Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Christopher Booker: 10 reasons why we shouldn’t worry about ‘man-made’ global warming

December 1, 2015

Climate Summit

Yesterday, President Obama and a phalanx of other world leaders joined 40,000 delegates in Paris for the formal opening of what has been billed as “one of the most important international conferences in history”.

Its aim is to win agreement on a plan that would halt global warming, by holding down temperatures to 2 degrees C above their pre-industrial level.

They want “a binding treaty” committing the world’s nations to make massive cuts in their emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

World leaders pose for a family photo during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, on November 30, 2015. World leaders pose for a family photo during the COP21 Conference  Photo: AFP

For 30 years we have been told how, thanks to the dramatic rise in CO2, temperatures have been soaring to unprecedented levels. This is causing polar ice to melt, sea-levels to rise and has brought a dangerous increase in “extreme weather events”, such as hurricanes, heatwaves, droughts and floods.

Nothing has been more influential in promoting this “consensus” view than a succession of reports by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These are based on computer models which predict that, unless the world abandons fossil fuels, temperatures will rise through the 21st century by 0.3 degrees per decade. Indeed by 2100 they could even have soared by as much as 5 degrees.

So what could be wrong about the world’s nations getting together to prevent such a disaster before it is too late?

In fact, in more recent years scarcely a single point in this “consensus” theory has not been questioned by a growing array of independent experts, including some of the most eminent scientists in the world.

Here are 10 of the claims made by those gathered in Paris, with commentary on just how far their fears are really justified.

1. Thanks to the rise in CO2 emissions, we are faced with a rise in global temperatures never before seen in history.

It is true that when the alarm over global warming was set off in the 1980s and 1990s, the world was undoubtedly hotting up, apparently in tandem with an inexorable rise in CO2. But this rise in temperatures was not unprecedented. The world has in fact been heating up for 200 years, ever since it emerged from what climatologists call the “Little Ice Age’ when, between 1350 and 1800, it markedly cooled. The temperature rise of 0.5 degrees C between 1975 and 1998, hailed as “the hottest year in history” was no greater than that recorded between 1910 and 1940, before “global warming” was thought of.

This graph by Phil Jones of East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit shows that the late 20th century temperature rise was very similar to that between 1910 and 1940

2. But what about the so-called “Pause”, the claim by “climate sceptics”, that after 1998, temperatures again fell, and have shown no rising trend since?

It is true that some surface temperature records have continued to rise, showing 2010 and 2014 as even hotter than 1998. But the much more comprehensive temperature measurements made by satellites have shown a very different picture. Since falling back after 1998, the rising trend in temperatures has for 17 years come to a halt – what even the IPCC accept as “the Pause”.

This graph from the respected Woodfortrees website shows the temperature record since 1998 as recorded by RSS, one of the two official satellite data sources

The significance of this stalling of the temperature rise is that it was not predicted by any of those IPCC computer models, programmed to predict that, as CO2 continued to rise, temperatures must inevitably follow. Even fervent supporters of the “consensus” have found this hard to explain, and have had to admit that natural factors, such as changes in solar radiation and ocean currents have much more influence on climate than their computer models allowed for.

3. The overall temperature rise of the past 200 years has been wholly unprecedented, and the C02 emitted since the start of the industrial revolution must still be a major factor.

Nothing more troubled the supporters of the “consensus” theory than worldwide evidence that 1,000 years ago the world was even hotter than it is today: what climatologists call “the Medieval Warm Period”.

But in 1999 this led to the producing of a new graph, nicknamed “the Hockey Stick” and heavily promoted by the IPCC, which rewrote climate history. This purported to show that the Medieval Warm Period had never existed, and that temperatures had suddenly shot up in the late 20th century to 1998 as “the hottest year in history”.

The Hockey Stick graph, showing late 20th temperatures suddenly shooting up to the ‘hottest year in history’

Expert computer analysts then demonstrated, however, that the methods used to construct this graph were hopelessly flawed. It became the most discredited artefact in scientific history. The Medieval Warm Period was back, showing that the heating up of the world 1,000 years ago had nothing to do with human CO2 emissions and was entirely natural.

4. Two recent studies have shown that “97 per cent of all climate scientists” still believe in man-made global warming. How can this evidence be denied?

