Sunday, December 9, 2018

COP24 - who is really working for the climate?



Who are the real climate believers?


The latest Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has convened in Poland (December 2018). This was a truly massive international event. One hundred and ninety-eight parties (equivalent to countries or similar entities) were represented by 7749 delegates. The total number of registered participants is over 22,000.
I fully recognise that the COP meetings are not specifically technical. That said, they are discussing the implications of something that is measurable – climate change. One would expect, or at least hope, that those countries most concerned about the impact of climate change would also be the most assiduous in determining the degree and extent of climate change by rigorously monitoring the climate.

As an index of a country’ political concern about climate change, I have used the number of registered participants at COP24. Similarly, as an index of a country’ participation in efforts to quantify the impact, I have used the number of climate stations per country taken from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) web site. The data file I used “ghcnm.tavg.v3.3.0.20180512.qcu.dat” was downloaded on 8 December 2018. For each country and for each year I totaled the number of months with data and divided by 12; it is equivalent to the number of stations operating full-time. The data presented below are those for the year 2017 – the last complete year.

The three parties with the largest number of participants are: Guinea with 406, Ghana with 111 and Gambia with 93. Not one of these has a climate station in the GHCN data set. In fact, over 20% of the participants come from countries that provide no climate data to the GHCN.

Looking at the figures the other way around, in terms of climate stations per representative, the USA is in a class of its own: 1017 stations and only 44 delegates – a ratio of 23.1 stations to one delegate. (Kudos to the USA.) The next highest, but still much lower, was Argentina with a ratio of 4.5. In all only 19 countries had more, or the same number, of climate stations as delegates. The select group includes Russia and China; in might be a coincidence but almost half of this group are former socialist countries.All the others countries had more conference delegates than they have climate stations. The full details are given in the table below.

A perpetual grievance of the climate change lobby is that they are unable to convince the world’s politicians to pay more than lip service to their concerns.Yet, the table below shows clearly that those who express the most concern are often those who do least to provide the data necessary to substantiate their fears.

I should add that the solution is not to rush to build new climate stations. It has to be done with care. A station with a long continuous record is more valuable than a station with a short record. The ideal would be to identify the location of climate stations which have operated in the past and which are at a good measuring site (open to the elements and not urbanised ) and install equipment there.


Party
No. of Delegates
Number of climate stations
Afghanistan
16
0
Albania
14
0
Algeria
22
38
Angola
26
1
Antigua and Barbuda
5
0
Argentina
11
49
Armenia
7
1
Australia
30
63
Austria
50
7
Azerbaijan
7
0
Bahamas
4
0
Bahrain
12
1
Bangladesh
83
8
Barbados
8
1
Belarus
7
3
Belgium
29
1
Belize
17
1
Benin
139
3
Bhutan
16
0
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
20
20
Bosnia and Herzegovina
14
1
Botswana
53
0
Brazil
107
30
Brunei Darussalam
18
0
Bulgaria
26
2
Burkina Faso
90
7
Burundi
12
0
Cabo Verde
16
0
Cambodia
33
0
Cameroon
39
1
Canada
126
39
Central African Republic
36
3
Chad
57
1
Chile
31
14
China
90
114
Colombia
17
14
Comoros
76
3
Congo
164
12
Cook Islands
12
0
Costa Rica
15
1
Côte d'Ivoire
208
13
Croatia
10
2
Cuba
8
5
Cyprus
4
1
Czechia
26
5
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
3
7
Democratic Republic of the Congo
237
12
Denmark
50
3
Djibouti
16
0
Dominica
5
0
Dominican Republic
35
1
Ecuador
8
6
Egypt
28
6
El Salvador
14
1
Equatorial Guinea
24
0
Eritrea
3
0
Estonia
24
1
Ethiopia
42
5
Fiji
60
4
Finland
51
4
France
188
17
Gabon
21
0
Gambia
93
0
Georgia
12
0
Germany
153
37
Ghana
111
0
Greece
8
9
Grenada
6
0
Guatemala
25
0
Guinea
406
0
Guinea-Bissau
14
1
Guyana
4
2
Haiti
12
0
Holy See
8
0
Honduras
54
1
Hungary
22
4
Iceland
8
5
India
35
35
Indonesia
191
33
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
15
10
Iraq
51
0
Ireland
33
7
Israel
13
2
Italy
49
20
Jamaica
13
2
Japan
116
47
Jordan
15
2
Kazakhstan
27
19
Kenya
72
7
Kiribati
20
0
Kuwait
29
0
Kyrgyzstan
7
1
Lao People's Democratic Republic
18
6
Latvia
20
1
Lebanon
5
0
Lesotho
17
0
Liberia
28
0
Libya
3
6
Liechtenstein
4
0
Lithuania
27
2
Luxembourg
25
1
Madagascar
86
4
Malawi
23
0
Malaysia
16
13
Maldives
24
0
Mali
91
9
Malta
8
0
Marshall Islands
28
2
Mauritania
37
1
Mauritius
10
3
Mexico
33
40
Micronesia (Federated States of)
18
3
Monaco
20
0
Mongolia
20
34
Montenegro
17
1
Morocco
104
4
Mozambique
29
8
Myanmar
16
3
Namibia
50
0
Nauru
14
0
Nepal
39
1
Netherlands
40
2
New Zealand
21
4
Nicaragua
4
1
Niger
55
11
Nigeria
141
2
Niue
5
0
Norway
36
15
Oman
16
4
Pakistan
17
20
Panama
15
0
Papua New Guinea
19
0
Paraguay
30
9
Peru
29
18
Philippines
28
16
Poland
211
10
Portugal
31
3
Qatar
39
0
Republic of Korea
80
11
Republic of Moldova
11
1
Romania
25
9
Russian Federation
54
112
Rwanda
19
0
Saint Kitts and Nevis
4
0
Saint Lucia
14
0
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
6
0
Samoa
17
0
San Marino
3
3
Sao Tome and Principe
4
0
Saudi Arabia
38
9
Senegal
171
11
Serbia
23
2
Seychelles
47
2
Sierra Leone
32
0
Singapore
30
1
Slovakia
38
3
Slovenia
25
1
Solomon Islands
22
0
Somalia
7
0
South Africa
50
14
Spain
46
22
Sri Lanka
14
5
State of Palestine
24
24
Sudan
172
18
Suriname
15
1
Sweden
42
4
Switzerland
25
5
Syrian Arab Republic
2
0
Tajikistan
10
2
Thailand
73
13
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
10
0
Timor-Leste
21
0
Togo
92
5
Tonga
26
0
Trinidad and Tobago
4
1
Tunisia
40
4
Turkey
81
48
Turkmenistan
5
6
Tuvalu
21
0
Uganda
61
0
Ukraine
20
14
United Arab Emirates
73
0
United Kingdom of Great Britain
52
10
United Republic of Tanzania
31
6
United States of America
44
1017
Uruguay
8
5
Uzbekistan
5
6
Vanuatu
23
0
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
14
5
Viet Nam
44
3
Yemen
10
0
Zambia
26
2
Zimbabwe
86
2

Footnote.
1    1. There might be some small errors in the table. The parties listed by the UNFCC were not always identical to those named by the GHCN.
2    2. The source of the table of delegates was taken from:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vCHD-r7bxuh3NX6t8G7hPTT2tTcRFfydIwcfhJUVE-4/edit#gid=0



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