Friday Funny: European Union's failing grade on CO2 emissions


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels increased in 2017, statistics office Eurostat said on Friday, indicating that the reduction of emissions blamed for climate change remains a challenge. Josh has his take on the issue:

Image source: Eurostat report (PDF)

Carbon emissions in the EU were up 1.8 percent from 2016, Eurostat said, with a double-digit increase in Malta and Estonia.

Finland and Denmark showed the sharpest declines while emissions in Germany, the bloc’s largest economy and still dependent on coal for 40 percent of its electricity, was little changed….

While the 2008 financial crisis had a dampening effect on industrial activity, recent increases in economic growth have been accompanied by higher emissions of carbon.

Full details here

h/t to GWPF and Josh.

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May 4, 2018 9:22 am

This is the picture still with zero or negative interest rates in the EU. The generally slower growth of the global expansion and contained oil markets will mean at least 4 more years of this growth picture.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 4, 2018 12:57 pm

Eagle Ford to the Rescue!!

Steve Ta
May 4, 2018 9:22 am

A double-digit increase in Malta could just be one extra SUV

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Steve Ta
May 4, 2018 9:42 am

Agreed, using percentage increases without showing the actual value can be misleading. Yes, I know the graph is done by an outside source.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Steve Ta
May 4, 2018 10:41 am

Meanwhile, the US is showing about a 0.7% drop from 2016 to 2017, mostly due to frac’ed gas being used for electricity generation. Next step is rational nuclear power plant design and a permitting process that takes months, not decades.

Lorne White
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 4, 2018 11:06 am

I don’t understand why so many people think Nuclear is appropriate when we still have no viable way to store either radioactive boiler tubes & decommissioned buildings for 10,000 years, or spent fuel rods for 300,000 years. This is after 50+ years of promises that ‘the engineers will solve this in a decade’.
Tiny Finland is building underground storage to last 100,000 years before opening their Nuclear plants (Documentary: “Into Eternity”).

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 4, 2018 11:35 am

I don’t understand why so many people think Nuclear is appropriate when we still have no viable way to store either radioactive boiler tubes & decommissioned buildings for 10,000 years, or spent fuel rods for 300,000 years. This is after 50+ years of promises that ‘the engineers will solve this in a decade’.
Tiny Finland is building underground storage to last 100,000 years before opening their Nuclear plants (Documentary: “Into Eternity”).

I don’t understand why people get so worked up about a few hundred tonnes of 10,000 year radioisotopes when the sea has over 4 billion tonnes of millennial half life radio isotopes in it already…
Actually I do understand.
They are Liberals who Cant Do Sums therefore they think in and are brainwashed by scary pictures.
Like my sister, who lives in Germany, who was (back in the 80s) railing against nuclear power and the damage it would do to her children, and that’s why Germany had no nuclear power.
I pointed out that not only did Germany have more nuclear power than Britain, but the chief danger to her children lay in the fact that she was driving a metre behind the car in front at 100kph and neither were wearing seatbelts.
Gotta just lurve the Liberal Mind – such as it is.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 4, 2018 12:25 pm

There is no need to store nuclear fuel rods.
Reprocess them. The long lived stuff becomes new fuel rods. The short lived stuff is pretty much gone in a few months to a decade or so. Depending on isotope.
Decommissioned buildings can just be left in place for a couple of decades, then torn down when it is safe to do so.
What I don’t get is the need people have to first create a problem (refusing to reprocess) then use the problem they created as an excuse to condemn a viable power source.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 4, 2018 12:34 pm

Lorne, what do you mean by “viable”? There are lots of ways to store spent nuclear fuel that are completely safe. We’re already storing the stuff safely right now.
Another thing to keep in mind: nuclear fission reactions are spectacularly energetic, and that means that nuclear reactors don’t need to use a lot of fuel to produce a huge amount of energy. Since they don’t need a lot of fuel, in terms of both volume and mass, they also don’t produce a lot of spent fuel (a.k.a., “nuclear waste”).
To illustrate what I mean, here’s all the “nuclear waste” produced by the Connecticut Yankee 600MWe nuclear power plant after 28 years of continuous operation:comment image
Those cylinders have a footprint that’s about 23 yards wide by 76 yards long, or an area of about a quarter of a football field. That’s not much of a footprint. And the materials stored in them still contain ~98% of their fissionable energy, so it represents a repository of fuel for future generations to use.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 4, 2018 4:35 pm