It is true that no statistic has been quoted more often by supporters of the “consensus” than this, including President Obama. But analysis of how these two studies were conducted have shown them as even more dodgy than the “Hockey Stick”.

The first was based on a survey by a student for a Master’s degree. Of her original sample of 10,257 scientists, she eventually identified only 77 as bona-fide “climate scientists”, all but two of whom had endorsed the “consensus” view on man-made climate change. Hence her “97 per cent”. But this represented only 0.007 percent of her original sample.

When another academic, John Cook, attempted to produce a more convincing result, based on a sample of 4,011 academic papers, he claimed that “97 percent” of them endorsed the “consensus” that “humans are the primary cause of recent global warming”. But closer examination showed that only 65 papers argued that man-made CO2 was responsible for more than half of the warming. Cook’s true percentage should have been far, far smaller.

5. Melting polar ice is threatening a disastrous rise in sea-levels (not to mention those vanishing polar bears).

Ever since 2007, when Arctic summer ice hit a record low, we have been warned that summer ice in the Arctic ocean is melting so fast that that it will soon be “ice free”. But repeatedly the date when this would come about has been moved forward. In fact, since 2007 satellite measurements have shown the ice recovering, until in 2013 less of it melted than at any time for nine years.

In 2013 and 2014, according to the European Space Agency, the volume of Arctic ice jumped back by more than 30 percent

In 2013 and 2014, according to the European Space Agency, the volume of Arctic ice jumped back by more than 30 per cent. Even more remarkable, however, is what has been happening at the other end of the world. In recent years the extent of sea ice around Antarctica has been greater than at any time since Nasa’s satellite records began in 1979. A recent Nasa study showed that the mass of ice and snow covering the 5th largest continent on earth has been growing dramatically.

In recent years the extent of sea ice around Antarctica has been greater than at any time since Nasa’s satellite records began in 1979

In fact there is as much polar ice in the world today than at any time since satellite measurements began in 1979. As for those polar bears, they are doing absolutely fine. Experts such as biologist Dr Susan Crockford who rely on direct observation rather than computer models agree that their numbers are well up on where they were 40 years ago.

6. Global sea levels are still rising – so worryingly that little island nations like bmay soon have vanished beneath the waves.

Despite the best efforts of those supporting the “consensus” to use their computer models to claim otherwise, all direct evidence indicates that if anything these “small island states” are not shrinking but actually growing in size.

According to one study, the main atoll on Kiribati has recently been increasing its area by up to 4 per cent or more for four decades

As for the Maldives, where their former President famously staged a Cabinet meeting under water to publicise his country’s plight, Dr Niklas Morner, a former president of the International Commission on Sea Level Changes, says that in 40 years of studying their tide gauges and shorelines, he has observed no sea level rise at all.

In 40 years of studying the shorelines of the Maldives, Dr Niklas Morner has observed no sea level rise at all

7. No evidence for the impact of climate change is more alarming than the increase in “extreme weather events”, such as heatwaves, storm, droughts, floods and hurricanes.

Again, however often we are told this – as we are by the BBC and others every time there is a disastrous heatwave, flood or cyclone somewhere in the world – even the IPCC itself had to concede this in its latest report that there is no hard evidence that any of these things are becoming more frequent or intense than they were previously.

As for droughts, one comprehensive study showed that, far from becoming worse as the 20th century progressed, they actually became rarer. Of the last century’s “30 major drought episodes”, 22 were in the first six decade. The two decades between 1961 and 1980 produced just five. The final two decades, when the global warming scare was taking off, saw only two.

8. Terrible hurricanes and cyclones like Katrina and Erica give clear proof of how global warming is bringing us more deadly storms.

The curious thing is that, however much these storms may make global headlines, not one has broken any records from the days before global warming was heard of. In fact the evidence shows that in the past 45 years the world has seen no increase in the frequency or intensity of such storms at all.

9. It’s still better to rely on “renewable energy” than fossil fuels.

Christiana Figueres, the UN’s “climate chief” and organiser of this week’s conference argues that, even if global warming is not taking place as fast as predicted, it would still be sensible to “decarbonise” the world’s economy and rely on renewables, because fossil fuels are a finite resource.

