Lomborg: Paris climate pact will reduce temperature increase by the end of the century by a whopping 0.05°C

Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades. Paris COP21 commitments [by the EU] will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100

Bjorn Lomborg wrote to tell me yesterday about a new paper he has published in the Global Policy journal, titled: Impact of Current Climate Proposals. It shows the futility of the COP21 meeting which is essentially going to be “sound and fury, signifying nothing”.


This article investigates the temperature reduction impact of major climate policy proposals implemented by 2030, using the standard MAGICC climate model. Even optimistically assuming that promised emission cuts are maintained throughout the century, the impacts are generally small. The impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100. The full US promise for the COP21 climate conference in Paris, its so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) will reduce temperature rise by 0.031°C. The EU 20-20 policy has an impact of 0.026°C, the EU INDC 0.053°C, and China INDC 0.048°C. All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100. These impact estimates are robust to different calibrations of climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and different climate scenarios. Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades.

From his press release:

A new peer-reviewed paper by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg published in the Global Policy journal measures the actual impact of all significant climate promises made ahead of the Paris climate summit.

Governments have publicly outlined their post-2020 climate commitments in the build-up to the December’s meeting. These promises are known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs).

Dr. Lomborg’s research reveals:

  • The climate impact of all Paris INDC promises is minuscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
  • Even if we assume that these promises would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030, and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.
  • US climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.031°C (0.057°F) by 2100.
  • EU climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.053°C (0.096°F) by 2100.
  • China climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
  • The rest of the world’s climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.036°C (0.064°F) by 2100.

Overview in Celsius and Fahrenheit by the year 2100

lomborg-figure1 lomborg-table1

The global temperature change from pre-industrial, for the Do Nothing (RCP8.5) scenario, for the global promises for Paris and for Paris extended for 70 more years, as run on MAGICC.

Comments from Dr. Bjorn Lomborg

What does this mean for the Paris Summit?

Dr. Lomborg said: “Paris is being sold as the summit where we can help ‘heal the planet’ and ‘save the world’. It is no such thing. If all nations keep all their promises, temperatures will be cut by just 0.05°C (0.09°F). Even if every government on the planet not only keeps every Paris promise, reduces all emissions by 2030, and shifts no emissions to other countries, but also keeps these emission reductions throughout the rest of the century, temperatures will be reduced by just 0.17°C (0.3°F) by the year 2100.

And let’s be clear, that is very optimistic. Consider the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, never ratified by the US, and eventually abandoned by Canada and Russia and Japan. After several renegotiations, the Kyoto Protocol had been weakened to the point that the hot air left from the collapse of the Soviet Union exceeded the entire promised reductions, leaving the treaty essentially toothless.

The only reason Kyoto goals were almost achieved was the global 2008 recession.  Moreover, emissions were shifted from one country to another. The EU, the most climate-engaged bloc, saw an increase in its emission imports from China alone equaling its entire domestic CO₂ reductions. In total, 40% of all emissions were likely shifted away from the areas that made promises.

Negotiators in Paris are trying to tackle global warming in the same way that has failed for 30 years: by making promises that are individually expensive, will have little impact even in a hundred years and that many governments will try to shirk from.

This didn’t work in Kyoto, it didn’t work in Copenhagen, it hasn’t worked in the 18 other climate conferences or countless more international gatherings. The suggestion that it will make a large difference in Paris is wishful thinking.”

What should countries do instead?

Dr. Lomborg said: “Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them – which will never work – we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.

The Copenhagen Consensus on Climate project gathered 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel Laureates, who found that the smartest, long-term climate policy is to invest in green R&D, to push down the price of green energy.

Subsidizing inefficient renewables is expensive and doesn’t work. The IEA estimates that we get 0.4% of our energy from wind and solar PV right now, and even in optimistic scenarios the fraction will only rise to 2.2% by 2040. Over the next 25 years, we’ll spend about $2.5 trillion in subsidies and reduce global warming temperatures by less than 0.02°C.

Copenhagen Consensus has consistently argued for a R&D-driven approach. Fortunately, more people are recognizing that this approach is cheaper and much more likely to succeed –including the Global Apollo Program which includes Sir David King, Lord Nicholas Stern, Lord Adair Turner and Lord John Browne.

You describe a 0.05°C reduction, but the UN Climate Chief, Christina Figueres, said Paris could lead to a 2.7°C rise instead of 4°C or 5°C. Why?

Christiana Figueres quote: “The INDCs have the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, by no means enough but a lot lower than the estimated four, five, or more degrees of warming projected by many prior to the INDCs.” 

Dr. Lomborg said: “That entirely misrepresents the world’s options. The 2.7°C comes from the International Energy Agency and essentially assumes that if governments do little in Paris and then right after 2030 embark on incredibly ambitious climate reductions, we could get to 2.7°C.

That way of thinking is similar to telling the deeply indebted Greeks that just making the first repayment on their most pressing loans will put them on an easy pathway to becoming debt-free. It completely misses the point.

Figueres’ own organization estimates the Paris promises will reduce emissions by 33Gt CO₂ in total. To limit rises to 2.7°C, about 3,000Gt CO₂ would need to be reduced – or about 100 times more than the Paris commitments (see figure below). That is not optimism; it is wishful thinking.



Source:  press release

Lomborg’s analysis essentially finds that if we look at the climate impact of all the [EU] Paris promises, they will in total reduce the temperature increase by the end of the century by a whopping 0.05°C (0.086°F)

Lomborg notes this to me:

Even if we extend the Paris promises for another 70 years, essentially cutting emissions all the way through the century, we will see temperature rise just 0.17°C less by the end of the century (0.306°F).

You might find it interesting to see, that the EU promises for Paris, which will cost $300-600 billion annually, will by themselves reduce temperature by just 0.017°C (0.031°F). And the much-touted Clean Power Plan will reduce temperatures by just 0.007°F.

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November 10, 2015 5:42 am

Isn’t that within the margin of error ????

The Original Mike M
Reply to  Marcus
November 10, 2015 5:46 am

The whole thing is one big error to begin with!

Reply to  Marcus
November 10, 2015 6:36 am

yes, 0.05 C over that many decades is undetectable with current technology.

Reply to  Roy Spencer
November 10, 2015 7:23 am

“0.05 C over that many decades is undetectable with current technology”
No way, NCDC’s homogenization software could easily detect, and correct, changes that small.

Reply to  Roy Spencer
November 10, 2015 12:17 pm

Just out of curiosity:How much does it cost to hire someone to drop a large bomb on a given location-assuming ,of course there would be no animals harmed in any way?

Reply to  Roy Spencer
November 10, 2015 5:27 pm

Explain yourself.

November 10, 2015 5:47 am

The most irritating issue here is how all these studies and plans talk about returning to ‘pre-industrial climate’ which was also called the Little Ice Age!!!
This plan is insane. It was very cold during that period compared to the Medieval Warm Period which was a time of plenty for many peasants due to longer growing seasons. We have to call these climate vandals out on their plans to return us to the Little Ice Age conditions!
This is why every warming ‘study’ assumes this will be evil whereas returning to Little Ice Age conditions is fantastic.

