Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Coca-Cola is spearheading a coalition of more than 100 companies pushing a United Nations climate treaty to bind the U.S. to cap-and-trade emissions regulation, commit the world’s wealthiest nations to a potential $10 trillion in foreign aid and, possibly, form a proposed international “super-grid” for regulating and distributing electric power worldwide.
Together with the SAP and Siemens corporations, Coca-Cola launched a website called Hopenhagen, leading up to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, which opens on Dec. 7. The website invites the citizens of the world to sign a petition demanding world leaders draft binding agreements on climate change and advertises, as of today, “16 days left to seal the deal.”
Other “friends” of Hopenhagen include media outlets Newsweek, Discovery Channel, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, The Wall Street Journal and Clear Channel, among others, Internet giants Yahoo, Google and AOL and dozens of other companies and organizations.
As WND reported, however, Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, asserts the real purpose of the U.N.’s meeting in Copenhagen is to use concern over “global warming” as a pretext to lay the foundation for a one-world government.
He has warned the proposed Copenhagen agreement would cede U.S. sovereignty, mandate a massive wealth transfer from the United States to pay reparations for “climate debt” to Third World countries and create a new “world government” to enforce the treaty’s provisions.
And even if Monckton is merely fanning the flames of fear in those suspicious of the U.N., Coca-Cola’s “Hopenhagen” project isn’t doing anything to put out the fire:
“We’re all citizens of Hopenhagen,” boasts the website, adding, “Hopenhagen: Population 6.8 billion.”
“Sign the Climate Petition and become a citizen of Hopenhagen,” the website encourages.
“We the peoples of the world urge political leaders to:
“Seal the Deal at COP 15 on a climate agreement that is definitive, equitable and effective
“Set binding targets to cut greenhouse gases by 2020
“Establish a framework that will bolster the climate resilience of vulnerable countries and protect lives and livelihoods
“Support developing countries’ adaptation efforts and secure climate justice for all.”
“We also believe that anything is possible if we work together,” states Coca-Cola on the Hopenhagen site. “That’s why we’re collaborating with governments, NGOs, other businesses and our consumers, to help tackle global challenges like climate change.”
A closer look at the “deal” Hopenhagen is hoping to “seal,” however, reveals a call to unprecedented levels of international regulation and wealth redistribution and includes many of the measures Monckton decries as an effort to “impose a communist world government on the world.”
The guide praises the last major international attempt at combating climate change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, touting the “legal force” behind requiring industrialized countries to reduce emissions and the establishment of a cap-and-trade system of selling “carbon credits.”
At the same time, the WWF laments, “The protocol’s sanctions against backsliders have had little effect.”
The guide warns that Kyoto expires at the end of 2012 and that we must now create “something more ambitious and broader in scope” for the future.
That broader scope of the Green New Deal includes not only additional and more stringent emissions reduction standards, agreed upon and binding on member nations, but also a host of new cap-and-trade measures.
“We create a system in which you need a permit to emit [carbon dioxide] or other greenhouse gases,” the guide explains.
Governments could then grant permits to various industries or sell them at auction, either to raise funds or to punish polluters within their borders.
The Green New Deal also includes a similar, international system that issues “emissions rights to nations according to their population.” Poor nations would have spare permits, so they could profit by selling to “rich industrialized nations that needed more.”
The WWF further suggests creation of an international “super-grid” connecting the nations of the world to one, common electricity supply. It argues the super-grid would enable nations with unique abilities to produce power – such as France’s prolific nuclear program or Saudi Arabia’s potential for solar energy – to ship and trade electricity abroad.
The WWF does warn, however, “Such a grid requires strong and harmonized cross-border management to tap and deliver the right amount of renewable power at the right time to those who need it.”
Finally, the Green New Deal includes a new, global climate change fund that manages monies paid by wealthy nations for “green” improvements in poorer nations. The WWF proposes a couple of possible plans for exacting payment, either an international tax on all carbon emissions or “a simple charge on rich countries,” estimated at up to 1 percent of gross domestic product.
“The problem lies with rich countries such as the United States of America and Germany,” the guide explains, “who stick with coal-power projects when they have many other options.”
Of the poorer nations, the guide states, “They will simply – and not unreasonably – say to the rich world, ‘You created this problem; YOU solve it.’”
Who pays to make the world “green”
One of the most contentious points in U.N. climate change negotiations has been the question of who will pay to switch the world’s energy use from fossil fuels and other carbon-intensive power sources to means deemed more environmentally friendly.
To that end, the guide to the Green New Deal argues the “polluter-pays principle” should decide.
“The planetary imperative can be reconciled with basic fairness if rich nations pay for the extra costs,” it states. “It is, after all, only necessary because developed countries have warmed the planet and taken up most of the atmospheric ‘space’ for greenhouse gases.”
The guide continues, “Developed countries have an obligation to fund adaptation among poor nations that are victims of climate change. International law, based on the well-established ‘polluter-pays’ principle, suggests there is a legal duty on major carbon dioxide emitters to protect such countries.”
But how much will the rich nations pay?
“Notwithstanding the cost of necessary lifestyle changes and some more expensive technologies,” the guide estimates, “the total worldwide cost for most of the technologies and actions investigated would be in the region of 200-350 billion Euros annually for the next two decades.”
At today’s exchange rate, that amounts to a total bill over the next 20 years of between $6 trillion and roughly $10.5 trillion.
Additionally, the WWF insists industrialized countries should quickly – this year – release $2 billion into a fund to help developing nations as a good-faith gesture to the international community meeting in Copenhagen.
However, it was reported earlier this week that a treaty may not be ready by December’s U.N. meeting in Copenhagen, as some leaders – including President Obama – are favoring political agreements only, delaying a legally binding treaty.
Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, is still pushing for agreements on emissions cuts by each developed country and has said he favors at most a six-month delay before making a new climate deal binding, until a meeting in Bonn in mid-2010. That would give time for the U.S. Senate to pass carbon-capping laws, he said.
“It’s like metal, you’ve got to beat it when it’s hot,” he told Reuters. “If we get clarity on (emission) targets, developing country engagement and finance in Copenhagen, which I’m confident we will, then you can nail that down in a treaty form six months later.”
According to the Australian Investigate magazine, a file of documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit was hacked into, and revealed that scientists discussed a “trick” that would “hide the decline” of global temperatures.
Author James Delingpole wrote in a London Telegraph column the most damaging revelations indicate climate-change scientists may have “manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.”
“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate,” said one e-mail.
Further, an e-mail exchange suggested the suppression of information: “Can you delete any e-mails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.”