Ms Figueres argues that not only should richer countries abandon their dependence on coal, oil and gas, to rely on renewables, they should also be prepared to pay “$1 trillion a year” to help poorer countries develop their economies on the same lines.

 Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) addresses the opening meeting of the plenary session, December 2, 2014Christiana Figueres has argued that it is still sensible to decarbonise the wordl’s economy and rely on renewables  Photo: Xinhua News Agency/REX

But, despite all the hundreds of billions of dollars, euros and pounds Western countries have already put into windfarms and solar panels, the results are not, so far, encouraging, According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, wind turbines are currently supplying only 1.2 per cent of the world’s energy. The contribution from solar is just 0.3 per cent. To realise Ms Gigueres’s dream, we still have some way to go.

10. The Paris summit will come up with a result: a binding treaty that will change the world.

Unlikely. China, already responsible for 50 per cent of all the world’s CO2 emissions, has made clear that it now plans to double them within 15 years. India, the third largest emitter, insists that it will treble its CO2 output by 2030.

The story from most of the other major “developing countries”, such as Russia, Brazil, South Korea and Vietnam, is much the same. Not one of them has any intention of reducing its “carbon emissions”. The best they can offer is that, if Western countries want them to build more windmills and solar farms, we must be prepared to pay them to do so out of a “Green Climate Fund”, which the UN plans by 2020 to be handing out $100 billion a year. Pledges so far amount to just $700 million. We still have $99.3 billion to go.

However much the EU and President Obama may huff and puff, and however much they may end up with a meaningless fudge of an “agreement”, the binding treaty they want is simply not going to happen. Now or ever.

But don’t worry. This won’t have the slightest effect on the world’s climate. We shall just have to go on putting up with whatever nature sends us – as we have had to do throughout history before.

Christopher Booker is author of The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is the Obsession With Climate Change Turning Out To Be The Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History?

NATO agrees to keep troops in Afghanistan

December 1, 2015

By Robin Emmott, Arshad Mohammed and Sabine Siebold

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The NATO allies decided on Tuesday to hold alliance troop levels in Afghanistan steady at about 12,000 next year and launched a campaign to fund the 350,000 Afghan forces it hopes can some day secure the country against Taliban militants.

Fourteen years after the United States first sent troops to Afghanistan, NATO governments have doubts about the ability of its army and police to defend against Taliban fighters, who briefly took over the northern city of Kunduz in September.

As a result, the 28-member Western alliance is abandoning plans to slash its troop levels by the end of this year.

“We are in Afghanistan to prevent that Afghanistan again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists … that is also in our security interest to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

Excluding U.S. counter-terrorism forces, NATO will have about 12,000 troops in Afghanistan for most of next year, made up of about 7,000 U.S. forces and 5,000 from the rest of NATO and its partners such as non-NATO member Georgia.

At Tuesday’s meeting, allies also launched a campaign to raise about $3 billion euros to help pay for Afghanistan’s state security forces from 2018.

The Afghan security forces budget, funded by the United States and its NATO allies, is agreed up to the end of 2017. NATO wants to announce further funding for the 2018-2020 period at its next leaders summit in July.

“Afghanistan is still one of the poorest countries in the world, so I think this is a good investment we are making,” Stoltenberg told a news conference.

As agreed at the NATO summit in Chicago in 2012, non-U.S. NATO allies and partners such as Japan give a total of $1 billion a year in addition to the $4.1-billion that the United States spends on Afghan security forces every year.


The Taliban’s brief takeover of a provincial capital in late September has shaken confidence in the ability of Afghan forces and both the United States and its NATO allies now say events, rather than timetables, must dictate gradual troop reductions.

U.S. President Barack Obama had aimed to withdraw all but a small U.S. force before leaving office in January 2017, pinning his hopes on training and equipping local forces to contain Taliban militants fighting to return to power.

However, in October he announced he would maintain the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan at 9,800 through most of 2016, reducing it thereafter to about 5,500 and effectively leaving a decision on a full withdrawal to his successor.

Washington has spent around $65 billion on preparing the fledgling Afghan security forces, while Afghanistan has also received about $100 billion in aid from international donors.