Reply to  emsnews
November 10, 2015 6:07 am

And all predicated on man made CO2 having any discernible and measurable effect on temperature or weather events!

Reply to  emsnews
November 11, 2015 3:05 am

Interestingly, there was recently a “study” which purported to show that temperatures over 13.5 degrees was bad for civilisation. Think how much better a temperature of 0 degrees would be for it. We would enter a new golden age. Or was that hoarfrost white?

November 10, 2015 5:50 am

And the costs of the Paris proposals? Probably trillions of dollars.
To kill capitalism they will need to implement communism. I hope they will not succeed. The world is in for a lot of suffering if they do.

November 10, 2015 5:51 am

Dr. Lomborg said: “Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them – which will never work – we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.

Missing quote mark.
But the point is well made.
Switching from the cheapest form of energy is harmful. So if you want people to switch from fossil fuels you need to make something else the cheapest form of energy.
That means a new, plentiful form of energy. Which rules out Geothermal in most places.
That means a new, readily available on demand form of energy. Which rules out Wind and Solar.
That means a new, low impact form of energy. Which rules out large-scale Hydro.
So invest in nuclear, tidal and wave power research.
And stick with the fossil fuels until the alternatives are economic.

Reply to  MCourtney
November 10, 2015 6:11 am

MCoutney, agree, but would also add “reliable”, Our economies depend upon computers and if they cannot function our economies will crash.
To use some common sense here the costs for this farce are way out of proportion to the achievable results

Reply to  MCourtney
November 10, 2015 7:11 am

So invest in nuclear, tidal and wave power research.
both wave and tidal power are intermittent. Waves depend on wind. The tides are cyclical. They wax and wane with the moon.
The only solution that is currently available is nuclear, but the present technology is far from adequate, because it can be easily be weaponized as a dirty bomb.
the problem is that people have no real comprehension of how much more power is compressed into fossil fuels as compared to green power of a comparable size.
For example, from my experience a standard 10kg tank of propane was the energy equivalent of 1 solar panel for 1 year in the tropics. But the propane is much more convenient, and avoids the large capital outlay.

Reply to  ferdberple
November 10, 2015 7:20 am

And you can move around that bottle of gas and use when needed.

DD More
Reply to  ferdberple
November 10, 2015 2:32 pm

On June 26, 1954, at Obninsk, Russia, the nuclear power plant APS-1 with a net electrical output of 5 MW was connected to the power grid, the world’s first nuclear power plant that generated electricity for commercial use. On August 27, 1956 the first commercial nuclear power plant, Calder Hall 1, Eng-land, with a net electrical output of 50 MW was connected to the national grid.
Nuclear Power – 60 years – Dirty Bombs – 0 – Scary thoughts – unlimited.

Reply to  ferdberple
November 15, 2015 1:08 pm

Ferd writes: “The only solution that is currently available is nuclear, but the present technology is far from adequate, because it can be easily be weaponized as a dirty bomb.”
Ferd, I don’t think nuclear reactors are really needed to build “dirty” bombs. Sure, if you want to use something really exotic you need a breeder reactor but you can get some pretty lethal stuff right out of the ground and refine it with some bicycle parts and a few well trained squirrels.
There are relatively safe nuclear reactor designs. There is no political will to build them.

Reply to  MCourtney
November 10, 2015 5:26 pm

The IEA says windpower is now well cheaper than coal.
So opposing windpower is harmful, in your words. Please stop it.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 6:29 pm

Windpower is ‘only’ cheaper than fossil fuel when:
A) – The turbines are run 24 hr/day at ‘predicted peak’ power. Doesn’t happen ever.
B) – Wind power cost claims are based on fully subsidized wind power by taxes.
C) – Wind power costs always seem to forget maintenance costs, construction costs, end of life costs, transportation costs, land usage costs, dead birds, dead bats, impacts to power lines.
D) – Wind power costs always assume that someone else is dealing with intermittency and load costs to the grid.
E) – Wind Costs never mention that fossil fueled or nuclear generating stations must be online to cover wind power gaps.
F) – Wind power is not observed to be lasting their predicted lifetimes.
We don’t have to oppose wind power, though we do object to wind power due to turbine direct damage to wildlife.
We do ask that wind power take ownership of their total responsibilities and operate without taxpayer subsidies.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 6:37 pm

[Note: “Kent Pitman” is a sockpuppet name. ~mod.]

November 10, 2015 6:01 am

“Lomborg: Paris climate pact will reduce temperature increase by the end of the century by a whopping 0.05°C”
That sounds like it contains a high degree of certainty – “will reduce”.
Wouldn’t a more “could, at most, reduce” be better?
The primary bone of contention is the exact amount of warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions and Lomborg is professing a certainty, is he not?

Reply to  JohnWho
November 10, 2015 5:24 pm

Actually, the “exact” amount of warming isn’t much of a bone of contention, it is accepted that the true number falls within a range of values that have been established by over two dozen research groups over the years.
The true bone of contention is convincing governments to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and require them to pay for the damage they are profiting from, which is the only way to fund the necessary cuts.

François GM
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 5:56 pm

What damage are you referring to ?

François GM
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 6:02 pm

Vince, activate your brain cells, and try to imagine what the world would be like had it not been for the fossil fuel industry.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 6:35 pm

There is not any ‘exact’ amount of warming. There is a lot of ‘noise’ claiming one or another warming points in that range; yet only the minimal rates are confirmed as ‘possible’ by actual observations.
Possible, yet there is zero proof that any of the observed warming is due to CO2. It is also possible that all of the observed warming is due to ‘natural’ causes.
There is no bone of contention convincing governments to oppose fossil fuel use. The bone of contention is again a complete lack of observed proof.

Reply to  JohnWho
November 10, 2015 8:09 pm

A global 0.05 deg. C. detection is lost in the noise of natural variation.

Reply to  JohnWho
November 15, 2015 1:26 pm

JohnWho writes: “Wouldn’t a more “could, at most, reduce” be better? ”
Good catch John! That happens to me all the time and I hate it when it does. I fall into the trap of accepting the nonsensical, unfounded claims made by the alarmist “scientists”, then present my own rebuttals and arguments on a playing field of their construction.
Yes. Uncertainty in the claims must be expressed. No one has demonstrated there is any measurable effect of CO₂ on warming (or any measurable warming as a result for that matter) so it would be a concession, in the footsteps of the Stockholm Syndrome, to suggest any changes in CO₂ emissions would have a measurable effect.
Very good point.

November 10, 2015 6:03 am

I am impressed that he speaks the truth on the upcoming Paris charade, however his solution is to make green energy cheaper. This fails to address the absolute inability for green energy to meet our needs. Making it cheaper is as useful as adding more deckchairs to the titanic. Unfortunately he is still a believer and thus irrational.

Reply to  MarloweJ
November 10, 2015 8:27 am

Well, I’ll agree with Lomborg on this one. At the moment, it’s not viable. It won’t be viable until we have a capacity multiple times our needs. However, there’s nothing wrong with looking into it. We might even be able to wheedle some nuclear research into the mix.
Research and development seems to be the best approach. If we pour in a few billion dollars and get nothing, then we at least we have discovered a number of things not to do, and we will hopefully get at least a few incremental improvements useful in niche applications.
It’s a darn sight better than what we’ve been doing.

