that you will find there are 1,000′s of solid scientists who think you and your position are full of crap. And if you’re going to quote the liars who claim climate science is on their side, get it right – the liars are saying 97%, not 98%, and they are completely discredited, as I pointed out in the links you conveniently ignore.

          • Informed Voter

            A quick examination of peer-reviewed papers by credible climatologists reveal virtually no support for your position. What are your scientific credentials by the way? Do you really think you are more credible than the vast majority? If you are actually interested in facts as opposed to blind ideology, you may be interested in the fact that 2014 is now officially the warmest year on record….

    • Gordon Chamberlain

      Garry Fraser So the leaders of 190 nations are working on a problem you say does not exist. I hate to say but the IEA and the World Bank and the Governor of the bank of England also to disagree with your. Can you tell us what the leader of the business you work for as well as the insurance bureau of Canada has told you about the risks global ecosystem destabilization commonly called climate change poses to their business?
      As well the International Bar Assoc is drafting a law to recognize the extensive environmental damage from climate change as a human rights violation. As well are you aware of the ecocide law campaign . The extensive damage of our environment is immoral, criminal , act of ecocide. to find our more

      • Cris Paunescu

        The only problem they work on is how to take another 100 Billion dollars per year from our pockets. It’s about the climate change fund – you know, the one where Japan took 1 billion to fund the construction of 3 (three) COAL fired power plants in Indonesia.

        Btw, the insurance companies… if you believe what they say you have some serious problems – based on the last 10 years of weather events we should pay a lot less for insurance, wouldn’t you say? You know, since the number and intensity of storms, floods, etc went down…

        • Informed Voter

          Katrina, Sandy and Haiyan mean anything to you?

          • Cris Paunescu

            Yes, it means there are shameless people who try to push their wealth
            transfer agenda by using natural occurring events (and their tragic
            part). Please explain why severe weather events are lower in the last
            decade than ever before yet CO2 emissions are higher than ever.

            the IPCC agrees that local weather events (including the California
            drought for example) cannot be related to global warming.

      • Gary Fraser

        Gordon: can you point to a place where there has been ” extensive environmental damage from climate change”? This would be a location where for instance no damage in that place has occurred that is similar to the damage you are going to cite. thanks

  • edowahdo

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for your coverage of the COP20 talks. I love your determination and courage. All the best to you and yours during the holiday season.

  • Diane Mills

    YES Indeed, thank you. We would otherwise never hear about the real issues if it was left up to our current government.

  • Jackie MacDonald

    People could also send letters to their politicians at every level as well as TV & radio media outlets. I have started posting on TV news shows facebook pages hoping that they will see that people want to hear more about what should and could be done. Asking them to respond to Conservative talking points like Canada supposedly only emitting 2% of global emissions might also help. Canada is outsourcing our emissions by exporting fossil fuels and importing consumer goods. Conservatives also say they have reduced emissions. This is questionable too. How are they measured? Did they reduce emissions or did they just reduce intensity?

    • Gary Fraser

      We DO only produce 2% of emissions. It is Environment Canada that does the monitoring and measuring of emissions – primarily plant producing CO2. Quit with the emissions – not relevant. Pollution of all kinds is the serious threat, which to be fair, Canadians are getting better at reducing, especially under the Conservatives.

    • Cris Paunescu

      People should actually try and get more information – the 2% number is wrong. Canada is only responsible for 1.58% of world CO2 emissions.
      The oilsand are just 0.14% or, as the IEA chief economist put it, “it’s not peanuts, it’s a fraction of peanuts”.
      Exporting is not the issue – every country wil get the oil they need from somewhere, regardless of the source. If you didn’t know (and you probably didn’t), Canada imports about 50% of the oil we use.
      The TV shows you look at will probably not mention all this because most media is against Conservatives. Emissions in Canada did go down by about 4%, despite the previous – Liberal – government that allowed emissions to skyrocket after signing the Kyoto imbecility.

  • Bob L

    Thank you Elizabeth for keeping us informed. It seems all these climate related sites attract the trolls with their silly posts!

