Facing Climate Change, U.N. To Propose Major Economic Reforms

In response to the widening threat of climate change, the United Nations will release a note of suggestions that propose a dramatic change in global economic relations, tarriffs, and taxes, according to this piece from Fox News.

"A United Nations document on "climate change" that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes - all under the supervision of the world body.

Those and other results are blandly discussed in a discretely worded United Nations "information note" on potential consequences of the measures that industrialized countries will likely have to take to implement the Copenhagen Accord, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, after it is negotiated and signed by December 2009. The Obama administration has said it supports the treaty process if, in the words of a U.S. State Department spokesman, it can come up with an "effective framework" for dealing with global warming.

The 16-page note, obtained by FOX News, will be distributed to participants at a mammoth negotiating session that starts on March 29 in Bonn, Germany, the first of three sessions intended to hammer out the actual commitments involved in the new deal.

In the stultifying language that is normal for important U.N. conclaves, the negotiators are known as the "Ad Hoc Working Group On Further Commitments For Annex I Parties Under the Kyoto Protocol." Yet the consequences of their negotiations, if enacted, would be nothing short of world-changing."

Full Story: U.N. 'Climate Change' Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy



Michael Lewyn's picture

unfair and unbalanced

If you read the 16-page memo, you will see that it is not, as Fox News implies, a list of recommendations so much as a laundry list of policies that could have something to do with climate change, listing the pros and cons of each. In particular, it does not suggest how aggressive each of these policies would be. So in addition to not telling us what should be done, the memo doesn't tell us how much of any particular policy should be done- which makes it anything but "dramatic."

Some of the items listed as

Some of the items listed as 'possible' negative impacts of some of the 'possible' recommendations are 'possibly' very dramatic (using UN language).

The distortion is not

The distortion is not surprising given the source. If you believed the latest theories coming from the more unhinged members of the right (i.e. Michelle Bachmann or Glen Beck), you would be convinced the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, and the Obama Administration are secretly plotting to follow the lead of the Chinese and Russians to adopt a "One World Currency". This will lead to the formation of a world government, thus precipitating America's destruction at the hand of foreigners. FOX News deliberately chooses the loaded phrase "New World Economy" in the headline to link the UN and climate change policy to this meme, thus helping to perpetuate it.

The surprise in my mind is why Planetizen would link to FOX News in the first place.

I agree

the key phrase of the whole thing is "if enacted". Otherwise, it's much ado about nothing. If any of that does happen, it will only surprise me if people are somehow stunned that we will have inflation, especially for some goods. How else are we to effectively and reasonably reduce consumption of something without raising its price?

Fox Thinks Any Impact Is Bad

For example, they say: "In a reference to the impact of declining oil exports, the report says that Saudi Arabia has determined the loss to its economy at between $100 billion and $200 billion by 2030, but said nothing about other oil exporters" as if that were some great economic threat.

It actually means that, instead of spending all that money on oil and enriching petrostates like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, we would be spending that money in the United States installing wind or solar power.

It looks like Fox cares more about the economies of the oil exporting nations than it does about the American economy.

Charles Siegel

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month