Reply to  benofhouston
November 10, 2015 3:10 pm

The great thing about capitalism is that these sorts of things will naturally transition when needed. I think you are suggesting by “we pour in a few billion dollars” you meen taxpayers. Why not let private industry. They were working on solar etc. before big green, and they probably would have been at about the same place we are now even without big green. Those ‘few billion dollars’ you mention have gone up in smoke.

Reply to  benofhouston
November 10, 2015 9:30 pm

“The great thing about capitalism is that these sorts of things will naturally transition when needed.”
Um, no. Nuclear energy is a perfect example. It never would have taken off without major government research money in the late 1940s and 50s. Nuclear energy has received 48% of total DOE energy research funding since 1948. Fossil fuels has received 25%, renewable 12%.

Reply to  benofhouston
November 11, 2015 4:51 am

Jeff, businesses tend to only research things that are safe, or at least give foreseeable benefits, and wealthy patrons can no longer contribute enough to fund significant “big science” projects. Business research will give incremental benefits and applications in spades, but full-out new avenues just aren’t going to spring up completely organically. Interestingly, our current funding of solar and wind are probably hindering their development, as there aren’t enough incentives to make them good enough or cheap enough to be viable on their own.
Besides, as a practical solution, saying “do nothing” is not going to be an acceptable solution to people who have been told for years that they have to stop global warming. Even if we win the argument, people want to do something productive, even if it’s meaningless. We have to first convince them that it’s not all that bad a situation and the solutions they propose are horrible, and then we have to produce something for them to back that will work better and be cheaper.

Reply to  benofhouston
November 15, 2015 1:52 pm

The largest blockade to nuclear energy research is public policy on the deployment of nuclear power stations. Technology aside, no one wants Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi in the back yard and that is the problem.
Private industry is not going to invest billions in research on technology they won’t be able to use. Nuclear technology is trapped in irrelevance by public policy and regulatory capture; it cannot succeed. Until that situation changes there will be no nuclear solution and no end to the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  MarloweJ
November 10, 2015 11:03 am

I’d give the good doctor the benefit of the doubt and assume that by “cheaper” he means “viable economic alternative” which would encompass uptime and reliability, however achieved, not just a simple naked $/watt comparison.

Reply to  MarloweJ
November 12, 2015 4:23 pm

Marlowe From what I can deduce he seems to have a very broad definition of ‘green’ energy that includes oil derived from fracking.

November 10, 2015 6:25 am

Thank God they will fail. Don’t any of these morons bother to ponder what hapens when they reduce CO2 to preindustrial levels? Massive starvation, for one. And how do they plan to counter that by producing CO2 after they have eliminated all sources of CO2? Light all the forests afire?

Reply to  arthur4563
November 10, 2015 5:20 pm

Maybe you can step me through this:
– who is planning on reducing CO2 to pre-industrial levels?
– considering CO2 level is now higher than it ever was during our species’ entire history, *how* is anybody going to reduce it?
– who is going to “eliminate all sources of CO2”?
– are you imagining that the entire world was a barren CO2-free desert until Mankind came along and started emitting CO2?
– if so, it may surprise you to learn that our natural environment has a thing called the carbon cycle….
Check it out:comment image

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 8:00 am

“– are you imagining that the entire world was a barren CO2-free desert until Mankind came along and started emitting CO2?”
Well, almost. During the last Interglacial it appears that “natural” atmospheric CO2 got down to levels around 180-220 ppm., just above “carbon starvation” where C3 plant life may die or fail to reproduce. These are among the lowest levels of CO2 in Earth’s geologic history, as Mother Nature seems to naturally remove carbon from the atmosphere and bury it. I may be wrong but I think it was Dr. Moore (ex-Greenpeace) who made the observation that mankind has fortuitously begun to put back into the atmosphere some of that long buried carbon, to the benefit of both humans and plant life. The “normal” level of atmospheric CO2 would seem to be several times what it is today.

Walt D.
November 10, 2015 6:32 am

The fallacy is to believe that any of this has anything to do with changing the temperature of the planet. This is a new form of foreign aid. As the economist Peter Bauer put it foreign aid is “poor people in rich countries having money taken away from them to be given to rich people in poor countries.
This is why the Climate Change establishment hates Bjorn Lomberg and will try to sabotage him, even though he starts off making the same assumptions of a true believer. His analysis shows that what is being done is futile.
Lord Monckton is the same – using their own data and methodology, he blows a hole in their analysis.

Reply to  Walt D.
November 10, 2015 5:16 pm

But…hang on….the coal companies and Lomborg are telling us all the poor people in the world need cheap coal.
The coal industry receives government subsidies amounting to hundreds of billions every year.
Is that foreign aid?

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 6:48 pm

Name any actual subsidy received by coal! Taxes and reduced taxes are never subsidies.
You’re full of hundreds of billions of bogus information.
And you’re beginning to sound like one of the pet sock puppet vermin that love to come here and argue nonsense.
Wrinkly loathsome social pariahs who detest honest science frequenting discussion sites as repulsive sock puppets.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 9:34 pm

“Name any actual subsidy received by coal!”
Of course coal has gotten subsidies as expressed in federally funded research. Here is a history:

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 2:07 pm

Nice link Chris. It’s a shame there are no subsidies to coal in the link or the referenced research.
No subsidies for coal identified!! Only informative and comical links.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 6:32 pm

Chris … I don’t think researching creating synthetic fuels from coal during the 1940s and 1950s qualifies as ‘subsidies’ to the coal industry … and it certainly doesn’t qualify as current subsidies.
Did you even bother to read your article that is clearly labeled “Early Days of Coal Research?”
I really hate it when people offer links to totally irrelevant material. It’s a waste of time and effort.

November 10, 2015 6:39 am

“THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED” – one more time around… Right-o!
“PARIS – Canada’s environment minister says the new Liberal government agrees the science is indisputable – that global warming is real and that urgent action is needed to tackle the problem.
Catherine McKenna is in Paris meeting with fellow ministers from around the world…”
“She completed her Bachelor’s degree in French and international relations at the University of Toronto, earned a graduate degree in international relations at the London School of Economics, and a law degree from McGill. She is called to the Bars of Ontario and New York.”

Reply to  Allan MacRae
November 10, 2015 3:14 pm

I can’t believe that you guys (not you personally, the general ‘you’ of Ontario, Quebec and BC) elected these loons! Now they will bleed Alberta and Saskatchewan dry trying to hide the destruction they bring to Canada.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 10, 2015 9:14 pm

Not me Jeff. I voted Conservative and I live in Alberta.
The latest elections in Alberta and Canada were national IQ tests, and we the people utterly failed.
I have publicly opposed global warming alarmist nonsense for three decades.
I was the one who proved that CO2 lagged temperature at all measured time scales.
Now I say natural global cooling will resume by about 2020.
Bundle up!
Regards, Allan

November 10, 2015 6:48 am

But hey, it’s a great place to party with other people’s money.