I think that you are wrong stating ‘nuclear reactors don’t need to use a lot of fuel to produce a huge amount of energy’. When I studied science, the law of conservation of energy was in force, accepted in fact. Has it been repealed? I know that it is common in the news media to carry on with such inaccurate statements but that surely is part of the problem. Talking of carbon emissions or carbon pollution when CO2 emissions and pollution are what is meant are other similar popular and inaccurate expressions.
Another is ‘Renewable Energy’. How can you renew what you cannot destroy or create? Even our chief scientist, here in Australia, voices to that one. What credibility can he gain in that way. That is politics not science!
Accurate terms are what is needed in discussions of scientific topics.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 4, 2018 7:37 pm

Having a high energy density does not violate the law of conservation of energy.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 5, 2018 4:17 am

“I don’t understand why so many people think Nuclear is appropriate when we still have no viable way to store either radioactive boiler tubes & decommissioned buildings for 10,000 years,” This statement is false. We have Yucca Mtn and it is finished. Then Reid got it closed. He is gone. Open it up and start using it.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 5, 2018 6:53 am

No one needs to store decommissioned buildings for a week, let alone 10,000 years. Why would you do that? The radioactive parts are the used fuel, and the reactor vessel.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 5, 2018 8:44 am

Reprocessing plus vitrifecation is the way to handle spent fuel. This has been known for over thirty years. The French do (did?) it..

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 5, 2018 9:35 am

The reason the nuclear industry is the way it is, is because of management. In theory proper building techniques is fine, in practice they start cost cutting and threatening those who don’t go along with all kinds of things. You can’t imagine, from bolts that hold the radioactive water pipes to the proper rated fuses for telecommunications within the plant. … That’s why there are so many regulations and ” chain of command ” on material. At no point can something be swapped out for a less structural item. If it does fail, they have to know who had it had what was done. … Management made nuclear a nightmare…. even without all of this, there was the cost. Too many problems, not enough solutions. When I hear people saying things like this, I cringe.

J Mac
May 4, 2018 9:41 am

A ribald assessment – love the ‘Playground’ comments especially!

Reply to  J Mac
May 4, 2018 10:15 am

J Mac
Had me laughing like a drain. Brilliant.

May 4, 2018 10:12 am

The stat’s of Sweden is missing due to they don’t know how to twist unwanted numbers (Different type of official statistics in Sweden are censored due to politics, like ‘crimes linked to migration’. Facts contradicts political propaganda …)

May 4, 2018 10:27 am

I thought Ireland were to be fined 600 euros per year by the EU because they had missed their target reduction CO2, and Germany had increased emissions.

Reply to  jolan
May 4, 2018 11:53 am

I think you are missing a million (600 million euros). The targets are not emissions, they are renewable energy produced. So the Irish will be fined for not installing enough wind and solar power, whilst the Germans (who write the rules) have installed enough renewables but get away with building coal-fired power stations and closing nuclear power stations. It is the politics of the madhouse (the EUSSR that is).

May 4, 2018 10:45 am

Oh my, the EU, the UN’s lackey, is hoisted on its’ own petard. What will they do about this? I see increased attempts at shaming, intimidation, and name calling in the remaining EU member’s future. Except Germany of course, they get a hall pass because …. well, they’re Germany and supposed to be the leader and we can’t have any dispersion thrown their way. I bet the EU sees this as an excellent cause to fine the offenders, increase everyone’s contribution whether they made the number or not, and make up for the missing UK “contribution” and blame the US for being the responsible party. Wanna bet?

May 4, 2018 11:01 am

Actually, in’t it the case that Germany exports their CO₂ use to their neighboring countries, by importing electricity from them, since their dalliance with photovoltaic solar power … in a country notable for its not-so-sunny-weather … has proven so ribald at increasing the cost of generation? You know, let Hungary generate it, sell it, take the CO₂ hit.
Just saying

Reply to  GoatGuy
May 4, 2018 11:40 am

Actually Germany is now a net exporter (at a fantastic financial loss) of surplus renewable energy, except when the sun goes down and the wind stops, when they pull in power from anyone who has it.
The German propensity to indulge in decades long bouts of collective insanity is well documented in the historical records.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Leo Smith
May 4, 2018 7:57 pm

ya when the wind blows strong in Germany they give away electricity. However when it doesnt blow they pay dearly for it. Either out of country hydro or out of country nuclear saves their bacon. Of course they had to build some new coal plants too after they shut down some of their nuclear.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Leo Smith
May 4, 2018 10:55 pm