  • Gary Fraser

    There are two sources of the 97% (not 98%) myth regarding consensus of climate scientists: One was the John Cook study where he had his buddies decide that 97% of articles written by scientists supported global warming, when indeed only about 52% of those scientists say they believe AGW is a contributor to global warming. The other study by a grad student questioned 10,257 scientists, of which 3,146 people responded, of which only 5 percent self‐identified as climate scientists. Of that 5%, 74 of that 79 whose work depends on the climate warming proposition – 97% – support the AGW idea. However, all of that support for a CO2 induced massive global warming is for nothing because it hasn’t happened. The IPCC science report questions “where did the warming go”. The bureaucrat created summary is alarmist based on nothing – a source of strong dispute between the scientists who know global warming didn’t happened as predicted and the people who attend Lima conventions, who have to believe something is going on to keep their funding coming. The scientific consensus doesn’t exist because the science was flawed, inconsistent, and the predictions never came true. Credibility pretty much requires that your predictions come true. Global warming didn’t happen. You folks believe in myths. You have to call it ‘climate change’ now to keep fooling the folks. So much for science.

    • Informed Voter

      A few questions for you Gary:

      1. What is your background in climate science?
      2. What do you know about peer-reviewed scientific papers on the topic?
      3. What do you know about the recent developments in climate science?

      It would appear that the answer is little to none for all of the above.

      By the way, a quick look at the warmest years on record will show the vast majority are since 2000. Strange coincidence for something that is apparently “not happening”

      • Gary Fraser

        My background: about as strong as yours.

        Here’s what I need to know about the issue at hand, and that is the cooked and now totally discredited claim that 97% of scientists blah blah. Simply not true, and the desperation of the climate change crowd is obvious. And NOTHING happened at Lima because the global warming hoax is now clear. The world is on to you.

        • Informed Voter

          Your background Gary? I’m guessing high school or less? I’m guessing Sun Media or the National Post is your source of news? I’m guessing you vote Conservative?

      • Cris Paunescu

        Yet you still refuse, after many requests, to refute even a single point Gary and myself made, including the 97% consensus lie.
        We provided the links related to this – how about you provide some study details to confirm it?
        Stop questioning credentials (at least some of us are using our real names – unlike you) and start providing some documentation.

  • Ralph Torrie

    Perhaps, but one has to wonder whether this broad multi-lateral approach has been the right approach for an issue so urgent, where such a large percentage of emissions are concentrated in a few countries. I helped draft the original Toronto target in 1988, pushed for targets at the 1990 Climate Conference in Geneva, attended the early COP meetings (by then working mainly with cities around the world), and worked hard for the Kyoto Protocol ratification in Canada, so I am complicit. But looking back now at this heart-breaking failure of the international community to act for the common good, I cannot help but wonder if we would have been further ahead with a process, right from the beginning, that included only the U.S, the EU, Japan, Russia, China and India. Perhaps it would have been impossible (as the process we have is turning out to be); it certainly would not have been easy to convene. But it would have allowed a conversation that encompassed over two thirds of world emissions, with nations that are social and economic pattern setters, and without the bickering and sabotage from the oil producers and small emitters. And with just six chairs at the table.

  • iconickevin

    “The threat from the US that it might pull out of the talks and find some other forum to negotiate climate action was chilling though subtle.” To get the US to agree the deal had to be watered down to next to nothing. This agreement achieves only two things, more talks and no meaningful mitigation or strategy which will lead us to runaway climate change as sure as day follows night. This latest failure has made certain the demise of our biosphere and most life in it. Congratulations humans, we have managed to push this wonderful planet outside the habitable zone.

  • mtw1407

    I sent a link to this article to the US political blog Daily Kos to be published tomorrow night. Very little attention was given to the COP20 even on the political blogs, the so-called alternative media. Lots of articles were posted on Daily Kos from people who attended the conference but they did not get much reaction.

  • Norbert Senf

    Thank you.