November 10, 2015 7:04 am

Thank goodness all of their climate models are accurate to 0.0001 deg C. Otherwise we wouldn’t know how important this conference is.
Now it’s settled?

Reply to  DNA
November 10, 2015 5:14 pm

So you’ve got better ones?
If so, get them added to this:

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 6:56 pm

Wow, Vince. You found a pretty colored graph of someone’s wild-a$$ed prediction of runaway global warming! Hysterical climate alarmism at its finest. Too bad that real world observations don’t support your hysteria.
Temps haven’t risen for almost 20 years, according to satellite readings. Sea ice in the Arctic is increasing. The Antarctic is not melting down. The seas haven’t shown any increase in sea level rise. The pH of the oceans haven’t changed beyond the usual daily/seasonal/location variations. Polar bear numbers are healthy. There have been no widespread extinctions. Extreme weather events haven’t increased.
But your graph has such pretty colors … maybe we should believe that instead of all those pesky real world observations and measurements.

November 10, 2015 7:06 am

What doesn’t make sense to me is that the impact of China fulfilling every promise to their cuts (0.048C) is the same as the entire world fulfilling every promise to all their cuts (0.048C).Can someone explain this?

Reply to  trafamadore
November 10, 2015 10:15 am

There are two different scenarios calculated, and they are confusingly presented. One calculation is everyone meeting their commits by 2030 and the other calculation is keeping those commits through to 2100. China warps both numbers since their commit is to grow emissions aggressively until 2030 and only start cutting then.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
November 12, 2015 4:40 pm

Davidmhoffer- Don’t forget that China has now abandoned its 1 child policy. By 2030 there could be be a steep increase in its population and consequent demand for energy. China will do what China wants to do and it won’t be about to reduce its energy consumption – especially it Obama want it to.

Juan Slayton
November 10, 2015 7:07 am

The climate impact of all Paris INDC promises is minuscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
Should this read (0.086 F) by 2030?

November 10, 2015 7:11 am

And the diurnal swing is about how much on the average Parisian street at this time of year?

November 10, 2015 7:11 am

Thanks, Bjorn Lomborg, for pointing out how even if we accept the IPCC’s conclusions, the net result from CO2 emissions reductions, the bottom line, is very negative.
Here I am counting “not warming” as a desirable status, when in real terms the desirable status it is “not cooling”. This because colder weather kills more people than warmer weather.

Bruce Cobb
November 10, 2015 7:18 am

“we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.”
The idea of “green” energy is a sham. We need cheap, reliable energy. End of story. The only alternative to fossil fuels for electricity will probably be some type of nuclear. As for alternatives for heat and transport, that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax. Probably not going to happen for a long time.

Jeff Alberts
November 10, 2015 7:24 am

Lomborg seems to be assuming the completely meaningless metric called “global temperature” is actually rising.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 10, 2015 5:08 pm

Yes, because that is an established fact. Don’t be so lonely out there on the fringe…

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 6:51 pm

Another falsehood!
It must be lonely deep in those slimy dark voids you inhabit.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 8:32 pm

You’re right, Vince. It is an established fact that “global temperature” is physically meaningless. Thanks for the validation.

November 10, 2015 8:08 am

Molten Salt Reactors are the low cost to build, as cheap as a coal fired plant to build; as they are low pressure and don’t require the expensive pressure domes, 170 atmosphere plumbing and triple water cooling systems. Lomborg overlooks energy density of wind which is 1/5 millionth of that of nuclear. Questions to environmentalists do you want to add 15 million wind turbines or only 30 thousand small inherently safe MSRs to create the forecast need to add 5 cubic miles of oil energy equivalent by 2050. http://www.egeneration.org

Reply to  visionar2013
November 10, 2015 3:17 pm

The problem with Molten Salt is that no one knows how to build them. The limited research done was back in the 50’s or 60’s, and limited to one or two research facilities. There are also some serious drawbacks to the technology. After reading the wikipedia article, it became clear that molten salt is not the home run a lot of people are preaching.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 10, 2015 4:11 pm

The story of Monju is pretty interesting:
$10billion spent over 29 years, total of one hour of power delivered so far.
…all paid for by the taxpayer, of course…
$10,000 would pay for enough wind turbines to deliver 2 reactors’-worth of power to the grid. And the on-going costs for turbines are a tiny fraction of the on-going costs per MW for a reactor.
Nuclear is a tired, expensive, and dated technology and a ridiculously risky method to boil water to generate power. Waste of time.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 10, 2015 6:56 pm

You mean like the 1 Trillion plus dollars spent on ‘climate change’, solar, wind that vanished without anything substantive? Those green cheap energy companies have mostly failed.
Existing nuclear power stations and hydro are the cheapest forms of power per MW.
Wind isn’t cheap, it is definitely not cheaper than any of the fossil fuels. Knock off all of the freebies and subsidies and wind is darn expensive.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 11, 2015 2:01 pm

The “Engineering Disasters” TV series had a program about problems with MSR’s.
Can’t recall the program number.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 17, 2015 12:33 pm

Jeff, just starting a 5.5 GW project using MSRs…its worked out how to build safe, cheap and very safe and very fast. Cheaper than coal.

David Wells
November 10, 2015 8:30 am

Lomborg is almost right up until the point at which he says we should make green energy so cheap everyone will want to use it. Greens continue to preach about investing more in green energy without ever saying what green energy we should be investing in, just more bland generalisation. We know that oil gas uranium and coal are finite but no one appears to consider the huge volume of raw commodities needed to facilitate the green dream. We consume 160,000 TWh’s of energy and if you wanted to replace that with wind – for example purposes only – it would take 2,766,611 voyages to carry 1,051,312,500,000 tons of iron ore in a 380,000 ton iron ore carrier would burn 13,418,063,350 tons of bunker fuel so of course its green. Then exactly where would you put them just the niggling 13 billion hectares of land.
Lomborg is the most acceptable of his chosen tribe but even he flounders as soon as the discussion turns to what actually can replace fossil and nuclear and right now there isn’t anything. Oil at 95 million barrels a day is unique with 600 different produces in daily use across the planet, whatever anyone would want to believe there is a hope in hell that this bounty can ever be replaced, the manufacturing system would be gigantic and the – again – precious finite resources to enable the process do not exist.
Thank goodness therefore that it looks as though oil will be around for some considerable time at least it will see me out.
According to Figueres we cannot burn oil coal and gas to live but we can burn huge volumes of what she hates in order to enable her Alice in Wonderland fantasy parallel universe.
This malignant bunch of illegitimate mentally deranged halfwits have used invalid models to create and support their fantasy world and now they are using IAM’s – integrated assessment models – to provide a socialised solution to a problem that only exists within their parallel universe, you really could not make it up.

Reply to  David Wells
November 10, 2015 9:53 am

Agree totally! But would also like to add that Thorium reactors are not on the Green lefties wish list, the reason being that we would still have cheap reliable energy. Their thinking is negative, it is not about saving the Earth if it was they wouldn’t want ugly bird and bat slicers/fryers that deface the landscape. It is purely about control and the implementation of a world wide socialist “utopia”which they cannot get via the ballot box, because the 1st world are not stupid enough to vote in extreme left wing parties (although France did come pretty close).
This is their last chance because they have the EU and Obama on their side, this will change (hopefully), when Obama leaves office and if Cameron doesn’t take us out of the EU inspiring other countries to do the same, then the migrant issue and inevitable internal terrorist attacks will be the downfall of the EU. The fact that we do not have Australia and Canada making rational decisions is also bad news.

