Did Glasgow Deliver 'Blah, Blah, Blah'?
At the end of the first week of the Glasgow climate summit, 100,000 protesters marched to denounce the attendees as phonies who will never honor their commitments to curb carbon emissions.
Despite pledges by 100 nations to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, and by 20 nations, including the U.S., to end financing of new international fossil-fuel power plants, teenage climate superstar activist Greta Thunberg says the COP26 summit is a con:
"Two weeks of business as usual, blah, blah, blah!"
Thunberg has a point.
Commitments made in Scotland are not binding upon governments that, be they autocratic or democratic, do not subordinate their national interests to pledges ostentatiously made in global forums.
This Glasgow summit calls to mind the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which won a Nobel Peace Prize for Secretary of State Frank Kellogg,
On Aug. 27, 1928, 15 High Contracting Parties signed on to renounce war as an instrument of national policy. The signatories that day were the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India. Within 15 years, all 15 nations, Ireland alone excepted, were ensnared in the greatest war in history.
Like the pledges at the climate summit, the Kellogg-Briand Pact provided for no means of enforcement or sanctions against nations that failed to live up to their commitment.
Consider. China is the world's largest emitter of carbon emissions, Russia the fourth largest, and Brazil the seventh largest worldwide.
Yet President Xi Jinping of China, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil did not show up at the summit. And President Joe Biden of the United States and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain both fell asleep during the proceedings.