Skip to content

Let’s start with a quick quiz.

Which of the following major world cities and/or seaside resorts has NOT hosted United Nations climate change talks since the inaugural meeting way back in 1997?

Marrakech, Morocco; Bali, Indonesia; Lyon, France; Bonn, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cancun, Mexico; The Hague, the Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Montreal, Canada; Bangkok, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; Durban, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Milan, Italy; Kyoto, Japan and New Delhi, India.

Sorry, trick question. All have played host at some time to the 47 UN-funded get-togethers in the past 15 years.

I know, I know, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.

Here is a supplementary question: How many binding treaties have been ratified by all parties in the name of defeating so-called anthropogenic global warming in that time?

Not abstracts of intent or noble purpose like the Kyoto protocols. We’re talking binding agreements with enforceable penalties, measurable aims and deliverable achievements signed by every single nation on the planet from the richest to the very poorest.

How many? None.

That’s right, a big fat zero. Nada. Zip. Nil. Zilch.

Still, the talking goes on in some of the most desirable locations on earth.

Three and sometimes four times a year the great and the good of the global warm-monger industry meet to chatter and wag their fingers at major industrialized nations like Canada.

These unelected and unaccountable members of the UN ineptocracy were at it again last week.

In Bonn, Germany the latest meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ended Friday.

The fortnight-long get together was meant to develop a timetable for implementing the so-called “Kyoto 2” extension which Canada along with the US, Japan and Russia wisely announced they’ll ignore.

At the end of the meeting negotiators agreed that “progress had been made” and “important principles established’’ but really, they would have to meet again for more talks soon.

So next stop is Doha, Qatar for another round of debate, starting November 26.

At which point you could reasonably ask: What was achieved at Bonn besides abject inertia?

Not much. Just continuing division over how long the extended Kyoto protocol should operate, some very public squabbling over whose turn it was to chair the various sub-committees and an agreement to talk more about future agendas.

There was also the small matter of (ahem) money.

UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres insisted it was critical the Bonn talks made further progress on how funds will be raised – extorted might be another apt word — from major industrialized nations and directed to poorer countries in the year’s after 2020.

This epic global fundraising will underwrite something called the Green Climate Fund, to be run under the paternalistic auspices of the UN.

The fund will need $100 billion a year from 2020 onwards to operate. No precise agreement at Bonn on how it would work, despite Christiana Figueres exhortations, just consensus that major developed and industrialised countries like Canada will have to foot the bill. So there.

All of which pretty much reflects the UN as it is today; a preening debating society that marries incompetence with good intentions, meddling with over-reaching ambition.

It should also surprise nobody to hear such hand-wringing doesn’t come cheap.

The regular budget of the UN is nearly $1.9 billion per year. It pays for basic UN activities, staff and basic infrastructure at 760 United Nations Plaza, New York, New York.

The UN then spends an additional $15 billion annually on activities that include everything from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNESCO, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation — and endless climate change meetings in exotic locales.

Funding comes from member nations. Canada is the seventh largest UN funding provider, meaning Canadian taxpayers and their dollars are helping to pay for all this — literally and figuratively.

Doesn’t that make you proud?

Toronto Sun, 26 May 2012