Reply to  andrewmharding
November 10, 2015 4:12 pm

Maybe whether the greens liked Thorium reactors or not might be a little bit more relevant if those reactors were actually real?

Reply to  David Wells
November 12, 2015 4:52 am

David Wells wrote:
“This malignant bunch of illegitimate mentally deranged halfwits have used invalid models to create and support their fantasy world and now they are using IAM’s – integrated assessment models – to provide a socialised solution to a problem that only exists within their parallel universe, you really could not make it up.”
David, tell us how your really feel about the global warming alarmists (“warmists”) – don’t hold back to spare anyone’s feelings. 🙂
I try to keep my tone much more moderate, respectfully referring to purveyors of global warming alarmist fantasies as “scoundrels and imbeciles”. Keep in mind the two terms are not mutually exclusive.
Regards, Allan

Transport by Zeppelin
November 10, 2015 8:32 am

So, what Lomborg has shown is, that reducing GHG’s by 33 GT, as is the Paris best outcome, will cost $300-600 billion annually. But to achieve anything useful actual emission cuts would have to be 100 times that amount.
sac re bleu

Reply to  Transport by Zeppelin
November 10, 2015 4:14 pm

Actually, Lomborg has shown nothing of the sort, which is no real surprise based on his past form and his lack of science or economics expertise or qualifications.
A bit more scepticism for what Lomborg writes is probably in order, I think…

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 7:10 pm

Vince …
Your science or economics expertise or qualifications are . . . . . . ????

Dermot O'Logical
November 10, 2015 8:58 am

I presume the 0.05C figure was calculated using a climate sensitivity within the IPCC-approved range?
If so, 0.05C will be the maximum reduction, since Nature appears to believe the actual sensitivity is less than the IPCC’s calculated value.

Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
November 10, 2015 3:48 pm

Someone on Climate Etc. said the assumption was 3.0.

November 10, 2015 9:22 am

Dr. Lomborg said: “Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them – which will never work – we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.
Earth to Dr. Lomborg….

Reply to  Latitude
November 10, 2015 2:51 pm

Yeah, he forgot to add ” … that cures cancer”.
That is what we need. Cheap green energy that cures cancer… and reduces the entropy of the Universe.

Reply to  urederra
November 10, 2015 4:16 pm
Reply to  urederra
November 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Reality is something you do have trouble with.
From “World Nuclear Association’s” ‘Electricity Transmission Systems (Updated October 2015)’

“…Austria is another country experiencing difficulties due to input from subsidized wind and solar PV. The Austrian Power Grid (APG) is having increasing difficulty in balancing unpredictable supply to demand requirements. This has raised the need for adequate sourcing of balancing power, requiring dependable sources such as gas-fired generating units to be available. In Austria most of these are now out of service, unable to compete economically, and hence the country has high reliance on uncertain German supply. APG proposes capacity payments to keep fossil fuel capacity in standby mode, especially as further wind capacity comes on line with limited grid access…”

About that 100% fantasy…
From Renewables International, ‘Is Austria now practically “nuclear-free”?’

“Last month, Austrian grid regulator E-Control reported that 99.7 percent of electricity consumed in the country, including imports, is certified as non-nuclear. Green power proponents nonetheless remain skeptical…”

“…Not everyone is convinced. Stefan Moidl of IG Windkraft points out that electricity certificates can be traded separately from power sales, allowing firms to “buy clean hydropower certificates and stick the labels on dirty nuclear power” (report in German).
In his calculation, coal and nuclear are behind 30.9 percent of foreign hydropower certificates – an assumption for which, unfortunately, no evidence is provided. Because 37.5 percent of non-renewable electricity in Europe comes from nuclear plants, IG Windkraft puts the actual share of nuclear power on the Austrian grid at 11 percent.
Whatever the actual number is, the discussion is similar to the one in Germany held over a decade ago, when utilities first started offering green electricity. Proponents of renewables warned the public not to sign on for green power from providers that also sell conventional electricity. As they explained, you would then only be paying a premium for the small share of green power these firms already produced…”

Odd that none of those eco-buffoonery news articles bothered to check. It’s darn hard to find in the decent news sources too; e.g. WSJ, FT.
There is also an article about how these same places are producing electricity and selling it at 1/4 the actual cost and then hitting subscribers with ‘surcharges’. Surcharges end up on a total bill, not on the MW cost indexes. Tricky buggers.

November 10, 2015 9:25 am

The impact of all of the emission decreases will be undetectable, particularly as no gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can warm Earth’s surface. It’s simple thermodynamics. The “greenhouse” gases in the upper troposphere are supposed to re-radiate absorbed upwelling IR radiation back to the surface, thus warming the surface. The problem is that the upper troposphere is -17 deg C and Earth’s surface is 15 deg C, 32 deg C warmer. A cold object cannot warm a hot object. The energy levels of material on the surface that are equivalent to the downwelling IR are already full and the IR will be reflected (rejected) and sent back upward again, to be lost to space. They are giving CO2 and even water vapor much too much weight here, particularly when they ignore the global heat engine, the water cycle, which carries 85% of the solar energy input budget to altitude to be lost to space (this is Trenberth’s “missing heat”).
Admittedly, there is a small rate of IR being absorbed by greenhouse gases and converted directly to heat energy in the atmosphere, but this is a small effect as it works in both directions, such that this effect is a wash during daylight. However, at night, these gases serve to cool the air, converting heat energy to IR that is radiated in all directions. The surface is still warmer, so the IR is reflected and the IR goes out to space. This si why the air cools so very rapidly after sunset and little breezes kick up quickly in the shadows of clouds on a day with scudding clouds.
In other words, all of the policies proposed by anyone to decrease emissions of any kind have nothing to do with climate and all to do with wealth redistribution, crippling the industrialized countries, and forever stunting development of developing countries. They have no intention of letting any nation or peoples have a nice life. The UN wants to be the world government, which would have to be socialist and totalitarian, with saving the planet as the excuse for taking over.
If you have to lie to get what you want, then it is something you do not deserve in the first place. The ends DO NOT justify the means. They want the world to live in a huge lie.

Reply to  higley7
November 10, 2015 4:21 pm

“The energy levels of material on the surface that are equivalent to the downwelling IR are already full and the IR will be reflected (rejected) and sent back upward again, to be lost to space.”
So you admit a bunch of heat has been trapped by the CO2 and is spending more time down here with us than it would otherwise have done so, had there been no CO2?
Your story is a mish-mash of the completely non-sensical, the demonstrably untrue, the factoidal, the irrelevant and the embarrassingly illogical.
CO2’s absorption spectrum is a well-known, measurable fact.
The atmospheric greenhouse effect is a well-known, measurable fact.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 8:35 pm

@ whirly vince – Yea, you are a leftist troll, alright. As usual for your type you resort to loaded words that are empty of substance and, in the end, think we are going to be amazed by your lack of real data to support anything you have to say. Practically everybody who posts here knows there is a greenhouse effect. We all know there has been warming. We also know that, according to satellite data, the earth has not warmed significantly for the last 18 years 9 months. Many of the people posting on this site are scientists and researchers who readily display their real knowledge of the subject. To attack them using distortion and dis-information just makes you look like a leftist moron. Oh! That’s right! You are one.

