Guest slam-dunk by David Middleton
G20 nations still led by fossil fuel industry, climate report finds
Coal, oil and gas subsidies risking rise in global temperatures to 3.2C, well beyond agreed Paris goal
Wed 14 Nov 2018
Climate action is way off course in all but one of the world’s 20 biggest economies, according to a report that shows politicians are paying more heed to the fossil fuel industry than to advice from scientists.
Among the G20 nations 15 reported a rise in emissions last year, according to the most comprehensive stock-take to date of progress towards the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
The paper, by the global partnership Climate Transparency, found 82% of energy in these countries still being provided by coal, oil and gas, a factor which has relied on an increase of about 50% in subsidies over the past 10 years to compete with increasingly cheap wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
The G20 nations spent $147bn (£114bn) on subsidies in 2016, although they pledged to phase them out more than 10 years ago.
Britain has made the fastest transition, with a 7.7% decline in the use of fossil fuels between 2012 and 2015, but the report warned that this could stall in the years ahead because the government had cut support for feed-in tariffs, energy efficiency and zero-carbon homes.
The UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland, in December –the COP24 conference – will start a two-year process for governments to deliver on their commitments to reduce emissions. Although there are national leaders hostile to tackling climate change, such as in the US and Brazil, there is still hope they will be open to taking their share of the responsibility.
Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, said: “Global emissions need to peak in 2020. The Brown-to-Green report provides us with an independent stock-take on where we stand now. This is valuable information for countries when they declare their contribution in 2020.”
- “Britain has made the fastest transition, with a 7.7% decline in the use of fossil fuels between 2012 and 2015” triggering the most excess winter deaths since 1976.
- “Although there are (only two) national leaders hostile to” killing people in a futile Gorebal War Against Weather, “such as in the US and Brazil, there is still hope” that the rest of the world will opt not to force their people freeze in the dark..
- “Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, said: “Global emissions need to peak in 2020. The Brown-to-Green report provides us with”…
The Brown-to-Green report is FRACKING hilarious.
The Global Stocktake established in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement aims to “assess the collective progress” towards the agreed goals: 1) holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C; 2) increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience; and 3) making all finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-resilient development.
At the moment, we are far away from taking the action needed to achieve these three goals. Current nationally determined contributions (NDCs) would lead to a global temperature increase of around 3.2°C.
Ok… So we’re supposed to swallow a $240/gal tax on gasoline and spend $122 trillion to avoid 1.7 °C (3.2 minus 1.5) of warming over the next 80 years? Really? How can anyone even publish something like this and expect to be taken seriously?
Particularly since we are already on a pathway to less than 2 °C of warming…
How bad does the Brown-to-Green Report say it will be in the United States of America?
The “exposure” is entirely qualitative (AKA useless, pointless, unverifiable, unaccountable, etc.) and many of the components are contradictory.
Which is it? Virtually no impact on malnutrition? Or a high impact on food supply?
Does “high impact” on annual run-off mean too much or too little run off? Since the impact on groundwater recharge is low, my guess is that it’s too much run-off. In which case, we need to build more dams, like we do in Texas.
WTF is “ecosystem service”?
Firstly… If there are biomes occupying our country, we need to kick them the Hell out, like we should have done with those #Occupy Wall Street A-holes. Secondly… Look at a map of the world. 99% of the oceans and their marine biodiversity aren’t in these United States. I refuse to use /Sarc tags when it should be obvious that I’m being sarcastic… I only added this because I figured someone would try to argue against kicking biomes out of the US or equating them to the #Occupy A-holes.
Low impact of sea level rise on coastlines, no increase in heatwaves… Win-win.
Moderate impacts on flooding and hydropower generation capacity… WTF? Will it only rain where the dams aren’t located?
Now, let’s look at some “real” numbers. As we can see from figure 1, “business-as-usual” falls between RCP2.6 and RCP4.5.
- 21.6 °C + 0.7 °C = 22.3 °C
- 24.4 °C – 0.6 °C = 23.8 °C
- 23.8 °C – 22.3 °C = 1.5 °C
1.5 °C is within the margin of error of “business-as-usual.”
The closest model to reality projects an unnoticeable change in U.S temperatures and no change in precipitation.
So… We can see that there simply isn’t a problem that needs to be solved.
What solution to this non-problem is proposed by the Brown-to-Green Report?
End fossil fuel subsidies.
The Brown-to-Green Report claims that the U.S. government subsidizes fossil fuels to the tune of nearly $10 billion per year:
Government entities generate more revenue just taxing ExxonMobil than the U.S. government supposedly pays out in total fossil fuel subsidies to the entire FRACKING Climate Wrecking Industry!
Total taxes on the Corporation’s income statement were $31.3 billion in 2017, an increase of $0.3 billion from 2016. Income tax expense, both current and deferred, was a credit of $1.2 billion compared to a credit of $0.4 billion in 2016, with the U.S. tax reform impact of $5.9 billion partially offset by higher pre-tax income. The effective tax rate, which is calculated based on consolidated company income taxes and ExxonMobil’s share of equity company income taxes, was 5 percent compared to 13 percent in the prior year due primarily to the impact of U.S. tax reform. Total other taxes and duties of $32.5 billion in 2017 increased $1.1 billion.
While morons, like Bernie Sanders, would zero-in on the income tax credit of $1.2 billion, this is after the company had already paid out $31 billion in total taxes. In 2017, ExxonMobil generated $244.3 billion in gross revenue. They spent, including taxes, $224.5 billion to generate that revenue. Their net after-tax income attributable to ExxonMobil was $19.7 billion. Government entities made $1.50 for every $1.00 that ExxonMobil earned in net profits.
So, government entities generated about $3 in tax revenue, just from ExxonMobil, for every $1 the Brown-to-Green Report claims that the U.S government paid out in fossil fuel subsidies. And the Brown-to-Green Report wildly exaggerates the fossil fuel subsidies.
The most recent U.S. Energy Information Administration report on energy subsidies puts the number at less than $4 billion. (Should have been: The 2015 U.S. Energy Information Administration report on energy subsidies puts the number at less than $4 billion. EIA issued a new report earlier this year).
The solar and wind subsidies are truly massive in $/Btu.
Most of the Federal subsidies for oil & gas (96%), coal (71%) and nuclear power (67%) consist of tax breaks. The subsidies for oil & gas aren’t really even subsidies. These are standard tax deductions and depreciation of assets. Solar and wind subsidies are weighted toward direct expenditures of tax dollars.
If ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There is no reasonable analysis that demonstrates that the potential harm from anthropogenic climate change in the future justifies any significant expense today.
It’s a fossil fueled world and that isn’t going to change any time in the near future, much less on a UN time table.