Climate change: Have countries kept their promises?

Guest post by Mike Jonas

The UK’s BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has just published an assessment of five “countries” and how well they have kept their “climate” promises. The five “countries” are the UK, Australia, EU, China, and the Philipinnes. The article is by Matt McGrath.

Before I continue, please look at the names of the five “countries”, and without knowing anything about the data that the BBC used and how they did the assessment, ask yourself which ones the BBC will give a “pass” to.


Matt McGrath presents a chart for each “country”:

My expectations, knowing that Matt McGrath’s assessment would be highly politically charged, was for a Pass for EU and China, a Fail for Australia, and a don’t know for UK and Philippines. Why were Australia and the Philippines included, instead of much more important CO2 emitters like India or Japan? The reason for inclusion of Australia is pretty obvious – one purpose of the article was to make Australia look bad (remember, Australia was excluded from the recent virtual “climate” conference, so it’s more important than ever for Australia now to look bad). The reason for including the Philippines is less obvious to me, maybe they wanted a lesser country in the list so that Australia wasn’t obviously in a different league to the others (suggestions, anyone?).

Looking at those charts, what can we see?

1. Australia was assessed “excluding forestry”. Why exclude forestry? Nothing was excluded for the others. Well, I think the answer is here:

[Australia’s] emissions from the land sector decreased 80% between 2005 and 2016

{..} Queensland land sector GHG emissions decreased from 97.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 1990 to 12 MtCO2e in 2016

[I don’t have Australia’s total, but Queensland is a large part]. Matt McGrath would have been unable to make Australia look so bad if he had looked at the whole picture. Dishonesty in certain quarters knows no bounds. It probably took him quite a while to work out how he could fiddle Australia’s numbers. With forestry included, Australia would have been the only one of the five that was well ahead of its 2020 and projected 2030 targets.

2. The percentage change and total change in CO2 emissions over the 1990(ish)-2019 period shown in the charts were (approx):

UK: -45% (-350Mt)

Australia (excluding forestry): +30% (+135Mt)

EU: -30% (-170Mt)

China: +350% (+10,500Mt)

Philippines: +30% (+110Mt)

When you are sea-sick, always remember to go to the leeward (downwind) side of the boat, so that you don’t get your own back. The UK and EU have made themselves rather ill with their “climate” efforts, but when they look at China’s numbers, they must feel like they went to the windward side. Only it wasn’t their own that they got back.

The BBC’s assessment of whether the five “countries” had kept their promises was:

UK: “mostly yes”.

Australia: “not really”.

EU: “mostly yes”.

China: “mostly yes, but with some caveats”

Philippines: “its actions to date are compatible with keeping warming well below 2C this century”.

My assessment is that this article is so highly politicised that it is just a sick joke.

There is a perfectly good reason for the USA not to be in the BBC article – they are not in the Paris agreement – but just for interest, their 1990-2019 numbers are (approx):

USA:  0% (0Mt) – 4,800Mt in 1990, 5,800Mt in 2007, 4,800Mt in 2019 (data from here and here).

The BBC article is at I have not checked whether Matt McGrath’s numbers are correct. He gives no sources. Anyone who believes the projections in the China chart is surely in cloud-cuckoo land.

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Bill Powers
December 13, 2020 10:15 am

All meaningless charting. What happens if arbitrary goals are met? What happens if arbitrary goals are exceeded? What happens if arbitrary goals are missed by megatonnes? Answer: the same thing.

Reply to  Bill Powers
December 14, 2020 4:40 pm

You get bragging rights and you only had to harm a whole pile of your country people to do it 🙂

December 13, 2020 10:29 am

Trump’s decision to withdraw from this travesty of manipulation was truly the right thing to do.
Energy engineer Donn Dears whose long career at General Electric Company in the power sector worked on projects that provide grid level electrical power and control. Part of the conclusion of his new book, The Looming Energy Crisis: Are Blackouts Inevitable? Is stated as:
“The latest science has established we have nothing to fear from increases in atmospheric levels of CO2and methane…There is every reason to believe that we are not facing an existential threat, and that actions to curtail CO2 and methane will cause severe harm to Americans.”
In a Biden administration with Mr. Kerry as his Climate Tsar we can expect futile, expensive, dangerous efforts to fight the mythical dragon of climate change with no effort to review the voluminous scientific findings that support Mr. Dears’ conclusion.

Reply to  DMA
December 13, 2020 11:09 am

Almost 80 million Americans voted in favor of fighting the mythical climate dragon. Looks like they’re going to get their wish.

Leftism truly is a mental disorder.

Dan Sudlik
Reply to  Klem
December 13, 2020 2:04 pm

How many of those voters were dead or mythical? How many real voters voted against this garbage? 73 million we know of and how many hundreds of thousands were taken away by Dominion software?

Reply to  Dan Sudlik
December 13, 2020 2:52 pm

If you used a mail in ballot and your yard had a Trump sign in it, the odds are your ballot never made it to the post office.

Reply to  Klem
December 13, 2020 2:36 pm
December 13, 2020 10:57 am

Yes, a joke. China met its’ emission target in 2020 and is expected to in 2030 only because it forecast increases. This is how the world is being mushroomed by the media. With all the coal fired plants being installed by China, at home and elsewhere, there’s no way we’ll see a world reduction unless China goes all nuclear by 2030 and it’s too late for that although they are surely on their way for it to happen eventually and achieve energy independence to a point. I wonder how the edcoloonies will react to a nuclear energy China? Not that China would care in the least. How much longer will they be allowed to hide behind the “developing nation” curtain?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  markl
December 13, 2020 11:01 am

“ How much longer will they be allowed to hide behind the “developing nation” curtain?”