November 10, 2015 9:36 am

Aren’t the calculations based on IPCC scenario 8.5? An how far off the real temperature is the 8.5 scenario at the moment?
WOW – just noticed the ENSO Meter – took a big jump. What happened?

November 10, 2015 9:36 am

Imagine that 1.3bn people in the world without electricity actually achieve the dream of development and miraculously manage it with just 6kw each per day.
The result? More than 10 United Kingdom size economies firing up.
I have a sneaking suspicion that cheap ‘green’ energy will struggle to meet this demand.

Reply to  DVan
November 10, 2015 5:05 pm

According to the IEA, windpower is now cheaper than coal.
I have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t really care enough about poor people in the 3rd world to support their quest for getting access to the cheapest form of electricity though…

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 5:22 pm

vincewhirlwind says:
According to the IEA, windpower is now cheaper than coal.
Preposterous nonsense.
Coal costs around 6¢ – 8¢ a kwh. Windmill power — when it’s even available — costs in excesas of 25¢/kwh.
Coal power is always available. Windmills work when there’s wind.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 7:45 pm

What an odd argument? Demean the poor and the poster at the same time.
Why is it so hard to recognize that everyone suffers under eco-lunacy with the poor getting the worst of it? So to bolster your lack of humanity you attack those who seek to aid the poor?!
I said loathsome earlier, I need to add totally repugnant moral values to your description too.
Do you also attend cock and dog fights too?

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 13, 2015 6:39 am

Show the EIA link. This kind of nonsense, often a made up statistics by green media, is common. Here are the facts: In my state, wholesale electricity cost is 2 c/kWh. That’s the price to compete with. The price on my residential monthly bill is 8 c/kWh. The Cape Cod Wind project was canceled because there were no investors (aside from the governments) that would agree to BUY the wind electricity at the projected 25 c/kWh (and sell it at 2 c/kWh while paying dividends, insurance, debt, and make profit).

Louis LeBlanc
November 10, 2015 9:43 am

Shouldn’t that be “could possibly reduce the temperature increase if my model analysis is correct?”

Gary Pearse
November 10, 2015 10:07 am

“…their impact will be undetectable for many decades”.
Bjorn, I’m sure you meant only the impact of CO2 pledges, not the impact of the $300-600B/yr cost!!! I’m also sure you are using the idea of making renewables the cheapest option as clever rhetoric. But yes, it goes without saying, let’s use the cheapest (reliable) source – it’s what we have always done until the present age of unhinged reason.
Anyway another, so far unrecognized, looming reality (unrecognized because of head-in-sand disorder) will kill the EU/UN crafted CAGW before 2050. Unfortunately it will also kill Euro democracy, freedom, culture, art, civilization, justice system…by facilitating a demography that will relegate ‘heritage’ Europeans to a minority by 2050. I wonder if the hysterical and unreasonable fixation on CAGW in this patch of earth isn’t a symptom of psychological transference or diversion of some kind by it’s rulers.

Steve Oregon
November 10, 2015 10:20 am

Is it even possible to reliably measure the global average temperature down to the 100ths of a degree?
Is the margin of error on the .05 degree presumption a big part or most of it?

November 10, 2015 12:08 pm

I’m not understanding something about this – maybe it’s the timeframes, or I’m misremembering the relevant carbon cycle volumes, or my math is wrong (always a real possibility). Regarding this: “Figueres’ own organization estimates the Paris promises will reduce emissions by 33Gt CO₂ in total. To limit rises to 2.7°C, about 3,000Gt CO₂ would need to be reduced…”. I assume they mean over the next 15 years to 2030? But we’re only producing something like ~30Gt of CO2 a year (compared to roughly ~750Gt from natural sources), so between now and 2030 (at the current rate) we’ll only add 450-500Gt. So why is anyone talking about a reduction 6x greater than our total contribution? Sorry to be dense, but can someone make this clearer? Thanks.

Reply to  ewb
November 10, 2015 4:54 pm

It’s not that you’re dense, it’s that Lomborg is a non-scientist and so isn’t very careful about not comparing apples with unicorns. Who knows what he’s on about with his “3,000”? Well done for being sceptical!
This is why it’s often better to read original sources rather than dodgy 2nd-hand nonsense from suspect characters with no expertise in economics:
“For a 50 per cent probability of staying below 2 °C, the AR5 (see table 2.2 of the Synthesis Report,
available at ) indicates
cumulative CO2 emissions of 1,300 Gt CO2 after 2011. Considering the aggregate effect of the
INDCs, global cumulative CO2 emissions are expected to equal 42 (40–43) per cent by 2025 and 58
(56–59) per cent by 2030 of that 1,300 Gt CO2.”
In other words, cumulative emissions of 1300Gt for the 89 years leading up to 2100 is a good figure to aim at coming in well below.
For some bizarre reason, Lomborg has completely ignored some of the emissions reduction targets implemented in some countries when doing his high-school-level maths, so that’s probably how he came up with this “3,000” number to confuse people.

Mike Smith
November 10, 2015 12:56 pm

One day, a long, long time from now, a large number of former environmentalists are going to be ever-so-slightly cross with one Albert Gore for leading them to their current state of poverty lacking food, shelter, and healthcare.
They will tell their children stories of how wonderful it was when they had full tummies and hot baths and iPhones and electricity on demand. And how much fun in was to drive an automobile to the mall, or bowling alley, or ice cream store!

4 eyes
Reply to  Mike Smith
November 10, 2015 1:35 pm

Wrong I reckon. Greenies will always be happy just looking for something bad about the human race to justify condemning it. Just enjoying life itself is self indulgent in their eyes and deserves disdain.

Mike Smith
Reply to  4 eyes
November 10, 2015 4:20 pm

Nah, they will still be superior and more noble. It won’t be their fault, of course. But they like their creature comforts and they won’t have any problem throwing AlGore under the bus in a heartbeat.

Owen in GA
November 10, 2015 1:57 pm

My nightmare scenario: The Paris COP gets big, economy-destroying pledges, and we get man-made data-manipulated cooling of the terrestrial data sets, while the satellite series all show near-flat temps with occasional step changes. The politicians all declare success and destroy the rest of the economies of the world leading to 5 billion+ dead, mostly-poor, people around the world.

Reply to  Owen in GA
November 10, 2015 5:00 pm

Don’t worry – renewables don’t destroy anybody’s economy.
Austria is now 75% renewable, they import far less energy than they used to, and the energy industry now employs far more people.
Additionally, their economy is now insulated from energy price-shocks.
All in all, renewables have been very good for the economy in Austria, the rest of the world needs to follow ASAP.