But General Hans-Lothar Domroese, a veteran of Afghanistan who is Germany’s second-most senior general in the Western alliance, recently told Reuters that the security situation is “sobering” and “not as stable as we hoped it would be.”

As Reuters reported in October, Germany, Turkey and Italy will keep their current deployments, although that is likely to be reviewed again later next year.

Unlike the United States, NATO has never set an end date to its “Resolute Support” training mission in Afghanistan, a non-combat force that also includes troops from some 40 countries, including NATO members, the United States and their allies.

NATO does want to see Afghanistan eventually take care of its own security and has agreed that no later than 2024, Afghanistan must take “full financial responsibility” for its own security forces, according to a 2012 statement.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

Obama expects ‘shift’ in Russia’s Syria strategy

December 1, 2015


Russian honor guards carry the coffin with the body of Russian pilot Lt Col Oleg Peshkov during a ceremony at the Chkalovsky military airport outside Moscow, after it was delivered from Turkey on November 30, 2015. Russian Defence Ministry/AFP

PARIS (AFP) – US President Barack Obama said Tuesday he expected a gradual shift in Russia’s strategy on Syria as it counted the cost of keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power.

“I think it is possible over the next several months that we both see a shift in calculation in the Russians and a recognition that it’s time to bring the civil war in Syria to a close,” Obama said on the sidelines of a UN climate summit in Paris.

“It’s not going to be easy. Too much blood has been shed,” he said, adding that Russia had invested years in keeping Assad’s regime in place.

But he added that the bombing of a Russian passenger plane over Egypt by the Islamic State group last month, and last week’s downing of a fighter jet by Turkey, was slowly changing Putin’s calculations.

“I think Mr Putin understands that, with Afghanistan fresh in the memory, for him to simply get bogged down in an inconclusive and paralysing civil conflict is not the outcome that he’s looking for,” said Obama, referring to the Afghan conflict of the 1980s which became a major drain on Moscow’s resources.

Obama acknowledged the sharp difference that remains over the future of Assad, but he said Russia would eventually agree that the Syrian leader had to go.

“I consider somebody who kills hundreds of thousands of his own people illegitimate,” Obama said in reference to Assad.

“But regardless of the moral equation, as a practical matter it is impossible for Mr Assad to bring that country together, and to bring all the parties into an inclusive government.”

The US president said the next step in diplomatic efforts in Vienna was to include moderate opposition groups — “some of which, frankly, you know, we don’t have a lot in common with, but do represent significant factions inside of Syria”.

“Ultimately Russia’s going to recognise the threat that ISIL (the Islamic State group) poses to its country, to its people, is the most significant and that they need to align themselves with us who are fighting ISIL,” he added.

Russia Joins China’s Asia-Pacific Land Theft — Moscow building new military bases on islands claimed by Japan — Obama administration looks away

December 1, 2015


Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walks near a Soviet-era fortifications during his visit to one of the Kuril islands in 2010. Ria Novosti/AFP/File

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia has begun building two modern military compounds on the far eastern Kuril islands, defence minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday, heightening long-running tensions with Japan over the disputed islands.

Russia is “actively carrying out construction of military compounds on the islands of Iturup and Kunashir”, Shoigu said at a meeting with military top brass, according to the ministry’s website.

Relations between Moscow and Tokyo have been strained for decades because of the status of the four southernmost islands in the Kuril chain, known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

Some 19,000 Russians live on the remote rocky islands, occupied by Soviet troops in the dying days of World War II.

The two countries have never officially struck a peace treaty and the lingering tensions over the issue have hampered trade ties for decades.

The Russian ministry said the new military buildings would help “raise the combat readiness of troops on the eastern frontiers of Russia.”

Altogether, Russia plans to put up 392 pre-fabricated buildings on the islands, including schools, kindergartens, leisure centres and dormitories, with construction work continuing through the winter.

“This year, the priority is finishing the most essential buildings and the engineering infrastructure” to receive troops and equipment, Shoigu said.

In September Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the island of Iturup and surveyed troops there, angering Japan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has ruled out any compromise on the islands, telling his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in September that Tokyo must acknowledge “the postwar historical realities.”

