This fiasco will further alienate an angry public
Benny Peiser Saturday 19 December 2009 17.54 GMT
I hate to say I told you so, but I have predicted the failure of the Copenhagen summit to agree to binding commitments for over a year.
The Copenhagen fiasco was not just foreseeable, it was inevitable. The inability of the international community to break the climate deadlock reflects the incompatible national interests and demands that divide the west and the rest. This is now a permanent feature in what is likely to become an indefinite moratorium on international climate law-making.
In light of the Copenhagen non-agreement, there will be increased pressure by EU members states to water down unilateral emissions targets that are conditional on an international treaty. Just like Japan, it will be impossible for Europe or, indeed, the UK to continue with policies that are burdening national economies with huge costs and damaging their international competitiveness.
Climate politics face a profound crisis. Revolts among eastern European countries, in Australia and even among Obama’s Blue Dog Democrats are forcing law-makers to renounce support for unilateral climate policies. In the UK, the party-political consensus on climate change is unlikely to survive the general elections as both Labour and the Tories are confronted by a growing public backlash against green taxes and rising fuel bills.
However, the biggest losers of the Copenhagen fiasco appear to be climate science and the scientific establishment who, with a very few distinguished exceptions, have promoted unmitigated climate alarm and hysteria. It confirms beyond doubt that most governments have lost trust in the advice given by climate alarmists and the IPCC. The Copenhagen accord symbolises the loss of political power by Europe whose climate policies have been rendered obsolete.
It is a remarkable irony of history that when the leading voices of the radical environmental movements of the 1960s and 70s occupy governmental power in most western nations, their political and international influence is on the wane. The weakening of global warming anxiety among the general public and the marked decline of western influence and authority on the international stage is a clear manifestation of the green slump.
• Dr Benny Peiser is the director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation
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