  • Antoine Yvan Harvey

    Thanks Elizabeth, You can use my words here when I say that Mr Harper does not care about his kids by saying that we must wait for The U.S. to have considelated effort to fight pollution of all sort. Everybody knows that When you walk down the street and you are force to breath burn diesel fumes, walk through empty cans along our rivers where salmond spawn, cities have to fight to keep their park and fresh water protected from Fracking, there is something fishy about how government is acting toward the Oil industry. Why isn’t he talking about making battery made of Hemp fiber? What about not having my tax paying for reseach on Graphene capacitors? Don’t you think that your kids Mr. Harper, deserve clean air to? how about water that does not need chlorine because its been filtered naturally from a clean mash or from a clean underground water? That water does not cost anything to use. But no, you rather let the big oil companies destroyed our fresh water. So, where your kids will live? Will you let them drink chlorinated water? Will you tell them that you were too much of a wimp to stand up to big oil companies? To tax these companies so we can invest in research for other source of energy. Did you tell them that the electric car was first invented by Armand Porsche? I didn’t serve this country for my government to destroy it. And yes I wish you could be fired. For not taking care of this country Iike I did. You could have created job by investing more in the research for better ships, better aircraft, made here in Canada. All you had to do is launch a competition across all Universities in Canada to design and test newer technologies. But who control you? that is the question? You would never let Raw log export happen and destroying 1000′s of BC jobs. Why is Canada been sold out. We are the ground keeper of this land, To protect it, to use its resources wisely, not only for the benefit of Canadian, but for all man kind, and I might add all life. This is not an Utopia, it’s a neccessity. So no thank, Mr. Harper, and good luck your kids. Antoine Yvan Harvey 52.

    • Cris Paunescu

      You are so funny – in a sad way… If you are indeed 52, and have access to a computer on top of that, you should really do some research before posting this kind of stuff.
      You have absolutely no understanding regarding the COP story.
      Or about the fresh water – I would like to see your idea of supplying a city like Toronto with untreated water. Remember Walkerton? Do you have any idea how many problems are with “filtered naturally” water?

      Oh, and btw, diesel fumes and empty cans were not discussed at COP at all.

  • Antoine Yvan Harvey

    Gary, it’s not the conservative that legislate the land, But Municipalities that brings recycling plans for their citizens. So Why BC government and Federal government are helping Burnaby in stopping the pipe line?

    • Gary Fraser

      How are the Feds stopping their pipeline?

  • Noreen Galvin

    Thank you, Elizabeth May , for fighting for our environment and for all you do. Have a peaceful and happy Christmas.

  • Mark Terry

    Thanks for this Elizabeth! You may remember meeting me in Cancun at COP16 (picture attached). My film The Polar Explorer was being used to help negotiators work on a resolution addressing the imminent threat of rising sea levels. Since then, I have partnered with UNEP to produce a film for each of the subsequent conferences in a series known as the Youth Climate Report (this year’s edition can be found on the UNEP home page). As this is a Canadian initiative, we’d like to partner with you on the feature film we’re producing with UNEP for COP21. You can reach me at Thanks again for your tireless efforts on this critical issue.
    Mark Terry
    Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medalist (2013)
    Gemini Humanitarian Award winner (2011)

    • Gary Fraser

      Mr. Terry: How much has the sea risen in the past 10 years, the last 20 years?

      Has it risen as much as the “science” said it would.

      Were you caught in any of the ice floes at each pole during the summers of 2013 – you know – when the warmists said the poles are melting, and we now have some of the thickest and broadest ice ever reported in both poles. Did that disrupt your trip?

    • Gary Fraser

      Mr. Terry not able to answer a simple question?

    • Gary Fraser

      Mr. Terry: How much has the sea risen in the past 10 years, the last 20 years?

      Has it risen as much as the “science” said it would.

      you caught in any of the ice floes at each pole during the summers of
      2013 – you know – when the warmists said the poles are melting, and we
      now have some of the thickest and broadest ice ever reported in both
      poles. Did that disrupt your trip?

    • Cris Paunescu

      Yet another individual trying to profit from the global warming scare. Spreading fear without any base in reality.
      So, how does the Polar Explorer deal with the simple fact that the polar icecaps didn’t melt yet? That sea ice is at an all time record?

      You may have heard that the Arctic ice cap is now at the same level it was in 1975, way before the AGW crap came out. Does your next movie explain that?

      Come on, people ask questions and you seem to be an informed man, any answers?

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