Russia has recently poured in investments to the region and reconstructed the Japanese-built airport on Kunashir.



China retains control of dozens for South China Sea islands claimed mostly by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and others….


A long term strategic game is being played out between the United States and Russia in the Asia Pacific, with China at the nexus. (Photoby Alexei Druzhinin) 

Climate change still not an important issue for most American voters — Economy, jobs, terrorism most decisive issues

December 1, 2015

There are signs that most Americans are sympathetic to the goals of the climate change talks in Paris, but the issue probably won’t influence their 2016 vote.

Christian Science Monitor

President Obama (l.) shares a joke with French President François Hollande (r.) as Mr. Obama is in Paris for a two-day visit to the United Nations’ climate change conference.

Facing the prospect of a historic agreement at international climate change talks that formally began Monday in Paris, House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R) of California had a message: We’re not paying for it.

The statement that the Republican-led House would block funds for a potential post-Paris climate plan was a clear reminder that little has changed in the American politics of climate change.

There are small signs of movement. Most of the 2016 candidates in both parties have said they believe climate change is real – though some Republicans question whether human activity is responsible for it. That’s a marked shift from previous elections, in particular 2012, when both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney almost completely avoided the subject.

But in general, climate change is not seen as a winning issue politically. While a New York Times/CBS News poll released on Monday found that two-thirds of Americans support the United States joining a binding international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it’s a low priority.

A Gallup poll from early August found that only 3 percent of respondents said “Environment/Pollution” was the most important problem facing the country. As a result, partisan divides will likely keep the climate debate to a peripheral wedge issue in the upcoming election.

“If you ask people if they think climate change is an important issue they’ll say yes, but if you think of it comparatively to other important issues it kind of falls to the wayside,” says Geoffrey Skelley, a spokesman for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

While it might be a “net plus” for candidates to broadly support the issue, given public sentiment, “it’s not as important to Americans right now as the bread-and-butter issues,” adds Geoffrey Feinberg, research director at the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

“I don’t think it’ll be a pivotal issue,” he adds. “As in all past elections the economy, jobs, maybe now terrorism, these things will continue to be the most important issues.”

The Times/CBS poll shows that a slim majority of Republicans are opposed to a climate deal, and the dynamics of the presidential primary season make that opposition important.

“Even if the poll suggests that some Republicans are more concerned about climate change, that doesn’t mean the people picking the next GOP nominee will be,” Mr. Skelley adds in an e-mail to the Monitor.

Come the general election, the dynamics could shift again, with Democrats attacking the Republican nominee, who will most likely reject the interventionist climate policy that President Obama has now cemented in his legacy.

“Democrats will try to use it,” says Skelley, “but as a broad issue that will decide the election, or play a role in deciding the election, that seems unlikely.”

The Paris talks could figure into the calculus, however, says Mr. Feinberg.

“I think there will be an agreement, and once there is an agreement that’s going to shift the tone,” he adds. “When every country gets on the same page that’s just another piece of evidence that this is something to be taken seriously.”

Advocates for climate change action suggest that time is on their side. They say that the climate will continue to change with predicted effects – from droughts and heat waves to extreme flooding and sea level rise – and that will raise the political importance of the issue.

“One of the fundamental problems with climate change is it’s created everywhere and the impact is in the future,” says Steve Cohen, executive director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. “Our [political] system is not geared to those issues, it’s geared to local issues that you can see, touch, and smell.”

But “people are starting to pay more attention,” and that will “be reflected in the politics of the next 20 years,” he says.

For his part, Representative McCarthy says climate pacts aren’t “the best use of our money” and argues that transitioning to natural gas is a better way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A Pew poll in June suggests that Millennials are more concerned about climate issues than older generations – though other surveys challenge that assertion.

Dr. Cohen at Columbia University likens the potential impact to what has occurred with the gay marriage debate in recent years, which appears to have been driven in large part by generational change.

“It had nothing to do with political parties. It had to do with everyone in society, as gay people came out of the closet, realizing they knew somebody [who was gay], and that it’s not the issue they thought it was,” he adds. “I think we’re going to see similar things with climate change.”

