For decades, the big oil producers have denied and obfuscated the truth over climate change and delayed action. And despite overwhelming incontrovertible evidence accumulated over decades that we are on the verge of a climate emergency, they continue their dirty tricks.
This is not a position they take out of ignorance, because the science is crystal clear: this is a deliberate attempt to sabotage our future for the sake of short-term financial gain and in pursuit of sordid political cronyism.
And on Saturday they were at it again, when the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait yet again refused to adopt language that would have “welcomed” the recent landmark IPCC report on the need to keep global warming below 1.5C.
Even hardened delegates at the talks in Poland were said to be shocked by the stance by the four oil producers. As the Guardian pointed out: “It has also raised fears among scientists that the US president, Donald Trump, is going from passively withdrawing from climate talks to actively undermining them alongside a coalition of climate deniers.”
Anyone new walking into a climate conference would be shocked at how simple words get argued upon for hours with the climate wreckers’ simple task of trying to increase the uncertainty of the science in the text or reduce the urgency of our coming climate catastrophe.
So on Saturday night, the dirty gang of four led by Saudia Arabia, but supported by the US, Russia and Kuwait objected to the simple motion that the conference would “welcome” the IPCC study. Instead they said it should be only “noted”, which as the Guardian points out would make it “much easier for governments to ignore” and due to the fracas “the motion has not yet been able to pass as a result of the lack of consensus.”
So once again you have a farcical situation that the COP- the Conference of the Parties, does not welcome a report it actually commissioned. Rueanna Haynes, a delegate for St Kitts and Nevis, said the situation was “ludicrous”.
Scientists were also outraged. Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy in the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It is troubling. Saudi Arabia has always had bad behaviour in climate talks, but it could beoverruled when it was alone or just with Kuwait. That it has now been joined by the US and Russia is much more dangerous.”
Professor Johan Rockström, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said “The IPCC 1.5C report is the most important climate assessment of the 21st Century. Yet four nations refused to ‘welcome’ this reality. This is wilfully ignorant and grossly negligent. As ministers meet this week for UN climate talks in Poland, they must push for this report to be at the heart of the conference.”
To make matters worse, this morning Trump officials arrived at the talks to promotecopal and other fossil fuels, which in the past has been likened by Michael Bloomberg to promoting tobacco at a cancer event. Trump’s energy advisor isdue to speak at a side event.
However, as the BBC notes the “White House-endorsed event is “out of step with the wider conference”. Notably this morning 415 investors with around $32 trillion of assets, representing some of the world’s largest investors and pension funds have signed the Global Investor Statement.
They are calling for greater action on climate change, an end to coal and end to fossil fuel subsidies.
Thomas P DiNapoli, the New York State Comptroller, who oversees the New York State Common Retirement Fund, responsible for a $207bn pension fund, said: “Despite the misguided policies of the Trump administration, global efforts to address the very real threat climate risk presents to the economy, financial markets and investment returns are ongoing.”
Chris Newton, of IFM Investors, which manages $80bn and who has signed the Global Investor Statement, added “The long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many. This is a recipe for disaster as the impacts of climate change can be sudden, severe and catastrophic.”