European Commission report hypes EU’s globally irrelevant, costly & unsustainable lower emissions schemes

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) recently released its 2019 assessment of global carbon emissions that showed a worldwide increase of 1.9% in emissions between 2017 and 2018.


The reports data tracks CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions covering the period from 1990 to 2018.

The report was characterized by downplaying the continuing and significant global emissions increasing trend while hyping EU lower emissions outcomes as follows:

“JRC director for energy, climate and transport Piotr Szymanski said: “While energy-related activities are and will remain a major source of greenhouse gas emissions at the global level, in the latest decades the European Union has succeeded in decoupling the energy sector from the economic growth.”

“Indeed, the transition to a modern, low carbon and energy-efficient economy is underway, and Europe is on a credible pathway to meeting its Paris Agreement commitments.”

The actual JRC global emissions data however presents a clear picture of worldwide climbing emissions growth with the unabated ever-rising emissions outcomes from the report shown below.


Unlike the ever upward climbing global trend the EU nations have shown downward trends in emissions outcomes going back more than a decade.


The EU nation emissions reductions are overwhelmed by emissions increases from the developing nations led by China and India.

Additionally the ability of the EU to continue to achieve future emissions reductions is in serious question as numerous EU countries are challenging the energy direction and need for these costly efforts as noted in recent reports presented below.




These EU nation driven challenges and issues render claims made by the JRC that the EU has successfully decoupled “the energy sector from economic growth” as premature and clearly suggest that emissions reduction gains made thus far by the EU are unsustainable in the long run because of the massive expenditures required as well as exposing the region to energy reliability and security concerns.      

The EU has committed trillions of euros on its government mandated lower emission schemes that have failed to change the upward trajectory of global emissions.


Additionally these EU climate alarmist schemes have jeopardized the future reliability and security of its energy supply and made the EU dependent on Russian gas.


The U.S. has reduced its CO2 emissions from peak levels during the last decade by nearly 1 billion metric tons largely achieved through the replacement of coal fuel power plants with plants using energy market driven lower cost, higher efficiency and lower emissions natural gas.


But these downward emissions trends led by the U.S. and the EU have trivial impacts on arresting the ever upward increasing global emissions trends that are completely dominated by the world’s developing nations.

In the last decade the world’s developing nations led by China and India have grown to be accountable for about 60 percent of all global energy use and two-thirds of all global CO2 emissions.

The developing nations 2018 energy needs are supplied 87.5 percent by fossil fuels and only 2.8 percent by renewables.

Developing nations accounted for 98.5 percent of all global energy growth in the last decade and 100 percent of all global CO2 emissions increases during this period.

Year 2018 emissions data shows the developing nations CO2 emissions increased by over 4.5 billion metric tons in the last decade while the developed nations including the EU nations reduced CO2 emissions by I billion metric tons with the U.S. providing the largest country decrease during this period.

Shown below are 2019 JRC report emissions data graphs for many of the largest (based upon population and energy use) developing nations (starting with China and India and then alphabetically) that clearly demonstrate the dominance of global energy and emissions upward trends by the world’s developing nations with their ever increasing energy use driving the continued and unstoppable growth in global emissions.
















Despite the JRC report hyped claims alleging progress toward lowering global emissions levels and attained decoupling of the energy sector from economic growth actual global energy use and emissions outcomes demonstrate that these claims have zero credibility.

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October 28, 2019 10:13 am

There are so many places to send virtue signaling money, other people’s money that is and with an admin. fee of course.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
October 28, 2019 6:15 pm

‘One US wood pellet producer – Enviva in North Carolina – has a contract to ship at least 200,000 tones of pellets per year across the sea to RWE between 2020 and 2024.

Earlier this month, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) said that governments should stop wasting billions of euros in subsidising biomass power plants because it is unsustainable.

In addition, burning wood does not produce very much energy and the net amount of CO2 which is released is greater than when burning coal or gas, the researchers said.’