Obama Urges Turkey and Russia to focus on Islamic State as ‘common enemy’

December 1, 2015


US President Barack Obama (right) greets his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a meeting in Paris, on December 1, 2015 World leaders opened an historic summit in the French capital with “the hope of all of humanity” laid on their shoulders as they sought a deal to tame calamitous climate change.

PARIS (AFP) – US President Barack Obama called on Russia and Turkey to move beyond their diplomatic spat and focus on the Islamic State jihadist threat, following a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Paris on Tuesday.

“We discussed how Turkey and Russia can work together to de-escalate tensions and find a diplomatic path to resolve this issue,” Obama told reporters after meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “We all have a common enemy and that is (the Islamic State group) and I want to make sure we focus on that threat.”


President Obama Dines in Three-Star Opulence With Hollande in Paris

December 1, 2015


By Emily Heil
The Washington Post

As working dinners go, President Obama’s meal Monday night in Paris with French President Francois Hollande, Secretary of State John Kerry and others wasn’t too shabby.

No cartons of takeout — instead, the gang fueled up after a long day of climate talks at L’Ambroisie, the three-Michelin-starred temple of gastronomie in the Marais neighborhood.

Per the Michelin Guide, the ornately be-chandelier-ed dining room is known for “incomparable classicism and an immortal feast for the senses.”

Perhaps worried that Obama would create an international faux pas by ordering a burger or a margarita (two of  his faves), a reporter asked what he planned to eat. Obama was, appropriately, diplomatic: “I will get recommendations from the president,” he answered, nodding in Hollande’s direction.

According to the AP, Obama cracked a joke about the opulence of the setting. “Don’t break the chandelier,” he warned as a reporter’s microphone got just a little too close to the crystal. “You can’t afford it.”

Read the rest and see video:

India’s Modi: ‘Create a balance between economy and ecology’ — Narendra Modi Could Make or Break Obama’s Climate Legacy

December 1, 2015

Modi warned developed nations that it would be “morally wrong” if they shift the burden of reducing emissions on developing countries like India, asserting that poor nations had a right to burn carbon to grow their economies.

US President Barack Obama meets withPrime Minister Narendra Modi during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris. (PTI Photo)

Describing climate change as a major global challenge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India wants the world to work with urgency to agree on a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement at the summit.

“Climate change is a major global challenge. But it is not of our making,” Modi said as he inaugurated a unique India Pavilion here at UN climate summit, showcasing the country’s commitment to combat green-house gas emission.

Read Also: Narendra Modi bumps into Nawaz Sharif at UN climate summit in Paris

Noting that the outcome of the summit is very important, the Prime Minister said, “We want the world to work with urgency… We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement in Paris.”


10:20 pm We must create a balance between economy and ecology: PM Modi

10:19 pm Since ancient times different civilizations have given a special place to Sun: PM Modi

10:18 pm Need global collaborations to research solar energy: PM Modi

10 17 pm Our focus should also be to reduce our carbon footprints: PM Modi

10:16 pm We must work to drive down cost of solar power: PM Modi


9:45 pm Tackling climate change will need more than just pledges: Obama

9:44 pm Development drive must be merged with new technologies: Obama

9:44 pm The world must set ambitious targets to curb emissions: Obama

9:43 pm: US President Barack Obama begins his speech

9:43 pm We will restore the balance between ecology and economy, and between our inheritance and obligation to the future, says Modi before closing speech.

9:43 pm Advanced countries must leave enough room for developing countries to grow: PM Modi

9:43 pm A vast section of humanity lives at the edge of poverty, they need energy to light up their homes: PM Modi

9:42 pm Innovation must be backed by means to make it accessible to all: PM Modi

9:41 pm We need research and innovation to make renewable energy cheaper, and reliable: PM Modi

9:40 pm We must look beyond market incentives: PM Modi

9:39 pm Developed nations must work towards reducing carbon footprints: PM Modi

9:38 pm: PM Modi speaks at at COP21.

8:50 pm Mahatma Gandhi was a champion in protecting nature, so this effort is special to India: PM Modi

8:48 pm India proposed some big targets in Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, I am sure we will fulfil our responsibilities: PM Modi

8:47 pm World’s 121 countries who are “Solar Rich” are coming together to form a new group. I will launch it with France President: PM Modi

8:34 pm Will work to ensure environmental protection and development go hand in hand, says Modi.