François GM
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 5:47 pm

Vince, which two countries have invested the most in renewables per capita ? Hint: the two countries where electricity is most expensive in the world: Germany and Denmark. And guess what ? No reductions in CO2 emissions. Why ? Because reliable back-up power is required when renewables don’t generate anything.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 8:45 pm

Ask the British about this. Their green power has impoverished the economy and the power grid. They just now had to shut down factories to provide enough electricity for homes in one sector of the grid. Operators are now expressing concern that if they are having problems this early, when real winter hits they will be having total shutdowns of industry to keep people from freezing to death. Meanwhile, the very workers that are forced to stay home wont be earning money to pay for the expensive green power, if its available. The government actually give money to the factories to offset the down time. Debt will just keep piling up.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 11:24 pm

November 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm
Don’t worry – renewables don’t destroy anybody’s economy.”
You go ask anyone (Not involved in that industry) in Adelaide, South Australia about that. You will get a different opinion. And when oil runs out for Norway, ask how will they pay for their very generous welfare state.

Henrik Oelund
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 12:06 am

Not quite.
According to Austrian Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich Austria has a target of 34% renewable energy by 2020 and 100% self-sufficiency in energy by 2050.
And they have a lot of Hydro – don’t need backup for that 🙂
In Denmark we have no hydro and no sun. And no nuclear. Only a hell of a lot of Bird-choppers!
I can tell by looking at my electricity bill 🙁

richard verney
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 2:02 am

You are being stuffed, just like the turkey this Christmas.
A good job that you have the Norwegians for neighbours, at least they have some natural resources, but then again, I have seen that they sometimes charge the Danes to take the excess energy when the wind is blowing too strongly and which would damage the Danish grid if it could not be dumped. That is no doubt a win win situation for Norway since they probably use that energy for pumped hydro storage, and can then later sell that energy back to the Danes when the wind is not blowing.
‘Me thinks’, the Danish government have come up with a good energy policy. A good job that Denmark has other charms, or life would be miserable.

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 11, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: “Austria is now 75% renewable”
Austria only has installed capacity in 2014 of :
771 MW peak Solar PV.
2,095 MW nameplate wind.
Less than Romania in both cases!!!
I bet that you didn’t know that.
You can look this up on wikipedia.
They DO have high renewables consumption.
Truth is that they have a massive hydroelectric generation capacity and this counts towards their renewables target.
So – is that why the green left are obsessively resisting expansion of hydroelectric.
Hydroelectric power – the only renewable that gets fiercely resisted by the greens.
The figures are easily obtained from pages such as this.
It’s worth checking before you believe the hype:

Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 13, 2015 6:53 am

Texas, Cape Cod, and Denmark Wind Power
Texas generates more electricity from Wind Turbine Generators (WTG) than any other state in the Union. The question is: How much does that help Texas utilities ease the burden on their traditional power plants? Robert Bryce, the author of the acclaimed book POWER HUNGRY, plotted the Texas utilities data, and I am presenting here the pertinent part of the analysis, the electricity flow during the hot summer days of 2011.
With a slight variation from day to day, the overall electricity flow was 65 GW during the hottest hours, of which wind-mills provided 1 GW, or 1.5 %, on the average. The WTGs output varied from near zero to 2 GW.
The small percentage of the wind derived electricity and its variability illustrates that the WTGs were irrelevant if their purpose was to replace any of the traditional plants, or to lower the number of new ones that have to be built to cover the ever-increasing demand. Although the above 1.5 % is already almost negligible, the fact that winds may and do stop completely, sometimes for days in a row, is a reason enough to not count on the WTG’s output, particularly when it is needed most (winds die in hot weather).
But there must be savings for the 1.5 % wind-made electricity, some argue. In this respect, there are several things to consider. The first is – how to handle the variability of the wind-made electricity? Traditional plants
cannot, of course, be shut down when not needed temporarily because restarting takes too long. Texas has no appreciable hydro power, a source of electricity that can be switched on and off quickly. Thus Texas utilities must keep more spinning reserve (e.g., gas turbines) to be ready to pitch in as the demand increases. Therefore the saving due to the wind energy, tiny as it is, is not realized to the extent claimed.
There are also additional costs. Insurance premiums are higher for power plants that run on a cycling rather than steady load, and the cycling plants wear out faster. Similarly, the plant personnel cannot be sent home without pay just because the wind picked up. Thus the cost per kWh from the traditional plants with the WTGs in existence is higher than without them.
But the far greater problem with wind-made electricity is the associated capital cost. WTGs are the second most expensive way to build and operate power plants, right after direct solar. Their electricity is three to ten times more expensive than from traditional plants, which is far from the popular perception of being “free.” And the CO2 debt accrued in building and operating the mills, a debt which includes the CO2 generated in manufacture, concrete foundation, erection, operation, maintenance, repair, and the eventual demolition, is unlikely to be recovered in their useful life. Only subsidies, tax breaks, and similar incentives provided by Federal and State Governments from the tax- and ratepayers’ money enable the utilization of wind for electricity generation to feed into the grid.
Cape Cod:
Such discouraging statistics may be one of the reasons for the endless delays in the start-up of the Cape Cod wind farm project. The farm’s WTGs are to provide 2 GW (by 2020 as of now). Experiences gained in over twenty years of ocean-located WTGs indicate the name plate cost to be about 5 $/W, and the actual output to be a third of the rated figure yielding 15 $/W for the actual investment cost.
For comparison, nuclear plants cost also 5 $/W name plate but their actual output is close to their rated figure yielding 5.5 $/W, almost three times less than wind farms. Plus they last three times longer and produce heat energy in addition to electricity. Natural gas-turbine plants cost one twentieth of the WTG figure. But this fossil fuel costs money and causes pollution, is the usual argument. Yes, but the fuel cost amounts to only about 15 % on the residential bill, and it is negligible in nuclear plants, a source of energy cleaner and greener than wind mills.
Now, the high cost is what we are used to with “green” projects, and so it cannot be a serious obstacle under current policies. The delays have been due to something more fundamental. The wind-derived electricity is projected to cost 24 ¢/kWh. That is what a distributor would have to pay to buy the electricity. And then to distribute and sell it at, yes, you guessed it, the usual rate of under 10 ¢/kWh. “Buy high and sell low” – it is a rare business that would do that voluntarily. The Cape Cod project will be decided politically as most green projects have been.
Tax- and ratepayers everywhere pay for their WTGs twice: first for their high investment cost ($/W), and then for the high cost of the wind derived electricity ($/kWh). So, if you see your electricity bill double in the future, it may be because ignorant politicians opted for the (free!) wind generated energy. That goes along with our past Energy Czar’s reminding us that we need energy to be expensive because THEN renewable plants will become feasible.
For over a century, the U.S. led the world in producing cheap energy that was available in abundance 24/7. It also developed a new source of “green” energy – the nuclear power plant. Those policies and inventions made manufacturing, service, and transportation here more economical than anywhere in the world. Unfortunately today, there are politicians, contractors, and activists who want the opposite, perhaps even understanding and accepting the adverse consequences. That would explain why they do not embrace generating electricity (and hydrogen) cheaply and pollution free via nuclear energy. Electricity or hydrogen powered cars could have been a reality half a century ago. Instead, we are opting to become “like Denmark.”
Denmark is viewed by many as the country successfully powering itself with WTGs. In fact, their actual output covers only 20 % of electricity (not of all energy – more about that later) generation in that country. Furthermore, less than half, and sometimes as little as one fifth, of the wind electricity is consumed there.
Compared to Texas, Denmark does have the option to keep its thermal power plants going steady for it has the hydro-plants that can be switched on and off quickly – in Norway and elsewhere. Norway, having numerous small hydro-plants, buys Denmark’s surplus electricity paying very little for it as anyone who does not need it would. On the other hand, when the wind doesn’t blow and Denmark needs more electricity, it buys it at the going rate be it from France, Germany or Norway. Denmark’s electricity is the dearest among industrial nations, Norway’s among the cheapest. Undoubtedly, erecting rows upon rows of their own turbines was Denmark’s way to advertise their industry and generate revenue when it manufactured the lion’s share of the turbines in the world.
Denmark is also a country boasting of no importation of oil, a fact erroneously understood by some as being the consequence of the wind power utilization. Denmark owns and exploits enough territory (at home and in the North Sea) to cover its oil and gas needs fully. With zero fossil fuel imports (except coal – that is all imported), Denmark is in the same position the U.S. was a century ago when it was also self-sufficient, and when its population was one quarter of the present. Today, Danes endure the highest gasoline prices and, unlike the U.S., Denmark’s population exhibits a minuscule growth.
To provide the whole energy picture in Denmark, the utilized wind electricity amounts to near 1 % of the primary energy in that country. While that is an almost negligible percentile, it is impressive nevertheless when compared to the 0.35 % in the U.S. The majority of Denmark’s electricity is generated from burning fossil fuels as in most nations.
All this aside, we may want to become like this extraordinary country after all, for the Danes are said to be the happiest among all nationalities. Now that, not the energy policies, should attract us to being “like Denmark.”
To summarize, I quote here the conclusion of an Australian study: “Wind does not reduce the capital investment in generating plants. Wind is simply an additional capital investment.”