So this brings up an important point. Since Germany only consumes 4.1% of its energy as solar and wind and produces 22.4 % (solar and wind) you can never get into hard and fast guaranteed contracts of exporting solar and wind because they are intermittent. Germany as of 2017 cannot consume all of its electricity generation. Unless it spends massive amounts to have a truly national power grid everywhere in the country, it will never be able to consume it all even at present levels. In fact even if there was a truly national grid it still wouldnt be able to consume it all on a very windy day in Germany. They woud still have to give some of it away. So until it narrows the gap between intermittent renewable consumption and intemittent renewable production it is folly to expand their intermittent renewable production because they cant guarantee intermittent renewable(solar and wind) supply. Nobody in the industrialized world will agree to brownouts or blackouts so export contracts have to be based on a quid pro quo basis. Germany has these arrangements with Sweden and Denmark now. However if you are quid pro quoing(bartering) with intermittent renewables versus guaranteed non intermittent energy sources then you come out of it with the shortend of the stick. Germany is committing energy suicide by advancing their intermittent energy production far beyond their intermittent consumption.

Dennis Sandberg
May 4, 2018 12:42 pm

No way to store spent fuel rods for 300,000 years? This is after 50+ years of promises that ‘the engineers will solve this in a decade’? Actually engineers solved the problem with Yucca Mountain….Harry Reid and Obama made it illegal to store….political corruption problem not an engineering problem.

Larry D
Reply to  Dennis Sandberg
May 4, 2018 5:28 pm

“spent” fuel rods still have over 90% of their extractable energy left. Deploy Molten Salt Reactors on the existing nuclear plant facilities, use the “spent” fuel rods from the existing storage pools. When that gets low (centuries from now) start on using the depleted uranium left over from creating the fuel rods originally. We’re now into the millennia time horizon.

Patrick MJD
May 4, 2018 7:10 pm

Belgium, a small country, has more roads than the UK. It also has more lit roads than any other EU country. So much for their reduction in emissions.

michael hart
Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 4, 2018 9:50 pm

The EU isn’t called “the Belgian Empire” for nothing.

Alan Tomalty
May 4, 2018 7:50 pm

Has anybody noticed an interesting thing about the Mauna Loa CO2 graph?. Notice that the angle of decrease during the spring is exactly the same angle of increase during the autumn. Either the Mauna Loa data are bogus or else CO2 emissions have nothing to do with the amount that stays in the atmosphere. If the Mauna Loa data is NOT bogus, the rate of increase in the fall should be sharper than the decrease in the spring. That is because the CO2 emissions are fairly constant throughout the year and there is certainly little difference between spring fossil fuel emissions and autumn fossil fuel emissions, Indeed the Mauna Loa graph doesnt show any difference. The only difference it shows is a neat zigzag pattern which in itself is suspicious because the pattern is too consistent. However my further point is that since the spring and fall fossil fuel emissions are constant, the fall (autumn) upward increase should be at a sharper angle since the photosynthesis process is in reverse compared to the spring. So the fall(autumn) non photosynthesis line should be reenforced by the constant fossil fuel emissions whereas the spring photosynthesis actually lowers the CO2 levels but according to the graph it lowers them at the same rate that the autumn line increases. That is impossible unless the net CO2 levels have nothing to do with the fossil fuel emissions. Well we partially know that anyway because since 1980 the the CO2 levels have only gone up 22% and the fossil fuel emissions have gone up 80%. I have previously mentionned that the Vostok ice core data for last 400000 years shows preindustrial CO2 levels at at a fairly constant 280ppm however during that 400000 years the temperature swings have been enormous on the earths surface with at least 4 glacial periods and 4 extremely warm periods. To top it all off, the Vostok ice core data seems suspect because there is no reason why the CO2 level should be that constant during those 400000 years when it wasnt constant at any other time in the worlds history. Now that Tony Heller has proved that NASA and NOAA have been faking the temperature and sea level data for the last 10 years, there is not 1 grain of truth in the whole global warming scenario. It is one lie built upon another lie which the climate gate emails showed.

Alan Tomalty
May 4, 2018 8:19 pm

As of the end of 2017 Solar and wind only accounted for 4.1% of the total energy production of Germany. And Germany is supposedly the leader in intermittent renewables in the world. And that 4.1% was only achieved through massive subsidization which resulted in electricity prices being the highest in the world after taking into account the ppp. For the uninitiated ppp (purchasing power parity) is the price adjusted in US dollars relative to the average prices of a basket of goods purchased in that country versus the same basket purchased in other countries. So for example you can figure out whether the average price of a hamburger purchased in one country is cheaper or not than the average price of a hamburger purchased elsewhere.The ppp takes into account the general level of net inflation levels in different countries. Of course everything is then compared to the US dollar at present exchange rates.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
May 4, 2018 8:45 pm

I should have said total energy consumption NOT production

Alan Tomalty
May 4, 2018 8:47 pm

The production of solar and wind was 22.4%
of the German energy economy.

