UN pleads for climate accord ratification before mass ‘Clexit’
The United Nations has issued a plea for nations to fast-track ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement as some countries are backtracking on support for the deal’s sweeping restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged nations to attend a “special event” Thursday where they may deposit their “instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change.”
“I urge you to accelerate your country’s domestic process for ratification of the Agreement this year,” Mr. Ban said in a statement.
The change of heart even has a name: “Clexit,” short for “climate exit,” a take-off on “Brexit,” the successful June 23 British vote to leave the European Union.
The most dramatic repudiation was from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, elected in November, who said Monday that he “will not honor” the proposed restrictions on emissions. He called them stupid and cited his country’s need for greater economic development and industrialization.
Developed nations “were enjoying the booming [economy] and flooding the air with contaminants. Now that they are rich because of coal and industrialization, we are being asked to cut emission and limit our activities,” Mr. Duterte said in the Philippine Star.
Meanwhile, U.N. special envoy for climate change Mary Robinson decried Monday what she described as recent efforts by Germany and Britain to support the fossil fuel industry despite their previous support for the agreement.
The British government “introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas in 2015 that will cost U.K. taxpayer billions between 2015 and 2020, and, at the same time, they’ve cut support for renewables and for energy efficiency,” Ms. Robinson told The Guardian newspaper.
Marc Morano, who runs the skeptics’ website Climate Depot, said Tuesday that the cold feet on global warming shows that some countries are realizing the international climate agreement is “not in their best interests.”
“More and more nations are realizing that the U.N. climate treaty is nothing more than an effort to empower the U.N.and attack national sovereignty while doing absolutely nothing for the climate,” said Mr. Morano, who debuted his film “Climate Hustle” during the negotiations in Paris.
He said that the “time has come for a U.S.-led ‘Clexit’ from … the climate treaty.”
“It’s regrettable. That’s not in the spirit [of Paris],” she said. “In many ways, the U.K. was a real leader, and hopefully the U.K. will become again a real leader. But it’s not at the moment.”