November 10, 2015 2:21 pm

An alternative estimate is provided in a paper by Boyd, Turner and Ward (BTW) of the LSE Grantham Institute, published at the end of October.
They state

The most optimistic estimate of global emissions in 2030 resulting from the INDCs is about halfway between hypothetical ‘business as usual’ and a pathway that is consistent with the 2°C limit

The MAGICC climate model used by both Lomborg & the IPCC predicts warming of about 4.7°C under BAU, implying up to a 1.35°C difference from the INDCs, compared to the 0.17°C maximum assumed calculated by Lomborg, 8 times the amount. Lomborg says this is contingent on no CO2 leakage. That is exporting jobs from policy countries (e.g. UK) to non-policy countries (e.g. China). Even worse, Lomborg refers to the August Edition of BTW. So why the difference? There is apparent no indication in BTW as they do not mention any estimates beyond 2030.
This is where the eminent brain surgeons and Nobel-Prize winning rocket scientists among the readership will need to concentrate to achieve the penetrating analytical powers of a lesser climate scientist.
From the text, the hypothetical business as usual (BAU) scenario for 2030 is 68 GtCO2e. The most optimistic scenario for emissions from the INDCs (and pessimistic for economic growth in the emerging economies) us that 2030 emissions will be 52 GtCO2e. The sophisticated climate projection models have whispered in code to the climate scientists that to be on target for the limit of 2.0°C, 2030 emissions show be not more than 36 GtCO2e. Now 52 is exactly halfway between 36 and 68. This is the difficult bit. I have just spent the last half hour in the shed manically cranking the handle on my patent beancounter extrapolator machine to get this result. By extrapolating this halfway result for the forecast period 2010-2030 through to 2100 we find that the INDCs are halfway to solving the 2.0°C limit.
As Bob Ward will no doubt point out in his forthcoming rebuttal of Bjorn Lomborg’s paper, it is only true climate scientists who can reach such levels of analysis and understanding.

Reply to  manicbeancounter
November 10, 2015 5:02 pm

Lomborg’s calculation seems to omit China, Australia, Canada, and a host of other countries from his calculation. (His given reason for omitting China is frankly bizarre).
So that’s why his calculation is so wrong compared to what the genuine economists are coming up with.

November 10, 2015 4:52 pm

I hope all readers here are fully aware of ‘Agenda 21’ and the clandestine push for a World Government.
The Paris Christmas party is no more than an ‘Agenda 21’ Intellectual Brothel where they trade Ideas for cash.

Reply to  D.I.
November 10, 2015 5:02 pm


Ernest Bush
Reply to  vincewhirlwind
November 10, 2015 8:48 pm

Google Agenda 21 and close the gaping mouth. However, the next step, Agenda 2030 is now floating around the U.N. as a replacement.

Proud Skeptic
November 10, 2015 5:36 pm

Let’s all just agree that the math in this climate modeling is all wrong and move on to something else…like whether Kate Middleton needs to rethink her hair style.

November 10, 2015 9:34 pm

I wonder if “vincewhirlwind” has any financial interests in wind power, seems to be push if hard here? I can tell “vince” one thing, he does not know real poverty. I can assure “vince” that most people struck with poverty are interested in staying warm, by any means which usually results in environmental decay, and finding enough to eat. These people usually have to burn wood, dung etc to stay warm and cook.

Reply to  Patrick
November 11, 2015 2:53 pm

I wondered the same thing.
But, he seems to be ill-informed if he does.
In the comments just above, he presents Austria as “75% renewable energy”, which is a massive exaggeration BUT – notable Austria only has a tiny amount of wind and solar. Less than Bulgaria in both cases.
If we want to copy Austria then the world needs to invest in Hydropower and Biomass. NOT WIND!!!
Ironically Hydropower receives no subsidies and is resisted violently by the starry-eyed subisidy junkie green eco-left and their best friends – the rich liberal bureaucratic junket and expenses loving elite masters.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
November 11, 2015 2:54 pm

Apologies, “notable Austria” should read “notably Austria”.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
November 11, 2015 10:28 pm

And that is the reason why Ethiopia is building the largest hydro plant in Africa.

Reply to  Patrick
November 12, 2015 7:17 am

And what a massive surprise.
The usual eco-warrior sustainability tribe have been very busy trying to discredit and resist the project:

November 11, 2015 12:23 am

Everytime a new topic comes up shredding the AGW mongers’ beliefs, do you notice that one new sock puppet will appear magically with nonsense talking points, refusing to answer anything and posting nonsense, trying to side track or derail the thread? For this thread it seems to be vincewhirlwind.

November 11, 2015 3:52 am

Vince. My sympathies regarding your understanding of climate and power generation. Maybe some day you will catch up.

November 12, 2015 1:21 pm

It would be cheaper to just find a way to push the earths orbit out a little farther from the sun to prevent global warming rather than trying to reduce to CO2 levels.

November 12, 2015 11:23 pm

Anthony, it may have been more accurate to give the whole quote from Macbeth. “Told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

November 21, 2015 4:35 am

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

Bjorn Lomborg is a believer in global warming, he just thinks it is a very low-priority problem. Fighting global warming harms people in the real world.
Me? I say cold kills. Warmer is better.

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