May 5, 2018 12:23 am

Gas in the atmosphere topped 410 ppm in April 2018. The European Union is at the forefront of combatting climate change and is a global leader in initiatives to reduce fossil fuel emissions. WUWT climate sceptics should be very thankful that steps are being taken around the world to tackle AGW whilst they twiddle their fingers and watch Rome burn:

Reply to  ivankinsman
May 5, 2018 1:43 am

I don’t WANT the EU to combat the gentle warming of the planet, which you call “climate change”. I don’t WANT geo-engineers turning the global weather clock back to the miserable conditions that existed in the mid-nineteenth century. I like things as they are now.
Oh… and Rome isn’t burning.

Reply to  Phil
May 5, 2018 7:24 am

Your choice – but climate sceptics are becoming an increasingly rare species in the USA, one that is now
endangered and probably to become extinct.

Reply to  Phil
May 5, 2018 9:10 am

but climate sceptics are becoming an increasingly rare species in the USA
Doubt you know anything REAL about the USA. Disinformation from your sycophant news sources don’t count.

Reply to  ivankinsman
May 5, 2018 6:53 am

Rome is not burning.

Reply to  TA
May 5, 2018 7:26 am

All the ingedients are coming together to make it combustible. Keep on twiddling TA and leave it to the IPCC to take action for the rest of us…

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  TA
May 5, 2018 10:06 am

Ivankinsman Are you actually serious? Your global warming theory has been disproved in over a 100 different ways.

Reply to  ivankinsman
May 5, 2018 9:59 am

Germany has already conceded it won’t make it’s 2020 pledges and the majority of the EU will similarly fail with a few small EU nation exceptions. Given the political situation with the far right and nationalism parties most are running scared of any further reform. As for the concept climate skeptics are rare in USA you see the election results and last polls
China is your country where climate skeptics are rare but it’s probably dangerous to disagree with the government line so it probably needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Reply to  LdB
May 5, 2018 10:59 am

Ok this was an interesting article and is a very good summation of why US sceptics are so entrenched compared to ROW. It seems everyone on the planet who acknowledges AGW and its impact is a leftie commie greenie who wants a socialist utopia. This WP article gets to the heart of the matter:
“In other countries, climate change just isn’t a partisan issue. Broad majorities of people accept what scientists say — that climate change is being caused by humans, who are pumping carbon dioxide into the air at alarming and unprecedented rates. That might be because in many places, people are experiencing the impact of a changing climate directly, so they’re more likely to believe the science. It’s also true that in countries with the highest carbon emissions like the United States, concern about human-created climate change is lowest. Most other places, too, don’t have big lobby groups or think tanks with links to fossil fuel companies pushing out their message into the public sphere and media.”

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  LdB
May 5, 2018 12:07 pm

Ivanskinsman Everything you say is untrue, Absolutely everything. 1st of all China puts out over 30% of the world’s total of CO2 emissions. The US is 2nd with 14%. China’s total increased 4.1% from their 2016 total. Now that we know that the EU emissions went up 1.8% last year who is decreasing? i will tell you. The US totals have have been going down for almost a decade now. And the US havent even objectivley tried to reduce. The reason is because of increased natural gas use. Canada as well. The world needs more CO2 NOT less. Alarmists like you have been forecasting disaster for 40 years. NOT one prediction of disaster has come true. I can give you 50 more reasons why global warming is a hoax backed up by real data. All you can give me is fake charts produced from NOAA and NASA which Tony Heller has proved were made up.

Reply to  LdB
May 6, 2018 9:24 am

Again you and your quote are conflating two things like all activists, there is those who believe in CAGW and then there is those willing to do something about it. The second is a smaller subset of the first. So if you have x% of a population believe in CAGW you will get less than x% who are prepared to do something about it.
Many of us live in democracies and just because we accept something doesn’t mean we have to do something about it. That is what activists can’t seem to accept that people may not care to do something about it and there are many reasons for that from self interest, fatalism of result etc and a whole pile of others.
Instead you lump us all together as “non believers” and talk down to us and so we return the favour.

May 5, 2018 9:05 am

Funny about Spain (from the chart). Guess their solar panels are getting dirty…..

May 5, 2018 12:20 pm

18 countries up and 9 countries down . The report card should show which counties lead in
premaster deaths from fuel poverty . 35,000 last year in the UK alone . If those were deaths from terrorist’s something would be done about it .
The hidden agenda of globalists is population control and what better way to eliminate the elderly and poor than freeze those fools that chose food over heat .
Fuel poverty kills 3 times more in one year than allied solders on D Day . D Day at least was real
while the earth has a fever campaign is an overblown fraud . The perpetrators need to be charged for mass murder .

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