The Copenhagen two-step

The Danish government is urging delegates to the Copenhagen Climate Conference to avoid the local sex workers.

Aside from being killjoys, one might inquire why the notoriously liberal attitude toward sex and pornography held by many Danes wouldn't lead to a virtual orgy of sexual activity during the conference. After all, like most conventioneers, these guys are on expense accounts - something the prostitutes recognize and they have responded to the "warning" by offering free sex to anyone who can produce one of the offending "no sex" missives.

Capitalism - gotta love it.

The dance between the sexes won't be the only frenetic activity going on in Copenhagen. There will be the question of what to do about Russia and their pocketful of emission "credits" held over from the Kyoto accords.

Recall that the Russian economy imploded in the 1990's, thus reducing the emissions they were spewing into the atmosphere. Now recovered, Valdimir Putin's Russia has amassed a ton of carbon credits and thinks that Russia should still be able to sell them even after Kyoto expires in 2012.

An IBD editorial explains:

"Having all of those credits out there would allow other countries to purchase them and then not reduce their emissions," said Samuel Charap, a Russia scholar with the liberal Center for American Progress. "So it undermines the whole purpose of the (Copenhagen) discussion."But if other nations don't let Russia keep its emission permits, it could reject any deal. Despite its emissions decline, Russia is still the world's No. 3 emitter and uses a lot of energy for its economic output. Then-President Vladimir Putin's signature was key to ratifying the 1997 Kyoto treaty .

Charap dubs it the "neglected challenge" of the summit.

He adds that Russia's credits have inhibited the creation of a global carbon cap-and-trade market. People fear Russia could suddenly flood the market with its permits.

Many don't want Russia to get its way, but Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says it has a legitimate claim that will have to be resolved before any treaty.

"If you start saying, 'Well, if it is really your economy that is going down, then your emissions reductions don't count,' then I think you get on a slippery slope you don't want to be on," Claussen said.

Any reduction should count, she said. Nations are not going to sign up for wrenching economic changes if recession-driven emissions cuts are excluded.

A deal with Russia would further expose the enormous hypocrisy at work in Copenhagen. As painful as the emissions targets will be for the west, they will not lead to the reduction of a single, solitary molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere as long as Russia, China, and India refuse to go along and destroy their economies too. 

Since those three nations would probably be virtually exempt in any deal on Climate (China has agreed to look at token cuts in emissions), the rationale for any kind of treaty rests on the unbelievable notion that we can ignore the fact that some of the biggest CO2 emitters will not be bound by the same rules as their economic competitors in the west. This will lead to even bigger balance of trade issues with China as their factories will be able to burn as much coal as they wish with no consequences to their bottom lines. The flood of goods from China will, if anything, become larger.

The delegates who are in Copenhagen to achieve success will do pretty much whatever it takes to realize that goal. Hence, expect this Russian problem to be resolved in Putin's favor. With Climategate stalking warming advocates, and making future agreements uncertain, conferees will get whatever they can out of their stay in Copenhagen and try to make it stick.

Good luck with that, guys.

 



The Danish government is urging delegates to the Copenhagen Climate Conference to avoid the local sex workers.

Aside from being killjoys, one might inquire why the notoriously liberal attitude toward sex and pornography held by many Danes wouldn't lead to a virtual orgy of sexual activity during the conference. After all, like most conventioneers, these guys are on expense accounts - something the prostitutes recognize and they have responded to the "warning" by offering free sex to anyone who can produce one of the offending "no sex" missives.

Capitalism - gotta love it.

The dance between the sexes won't be the only frenetic activity going on in Copenhagen. There will be the question of what to do about Russia and their pocketful of emission "credits" held over from the Kyoto accords.

Recall that the Russian economy imploded in the 1990's, thus reducing the emissions they were spewing into the atmosphere. Now recovered, Valdimir Putin's Russia has amassed a ton of carbon credits and thinks that Russia should still be able to sell them even after Kyoto expires in 2012.

An IBD editorial explains:

"Having all of those credits out there would allow other countries to purchase them and then not reduce their emissions," said Samuel Charap, a Russia scholar with the liberal Center for American Progress. "So it undermines the whole purpose of the (Copenhagen) discussion."

But if other nations don't let Russia keep its emission permits, it could reject any deal. Despite its emissions decline, Russia is still the world's No. 3 emitter and uses a lot of energy for its economic output. Then-President Vladimir Putin's signature was key to ratifying the 1997 Kyoto treaty .

Charap dubs it the "neglected challenge" of the summit.

He adds that Russia's credits have inhibited the creation of a global carbon cap-and-trade market. People fear Russia could suddenly flood the market with its permits.

Many don't want Russia to get its way, but Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says it has a legitimate claim that will have to be resolved before any treaty.

"If you start saying, 'Well, if it is really your economy that is going down, then your emissions reductions don't count,' then I think you get on a slippery slope you don't want to be on," Claussen said.

Any reduction should count, she said. Nations are not going to sign up for wrenching economic changes if recession-driven emissions cuts are excluded.

A deal with Russia would further expose the enormous hypocrisy at work in Copenhagen. As painful as the emissions targets will be for the west, they will not lead to the reduction of a single, solitary molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere as long as Russia, China, and India refuse to go along and destroy their economies too. 

Since those three nations would probably be virtually exempt in any deal on Climate (China has agreed to look at token cuts in emissions), the rationale for any kind of treaty rests on the unbelievable notion that we can ignore the fact that some of the biggest CO2 emitters will not be bound by the same rules as their economic competitors in the west. This will lead to even bigger balance of trade issues with China as their factories will be able to burn as much coal as they wish with no consequences to their bottom lines. The flood of goods from China will, if anything, become larger.

The delegates who are in Copenhagen to achieve success will do pretty much whatever it takes to realize that goal. Hence, expect this Russian problem to be resolved in Putin's favor. With Climategate stalking warming advocates, and making future agreements uncertain, conferees will get whatever they can out of their stay in Copenhagen and try to make it stick.

Good luck with that, guys.