Other research has also shown that the rules are being widely flouted. ‘The production of wood pellet biomass in the southern United States for buyers in Denmark, the UK, and the Netherlands comes hand-in-hand with forest destruction and imperiling the climate,’ the Dogwood Alliance said.

RWE spokesman Rob Hageman said that the company does its utmost to meet the rules, ‘otherwise we would not get any subsidies and we would make a loss on generating electricity’.’

Kurt in Switzerland
October 28, 2019 10:16 am

Important subject.
Wordy article.
Way too many graphs.

This message could and should be told in a clear & concise format. The crusade to demonize Carbon and “decarbonize” human society is failing. When someone succeeds in building solar panels & wind turbines without fossil fuels, I’ll stop yawning.

4 Eyes
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
October 28, 2019 2:55 pm

Kurt, a lot of us don’t have time to look this stuff up. I’ve now got it thanks to the author and WUWT.

Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
October 28, 2019 3:55 pm

Come on!? No more graphs?

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
October 29, 2019 5:45 am

The U.S. has reduced its CO2 emissions from peak levels during the last decade by nearly 1 billion metric tons

But, but, but, …..MLO measured atmospheric CO2 ppm keeps right on increasing as each year goes by.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
October 29, 2019 6:41 am

Nowt to do with the evil western capitalists, though.

Carl Friis-Hansen
October 28, 2019 10:19 am

To prove the reliability of various countries CO₂ contributions, assuming these contributions add significantly to the atmospheric increment, it should be visible in the measurements. If not so, either the reporting is wrong and/or the “human” influence is probably down to 3 to 5% of the “natural” CO₂.

October 28, 2019 10:22 am

“Indeed, the transition to a modern, low carbon and energy-efficient economy is underway, and Europe is on a credible pathway to meeting its Paris Agreement commitments.”

Really? How much has each country paid into the Paris Green Climate Fund? How do those payments align with what the Paris agreement requires?

October 28, 2019 10:25 am

And yet the US is reviled as the villain in the fake war against CC. The total lack of accountability from so called ‘developing’ countries should be a clue to the real reason behind the scam…… wealth redistribution. And the world is sitting back and letting them get away with it, for now.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  markl
October 28, 2019 1:08 pm

It’s all about virtue signaling, and who can best describe the Climate Emperor’s magnificent new attire.

Ron Long
October 28, 2019 10:29 am

Good Reality Check, Larry. Wait a minute, isn’t Trump trying to destroy the entire world? And the USA leads in carbon emission reduction? And the China/NBA alliance aren’t doing so well? For me personally I think the CO2 level is dangerously low and I applaud anyone that can get more into the atmosphere, even if that means I have to drink Syrah and not Cabernet Sauvignon because the optimum climate moved 150 kilometers.

October 28, 2019 10:33 am

How dare you say we are irrelevant. The UK has committed to spending £1 trillion in order to gain zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Nature magazine reports that will have a colossal reduction on global temperatures of a massive and highly impressive 3 hundredths of a degree! How can you say that sort of noble sacrifice is irrelevant? You will all need to go out and buy extra blankets and a thick coat


Reply to  tonyb
October 29, 2019 6:39 am

👍🏼😂. Two multi burners and a big pile of fuel.

October 28, 2019 10:45 am
Mark Broderick
Reply to  ResourceGuy
October 28, 2019 10:57 am

Trumpf ?

Reply to  ResourceGuy
October 28, 2019 11:02 am


Climate change can’t be that serious if you can just buy carbon credits… If I’m understanding it right, then its all a money making scam, as the cost of carbon credits doesn’t stop the weather 😐

“Her comments came as Trumpf, a machine tool and laser technology company based north of Stuttgart, announced it would achieve carbon-neutral status at all its plants by the end of 2020, partly by buying EU credits to offset its carbon footprint”

October 28, 2019 10:55 am

What is the carbon footprint of European holiday?