8:27 pm: Obama says he and Modi agree that climate change is an urgent threat.


8:10 pm: PM Modi meets US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of Paris Climate Change summit.



6:09 pm West must understand there history is responsible for climate change: Modi

6:05 pm We need a durable global agreement in Paris: Modi

6:05 pm Climate change is not of our making. It is the result of global warming that came from an industrial age powered by fossil fuel: Modi

6:01 pmWe want the world to act with urgency, we must restore the balance between humanity and nature: Modi

6:00 pm Delighted to inaugurate India Pavilion: Modi

5:58 pm Climate change is the result of global warming that came from the progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuels: Modi

5:55 pm Summit is of great significance to India’s future, a window to our tradition, progress, aspirations & achievements: Modi

5:51 pm We in India face consequences of it(climate change) today.We are concerned about the rising oceans: Modi

5:50 pm Modi speaks after inaugurating India Pavilion in Paris.

Earlier in the day, Modi warned developed nations that it would be “morally wrong” if they shift the burden of reducing emissions on developing countries like India, asserting that poor nations had a right to burn carbon to grow their economies.

“The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder,” Prime Minister Modi wrote in the Opinion section of today’s ‘Financial Times’.

“The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be the bedrock of our collective enterprise. Anything else would be morally wrong,” he said as the leaders from 150 countries opened a 12-day UN conference on climate here, aimed at limiting emissions of gases blamed for global warming.


Narendra Modi Could Make or Break Obama’s Climate Legacy

LE BOURGET, France — Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, President Obama has not missed many opportunities to convey what a warm rapport he has forged with the Indian leader.

There was the admiring essay about Mr. Modi that Mr. Obama wrote in Time magazine, and the image of them tête-à-tête at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, their entourages left behind. Mr. Obama’s national security adviser said the two men had “chemistry” and expressed confidence that American interests made it “worth the investment in the relationship.”

Exactly how much that investment has paid off will become clear this week during the climate negotiations on the outskirts of Paris, where India, the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas polluter, has emerged as a pivotal player in shaping the outcome of a deal on which Mr. Obama hopes to build his legacy — or whether a deal emerges at all. So far, Indian negotiators have publicly staked out an uncompromising position.

Read the rest:

In Paris For Climate Summit, Many World Leaders Tie Global Warming To Islamic Terrorism

November 30, 2015



For world leaders attending a long-planned climate summit in Paris just weeks after 130 people were killed by Islamic State militants in the French capital, addressing the coincidental convergence of global warming and terrorism was unavoidable.

In a series of some 150 opening speeches at the heavily guarded facility on the outskirts of Paris, most heads of state and prime ministers offered condolences to their French hosts, pivoting quickly, sometimes awkwardly, to the climate talks.

Many said the decision to press on with the summit in Paris so soon after the attacks was itself a rebuke to extremists trying to sow fear and disrupt normal life. French President Francois Hollande said the two issues were inseparable, “two big global challenges” to be addressed for the next generation.

A few, including U.S. President Barack Obama, went further, linking the threat of heatwaves, floods and drought to the potential for climate refugees and political instability.

He warned of a possible future with “political disruptions that trigger new conflicts, leaving more floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own.”

Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium, a nation on high alert after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris involved at least two suicide bombers from Brussels, also cited climate change as “the cause of tension, inequalities, crises and conflicts.”

But it was Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga of the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu who made by far the most direct link, voicing an idea that has become a newly contentious aspect of the climate issue: “the effects of climate change … we strongly believe is also the cause of radicalism and terrorism.”

“The plight of refugees we see today … and increasing terrorism and radicalism, represents a small measure of what the world, mankind, will face if we do not tackle climate change.”

A connection between a warming planet and migrant-related instability has in recent years been cautiously cited in several places as an additional rationale for cutting back on carbon emissions, and has drawn more attention in recent weeks after comments by both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

“By fuelling extreme weather events, undermining our military readiness, exacerbating conflicts around the world – climate change is a threat to the security of the United States and, indeed, to the security and stability of countries everywhere,” Kerry said in a speech in Virginia on Nov. 10.

