Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
The world’s developing nations are defying the Paris climate agreement with continued and growing use of cost effective and reliable fossil fuels including coal, natural gas and oil while making little progress in use of high cost unreliable renewables as demonstrated by the graph from a recent Wall Street Journal article.
The data demonstrates the emissions of both the U.S. and EU are and have been declining over the past 10 years but the levels of emissions of these developed nations are insignificant relative to the huge growth of emissions for the rest of the world’s developing nations. The politically contrived Paris Climate Agreement has no provisions that have any impact on controlling developing nation emissions increases.
Furthermore this data shows that even if the U.S. and EU had zero emissions at some future point this outcome has little impact on global emissions that are clearly controlled by the world’s developing nations.
The Journal article further notes that:
“As negotiators at United Nations climate talks in Poland this week hammer out a rulebook to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, some of the biggest boosters of the 2015 Paris accord are undermining efforts back home to curb global warming.
China is ramping up coal-fired electricity generation despite pledges to cut emissions, according to clean-energy advocates. Canadian provinces are challenging federal carbon-price rules and adopting local policies that go against national emissions goals. And the European Union is bickering over how much carbon dioxide cars should be allowed to emit and subsidies to coal-fired power plants that threaten its climate targets.”
“EU governments and the European Parliament on Monday failed for a fourth time to compromise on regulation to reduce car CO2 emissions. Negotiations have foundered over opposition from German auto makers, divisions among the bloc’s 28 members and a parliament push to more strenuously curb polluting vehicles.”
“EU members heavily reliant on coal-powered energy also oppose European Parliament efforts to end subsidies to the most polluting plants by 2025, seeking delay of one decade.
In a sign of how incendiary the issue has become, nationwide riots in France began as a protest against a carbon tax on fuel.”
Political chaos reigned at the U.N. COP24 Conference on Poland as climate alarmist conference attendees struggled unsuccessfully to achieve commitments for increased emissions reductions as described in a GWPF article.
“China, Canada and the EU showed support for the Paris accord by unveiling ambitious agendas ahead of the U.N. talks in Katowice, in the heart of Polish coal country. China launched the world’s biggest carbon market last year and is working to expand it. Canada last week signaled more ambitious emissions-reduction targets. New EU regulations are lifting the bloc’s target for renewable-energy generation.
Yet all three economies face corporate lobbying, local economic concerns and political blowback eroding climate ambition.”
The huge scope of these issues was further expanded upon in the article as follows:
“China’s coal consumption declined from 2014 through 2016 as its economic growth slowed and shifted to services, and due to environmental and health concerns. Last year the trend reversed amid state-backed loans to juice the economy and a surge in provincial permits. China is now on track to add coal- fired power equal to almost the total U.S. capacity, according to Coalswarm, an advocacy group for clean-energy that tracks plants world-wide. That would push coal-fired production in China up to and over Beijing’s existing cap of 1,100 gigawatts. Its current production is already equivalent to half of the world’s total coal-fired generation and nearly quadruple that of the U.S.
China’s CO2 emissions resumed their rise in 2015 after leveling off in 2013-2014, according to research by Climate Action Tracker, a website that follows efforts to curb global warming. Last year China accounted for one-quarter of global CO2 production.
Coal’s relatively low cost and difficulties transitioning to clean-energy sources have frustrated Beijing’s efforts, said Li Shou, Greenpeace’s senior global policy adviser in East Asia.
“The continued building up of coal-powered plants in the country is definitely not in line with China’s climate targets and ambitions,” he said.”
Europe is facing significant political upheaval and climate and energy policy turmoil which is resulting in back tracking in efforts by the EU to implement actions for more aggressive climate action political steps as addressed in the article below.
The article further noted the frustration with the lack of leadership by the EU to support the Paris agreement emissions reductions noting:
“The Dutch lawmaker said Cañete’s insisting on the rulebook, which is indeed important to establish the technical rules of the Paris Agreement was “a cheap trick”.
“With focusing on ‘ambition’ for the rule book, the EU Commissioner tries to avert attention from the total lack of ambition when it comes to the most important part of this COP: concrete commitment to stricter climate targets to fulfill the Paris Agreement and limit the global warming to well below 1.5 degrees,” he said.”
“And the political signals coming from Europe are currently negative, he said. Indeed, key EU member states such as France, Germany and the UK are currently grappling with domestic issues, which hinders the political momentum required to raise the EU’s ambition at the talks.”
These outcomes clearly reflect that the political realities of using lower cost and reliable fossil fuel energy resources are simply too powerful to be abandoned by the world’s developing nations based on politically contrived, speculative computer model driven and scientifically questionable UN climate alarmism schemes.