October 28, 2019 11:00 am

It’s easy to gloss over numbers. Occasionally, I trip over something that puts the numbers in stark reality.

… their program of bringing in carbon taxes and subsidizing green and solar power won’t have any more impact than did Angela Merkel’s passionate but expensive and ineffective $580-billion embrace of solar and wind in Germany.

If Germany had spent those many billions on nuclear this past decade, instead of on solar and wind, it would have created enough low-carbon energy to replace all the fossil fuels and biomass used in its electricity sector and to replace all of the petroleum it uses for cars and light trucks, U.S. environmental expert Michael Shellenberger has said, citing a report from Environmental Progress. link

The environmentalists don’t want to solve the CO2 problem. They want us to crash back to the stone age and then starve to death. I think the resulting chaos would spark a nuclear war and the environmental devastation might just trigger an extinction event.

Reply to  commieBob
October 28, 2019 12:54 pm

“They want us to crash back to the stone age and then starve to death. “

Absolutely correct! (Apart from certain people who regard themselves as elite that is).

supports what you say.

October 28, 2019 12:02 pm

Most of Europe has turned its back on nuclear energy, the only proven potential substitute for carbon-based energy. Europe is not serious.

Jan de Jong
Reply to  kwinterkorn
October 28, 2019 1:13 pm

But is costs serious money and that is what counts when virtue signaling.

Reply to  kwinterkorn
October 28, 2019 2:06 pm

Tell that to the French, you …

Joel O'Bryan
October 28, 2019 1:03 pm

What is “fossil CO2”????
The use of that term indicates to me the writers employ sloppy thinking.

Furthermore, the statement, “…in the latest decades the European Union has succeeded in decoupling the energy sector from the economic growth.” by Piotr Szymanski. This clearly tells us why Europe’s economic growth (GDP growth per capita with inflation deflator applied) has stagnated in this decade. Energy in the EU has gotten a lot more expensive in the EU. A lot of Europeans can no longer afford discretionary travel, thus their energy use is down.
And thus they’re not emitting as much “fossil CO2.”

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 28, 2019 2:24 pm

Spot on.
The EU has even issued a decree that electricity companies has to encourage customers to use less power. Before I knew about that, I was baffled over why the utility would want to sell less. But, apparently the EU knew that wind turbines would not lower CO₂ much, but by provoking the population to use less energy with adverts and higher prices on electricity and fuel, it would appear they are helping to stop the weather, have the administration enriched and paved the way for the perfect socialist dictatorship – without much protest.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 28, 2019 8:59 pm

It always has been about consuming less and less and paying more and more. This happened once in France. Didn’t work out well for the elite.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 28, 2019 8:50 pm

I though that too. But then I thought at least they are not saying “carbon emissions”. They are using the correct notation for the molecule. It’s a start!

October 28, 2019 1:38 pm

If this doesn’t show country’s the total futility of trying to reduce emissions then I don’t know what will. If one is still pig headed and improve in their endeavours to reduce emissions one could conclude that because the US has one of the best performances in reducing emissions and has pulled out of the Paris agreement then if countries want to best reduce emissions they should all pull out of Paris. Makes sense to me.

October 28, 2019 2:16 pm

Years ago we had a contract with JRC to write a report about one research topic (not climate related…)

At one point, we started to question the basic assumptions that were outlined in the statement of work. The person who was our contact point at JRC criticized our draft reports quite harshly and soon all the communications with them ended. Eventually, our lawyers tried to get some response, but it seemed like they would rather default the agreement than challenge our results. (We ended up getting some 50% of the original total cost.)

Later, we realized that they were expecting us to write couple of reports stating “yes, this is a promising research field / technology and EU should put tons of money to advance it!” What I have followed some JRC work later, it really seems that this is their modus operandi.

