November 6, 1998
Update on Global Governance: The latest UN Conference
Report by Eagle Forum Correspondent Cathie Adams in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

 Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Fourth Session of the Conference of the Parties

November 2-13, 1998

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing (or will in the foreseeable future cause) catastrophic heating of the earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earth's climate. Moreover, there IS substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth," states a petition signed by nearly 17,000 U.S. scientists, half of whom are trained in the fields of physics, geophysics, climate science, meteorology, oceanography, chemistry, biology, or biochemistry." The statement abstract concludes that there is no basis for believing #1 that atmospheric CO2 is causing a dangerous climb in global temperatures, #2 that greater concentrations of CO2 would be armful or #3 that human activity leads to global warming in the first place.

Discounting science, the American delegation, after one week of talks in Buenos Aires at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, reports that negotiations are "progressing." Head of Delegation (until Stuart Eizenstat arrives for "high-level" talks next week) Melinda Kimble says that the U.S.' compliance with the Kyoto Protocol is contingent upon the flexibility mechanisms. Those are "emissions trading," "joint implementation" between developed countries, and "clean development mechanisms" to encourage joint emissions reduction projects between developed and developing countries. Two more "mechanisms" being discussed are financial mechanisms (redistribution of wealth schemes) and compliance mechanisms (penalties for non-compliance to the Kyoto Treaty).

The international arena is not the only place where President Clinton is forging ahead with his radical environmental agenda in keeping with last December's agreement in Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7% between 2008-2012 which translates into a 30-40% reduction in industrial output. In order to comply with Kyoto, he has proposed the Climate Change Technology Initiative, "a vigorous program of tax cuts and research and development…. The package amounts to an additional $6.3 billion over 5 years ($3.6 billion in tax cuts and $2.7 billion in new investment)-over and above what was planned already for climate change-related investments. The recently signed Fiscal Year 1999 appropriations bills include over $1 billion for investments-a 26% increase over last year."

His plan also aims to build "sector-by-sector partnerships with key energy-intensive industries to encourage voluntary efforts to cut emissions." Dirk Forrister, Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force is in Buenos Aires. He describes his consultations with industry as a four-pronged approach: #1 measure the industry's emissions; #2 do a bottom-up review of them; #3 offer to remove government barriers and ask for commitments; and #4 make an action plan. After his consultations with corporate high level staffs, their CEOs are then sometimes invited to the White House to meet with the President in order to discuss "partnering" with the federal government.

The only difference between what history books call "fascism" and this "sector-by-sector partnership" with the federal government is that, thus far, the industrial commitments are voluntary. Once the largest industries are brought into the federal government's net, however, it would be profitable for them to support mandatory compliance in order to eliminate their small competitors.

Electricity restructuring is "another core element of the President's plan" which is supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cutting consumers' energy bills. State governments have already been told that they must either "restructure" their own electricity industry, or the federal government will do it for them. This issue should be watched closely in every state capitol.

The Clinton plan also calls for making substantial improvements in the federal government's own use and procurement of energy. However, U.S. Delegate Kimble said that the Department of Defense would be exempt from emissions reduction requirements.

Additional Reading
The Costs of Trading in the Global Economy
Global Goals: Bailouts, Bosnia, Lies, and Hot Air
Global Goals of the Clinton Administration
Will Treaties Rule America's Future?
The U.S. Congress should intercede in the President's initiatives to assure they are in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and that they do not harm America's free markets. Congress should demand that its law-making authorities are not usurped by the executive branch. Since the purpose of the Buenos Aires conference is to put teeth into the Kyoto Treaty, Congress should demand that the President recall his delegation.