Here We Go Again: Climate Taxes on the Table, Accompanied by Usual Media Slant

November 7th, 2010 9:40 AM

They're back, they have their media water-carriers in place, and the Obama administration is smack dab in the middle of it.

The United Nations is pushing for countries in the developed world to keep their "promise" to, in the worlds of Charles J. Hanley at the Associated Press,  "raise up to $100 billion a year in new money for poorer countries to cope with climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."

It's as if ClimateGate never happened (link is to NB's 120-plus posts on the topic). It's as if the IPCC and others associated with the scandal and the evidence-impaired claims of global warming -- er, climate change -- uh, make that climate disruption -- still have their reputations totally intact.

Here is how Bloomberg describes the U.N.'s request:

Bank Tax, CO2 Auctions Recommended by Soros Panel to Help Climate Efforts

At least $65 billion might be raised by taxing foreign-exchange transactions and auctioning pollution permits, a United Nations panel said today in a report recommending ways to finance aid for fighting global warming.

The panel, which includes billionaire investor George Soros and Larry Summers, director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, said selling carbon-emissions permits would generate $38 billion and a financial transactions tax an additional $27 billion, according to the report released today.

The findings are intended to guide envoys at UN climate talks that start this month in Mexico as they seek ways to pay for $100 billion in climate aid that was pledged by 2020 to poor nations at last year’s summit in Copenhagen. The report found that the goal is “challenging but feasible” to achieve.

Those of us with memories recall that Copenhagen resulted in nothing resembling a "pledge," as the UK Guardian reported with sadness last year:

Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure The so-called Copenhagen accord "recognises" the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C but does not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal.

The AP's Hanley is even worse, giving casual readers who don't understand that the U.S. Senate would have to ratify what would in effect be a treaty the impression that the U.S. has signed on to something meaningful already (bold is mine):

UN panel sees sources for billions for climate


A high-level U.N. panel on Friday outlined potential sources, including levies on international flights, to raise up to $100 billion a year in new money for poorer countries to cope with climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.


The greatest contributions would come from private investment and from "carbon pricing," either a direct tax broadly on emissions of carbon dioxide or a cap on emissions coupled with trading in emissions allowances, the advisory group of global political and financial leaders said in a report to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


The United States has been a major holdout, however, against such carbon pricing plans, and Tuesday's Republican victory in the U.S. House guarantees none will be enacted for at least two years.


... At last December's climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, developed nations, led by U.S. President Barack Obama, agreed to set a goal of $100 billion in annual climate finance by the year 2020.


... In scores of developing nations in a warming world, money will be needed to build coastal protection against rising seas, modify or shift crops threatened by drought, build water supply and irrigation systems, preserve forests, and improve health care to deal with diseases spread by warming.


It also will help them move to low-carbon energy systems, such as solar and wind power, and away from the fossil fuels whose emissions are blamed for global warming.


"It is challenging but feasible to meet this goal," the panel said of the $100 billion target.


... The panelists acknowledged likely political difficulties in enacting transportation and foreign-exchange levies on a global scale, but U.N. chief Ban said their vision was both "financially feasible and politically viable."

If you think you can stand it, read the whole thing, especially the possible revenues sources listed at the end of Hanley's piece.

As to Hanley's contention that no carbon pricing plans will be enacted, I would only suggest that we be aware of lame ducks still possessing power.