JRC is more like lobbying office for high-ranking EU officials and the political pro-EU elite at large EU countries. I would put JRC “research reports” to same category with Greenpeace and WWF reports.

October 28, 2019 3:18 pm

So who do you buy Carbon Credits from, Al Gore perhaps. Lets plant a few trees in Africa and the locals can then chop them down for warmth and cooking.

Regarding the UK. When Boris Johnson finally gets his way, the UK will for a while go into a recession. No way will they then think Green.

The EU will also be short of cash with the UK out of its Union, this may well give them the same message.

Its all virtue singling, the EU and many other First World nations send offshore their “”High emissions”” goods so the figure stay with the offshore countries, its all a big fiddle Its similar to the
“”Money laundering”” business. Loo at me with such a low Carbon footprint.


October 28, 2019 7:17 pm

From the article above

But these downward emissions trends led by the U.S. and the EU have trivial impacts on arresting the ever upward increasing global emissions trends that are completely dominated by the world’s developing nations.

The useful idiot indoctrinated true believers (UIITB) have been wound up, set down, and told to go after the U.S. and Europe.

Obviously, all CO2 reduction efforts should be directed towards the countries that are increasing their emissions and not towards the countries that are reducing their emissions.

But there’s no money in going after the developing nations and it could be extremely dangerous to the UIITBs health if they attempted their shenanigans in China, for instance.

So the EU and US have to suffer the UITBs and their enablers pocket any money they can extort or con from taxpayers.

John F. Hultquist
October 28, 2019 9:08 pm

I wonder, can a family in the EU grow, cut, and burn their own trees and amass carbon indulgencies?
Or, do the trees have to be cut and pelletized in North America to count?

Another thought: Hybrid Poplar are fast growing with a harvest cycle between 5 and 7 years. If one lights them at night with diesel generators maybe get to harvest in 4 years. Hide the generator from the EU and increase profits — and stop cutting native trees.

Then there is this: My state government (Washington, Pacific Northwest) thinks burning wood is a bad idea while the places mentioned in the post think it is a good idea. Crazy world! Yes?

Jaap Titulaer
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 29, 2019 5:07 am

>> I wonder, can a family in the EU grow, cut, and burn their own trees and amass carbon indulgencies?
Legally: yes. Practically: no of course, cut down a 30-year tree and replant a sapling is not winning strategy.

They are now simply burning up USA trees and soon will start on Estonian trees. That should last a year or 2, at least as long as the Dutch are the only buyers … 🙁

October 29, 2019 6:47 am

If the EU has cut emissions it has come because of off-shoring production to all those places where emissions are increasing due to rising energy costs resulting from trying to reduce emissions. And then more emissions are generated by shipping the products back to the EU. And the places they are manufactured may be a lot less efficient than an EU factory simply because nobody forces them to improve.

October 29, 2019 9:32 am

But, but but, is it actually going to reduce warming or even impact global CO2 levels?

Rudolf Huber
October 29, 2019 3:50 pm

Europe is well on its way into economic oblivion and there is no white knight savior on the horizon. The self-inflicted costs of renewable energy and emissions reduction are currently softened with plenty of money printing by the EZB but that cannot go on forever. So it starts to filter through to the population which is already quite smothered by ever-higher costs of living and ever lower revenues. In some countries, there is pushback now – even in some regions of Germany and this will only grow. A friend of mine said months ago that this is the challenge for the next 10 to 15 years and whatever nation fails this challenge will see its economic base threatened. Glossy reports won’t suffice.

Dennis G Sandberg
October 31, 2019 7:47 am

The EU should have said, “We have been more successful than we ever hoped to be in moving our energy intensive manufacturing to China and India. This success, despite the loss of jobs and tax base, has enabled generous virtue signaling and feeling good about ourselves opportunities. Once we get a punitive carbon tax in place these green opportunities are expected to enable full compliance with the Paris Accord.”

Johann Wundersamer
November 11, 2019 6:50 am
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