After spirited discussions from Nov. 28 to Dec. 11 (including two days of overtime that ended only in the wee hours), the United Nations Climate Change conference in Durban, South Africa, failed to achieve its two main goals: producing a new treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which limited greenhouse gas emissions and agreeing on a global tax scheme to finance a Green Climate Fund. Hallelujah! Sometimes we get good news from the U.N.
The Durban conference did create a new Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. This group is supposed to start writing a new treaty to put all countries under the same legal regime that will enforce commitments to limit greenhouse gases.
In trying to continue the limits specified in the Kyoto Protocol, the nations haven't figured out how to cope with China and India. When language was proposed to put every country under equally binding limits, the Chinese negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, waved his arms and yelled, "What qualifies you to say things like this?"
The Durban conferees were not able to approve a tax scheme to fill the coffers of the Green Climate Fund. However, they did create a 20-member Standing Committee consisting of an equal number of representatives from developed (i.e. rich) and developing (i.e. poor) countries, supposedly to eventually expedite a flow of billions of dollars into the Green Climate Fund.
Apparently, the delegates from 191 countries were not moved by the hysterical claim of the radical environmentalists that "We're all going to die in five years unless a legally binding framework to cut greenhouse gas emissions is accepted by the Durban conference."
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol had set legally binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions at 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. However, the U.S. never ratified Kyoto, Canada just withdrew from Kyoto and no country has met that goal because it would have devastated their economies.
The Durban busybodies tried to humiliate Canada for withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol by giving Canada the Fossil of the Day award. U.S. failure to ratify Kyoto is a good example of why the globalists on the Council on Foreign Relations hate the treaty clause in our Constitution more than any other clause.
Environmental extremists produced a visual aid to show the delegates how gas emissions can be reduced 25-40 percent below 1990 levels and national economics can be decarbonized by 2050. They displayed a Zulu Beehive Hut they claim is cool in the summer and warm in the winter because of its circular structure with a single door, no windows and plants covering the outside.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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