Last week, Britain’s Prince Charles said that one of the “major reasons for this horror in Syria” was climate change. He made no mention of those ideas in Paris on Monday, beyond worrying that the world’s focus was being diverted by other crises “that can be seen as greater and more immediate threats.”

The comments have provoked a sharp rebuke from many critics, particularly Republicans in the United States, who see it as a purely political effort to use fears over public safety to drive an unrelated climate agenda.

Some studies have made the connection. In 2013, a panel of U.N. scientists said climate change could “indirectly increase risks of violent conflicts by amplifying well-documented drivers of these conflicts such as poverty and economic shocks.”

A paper in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in March said there was evidence that man-made climate change had contributed to a 2007-10 drought in Syria that was a contributing factor to the civil war.

Back in Paris, a few speakers made little effort at a graceful segue.

After saying that both Israel and France were the victims of terrorism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on: “If President (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas is committed to peace he must stop inciting his people against Israel.”

Shifting tack, he continued: “Today we must focus on the security, not just of the nations of the world, but of the world itself.”

(Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Leff and Lisa Shumaker)


Vladimir Putin refuses to meet Turkish president in Paris during climate change talks

November 30, 2015

Russian president does not intend to speak to Recep Tayyip Erdogan as relations between the countries sour after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane

Vladimir Putin has refused to meet the Turkish president in Paris during climate change talks as Russia banned fruit and vegetable imports in its sanctions list against Ankara.

The Russian president’s spokesman said Mr Putin did not plan to speak to Recep Tayyip Erdogan but spoke to President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the summit.

“No meeting with Erdogan is planned. There is no discussion of such a meeting,” the Kremlin spokesman told journalists.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara have soured dramatically since November 24 when Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 warplane that it claims violated its airspace despite several warnings.

Russia denies that it did and says its plane was shot inside Syrian airspace.

But on Monday, the US ambassador to Nato said his country’s data “corroborates Turkey’s version of events”.

“The airplane was in Turkey, it was engaged in Turkey, it had been warned repeatedly,” Douglas Lute said. “There was no flight plan issued for a violation of Nato airspace.”

Two Russian pilots ejected from the plane and parachuted onto Syrian land but only one survived the shoot down. The body of the dead pilot was flown back to Russia on Monday.

Oleg Peshkov was repatriated from Ankara after his body was brought from Syria to Turkey and given over to Russian diplomats. The Russian defence ministry claims he was shot dead from the ground.

Local reports said Peshkov will be buried on Wednesday after his body arrives in his hometown Lipetsk, an industrial city in central Russia.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman, told reporters that Mr Obama expressed regret over the incident and discussed the need for a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Mr Erdogan called for face-to-face talks with Mr Putin last week as the two countries traded blows over who was responsible for the incident.

Mr Putin attacked Ankara in the immediate aftermath of incident, the first time a Nato ally shot down a Russian jet since 1952, as well as snubbing any meeting with Mr Erdogan.

He described the shoot down as a “stab in the back” by the “accomplice of terrorists”, which Mr Erdogan condemned as slander.

Nearly a week after the incident, the situation has not calmed down with both countries refusing to apologise but calling on the other to say sorry.

After a meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, the Turkish prime minister refused to apologise and said no country should ask Turkey to say sorry for doing its duty.

Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters: “The protection of our land borders, our airspace, is not only a right, it is a duty. We apologise for committing mistakes, not for doing our duty.”

Last week, as the war of words continued, Russia said it would stop visa-free travel from Turkish citizens from January 2016 while Turkey advised its citizens against non-essential travel to Russia.

Russia laid out its economic sanctions against Turkey on Monday, such as halting fruit and vegetable imports, in the hope of having a negative impact on Ankara’s agricultural sectors.

Mr Putin signed a decree at the weekend banning charter flights and the sale of package holidays, AFP news agency reported.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, called the moves a “first step” as Russia said it would limit Turkish transport firms and tighten controls on construction contracts.

Mr Davutoglu decried the sanctions as he urged Moscow to “reconsider these measures in both our interests”, while reiterating once again Ankara’s willingness to talk.

“If the Russian side wants to talk, we are ready; if they want more information, we are ready; if they want to normalise relations, we are ready to talk,” he said.


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