As long as it takes

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
December 13, 2020 11:51 am

As long as the socialists control the education system.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  markl
December 13, 2020 1:25 pm

China is the country goody-goody-two-shoes UK exports much of its evil emissions to.

Pat from kerbob
December 13, 2020 10:59 am

I saw a cartoon on Linked-in this morning, cannot find original source
At the virtual climate summit everyone puts hands up when asked if they want to fight climate change ( AOC, Greta, Trudeau, Macron, merkle, DiCaprio) all hands up

Then they are asked who is in favor of telling china they have to reduce emissions, as China produces 1/3 of world emissions

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
December 13, 2020 5:04 pm

Could you please provide a link to this cartoon.


Jean Meeus
December 13, 2020 11:13 am

What is the importance to reduce the human emission of CO2, if this emission is only 4% of the total emission? The other 96% are due to natural causes.

Reply to  Jean Meeus
December 13, 2020 12:40 pm

“What is the importance to reduce the human emission of CO2”
There is no importance derived from science, common sense, or financial analysis. If there is any it lies elsewhere and, because it remains undisclosed, it is likely nefarious.

December 13, 2020 11:15 am

These targets and commitments from politicians are on the same level of substance as their endless “apologies” for just about anything & everything that some irrelevant group wants to make a noise about.

And of course all the politicians really want to do is curry more favor with their adoring media buffoons.
(I’m looking at you Justin. I reckon his only concern about making any “popular” apology is – “should this be a full-on tears apology, or just a quivering bottom lip apology?)

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Mr.
December 13, 2020 11:33 am

Look at the bright side. Now that politicians have been shown how to get (re-)elected through fraudulent means, they will not longer feel a necessity to curry favor with various fringe groups. Thus, they only need focus on raising enough money to buy their office. I’m amazed at how brilliant the Left is!

December 13, 2020 11:17 am

No. And if they said they did, who audited the report? Who vetted the auditors? Who checked the bank accounts of the vetters?

Clyde Spencer
December 13, 2020 11:27 am

“Dishonesty in certain quarters knows no bounds.”

That seems to be the major problem today. The media routinely lies by omission, and instead of using science to seek truth, uses ‘science’ to promote their political ideology.

The Fourth Estate has become a Fifth Column. Something has to be done about it!

Climate believer
December 13, 2020 11:55 am

From the Climate Tracker site, China; “It would need to phase out coal before 2040 under 1.5˚C compatible pathways, but it appears to be going in the opposite direction. ”

Hold the front page.

December 13, 2020 12:04 pm

Defund Harrabin, McGrath and the BBC

December 13, 2020 12:06 pm

As a Brit, I can attest that the BBC has it’s head so far up it’s own climate change backside, you can no longer determine the colour of it’s socks.

This evening I watched “Countryfile”, a programme that used to inform and entertain in regard to farming and the environment. They were interviewing someone who stated that due to global warming of 2 degrees C, the Little Egret, which he described as an African bird, was now found in Britain. The fact that it’s name derives from the Provençal French Aigrette, and that it was widespread throughout western Europe until hunted to near extinction in the 19th century for it’s decorative feathers did not get a mention.

The BBC’s approach to climate change amounts to subliminal advertising, banned in the UK since 1957 but revived by McGrath, Harrabin and co., no doubt for what the BBC considers ‘the greater good’.

Reply to  Cyan
December 13, 2020 2:15 pm

I watched “Countryfile”

Rather you than me. But did you know that Countryfile’s James Wong informed us recently that:

British gardening culture is ‘racist’ due to its use of terms like ‘heritage’ and ‘native’

He was responding to another user who had shared an article he wrote last month for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper which questioned why horticulture was not perceived as more political.

Mr Wong wrote in response: ‘Absolutely U.K. gardening culture has racism baked into its DNA.

They are head cases at the BBC

Reply to  fretslider
December 14, 2020 4:46 am

I think that in regard to the Guardian, for ‘left-leaning’ read near-horizontal.

Reply to  Cyan
December 14, 2020 4:23 am

I can tell you with authority that not only the Little Egret, but the Cattle Egret and Great White Egret have extended their range to and in the UK since the 1990s and that yes, the change in the UK climate to warmer and wetter winters is definitely a factor. climate is also the factor influencing birds moving their range northward within the UK and changing to wintering in the UK. Every year now a few swallows attempt to overwinter, something unheard of before the millenium

Reply to  griff
December 14, 2020 6:43 am

Hey giffy – Were they there in the Medieval Warm Period as well? How about during the Roman Warm Period.

Reply to  griff
December 14, 2020 7:35 am

I can tell you with authority that Cattle Egret colonized South America from Africa in the 1930’s. They’ve been spreading north ever since because of man made globull warming. Right Ms. Griff?

Dr Ken Pollock
Reply to  Cyan
December 15, 2020 10:55 am

Cyan, I really should not reply to your comments but I am afraid you are right about Countryfile. Along with fellow producer Martin Small and executive producer John Kenyon, now deceased, I devised the brief for the replacement for the TV Farming programme we were producing at the time. It was to broaden the scope of the series and inform and entertain that huge audience interested in the countryside.
In fact, I coined the name “Countryfile”, but did not get to run the programme, as I was too involved in farming! Sadly, I now describe the series as “Blue Peter for grown-ups”.
So I am not surprised they have swallowed the environmentalists’ gospel that every change is deleterious. All scientific rigour has disappeared from the BBC, in the cause of attacking the progress that has brought prosperity, health and longevity, here and across the world!

December 13, 2020 12:12 pm


They literally “fixed” the graph to tell what they wanted to. This is what “science” and “journalistic” “””integrity””” in 2020 is like.

Using the same method, I can show you a graph portraying almost anything. Growth, decline, stagnation, asymptotic to zero, pick your poison. This is pure propaganda.

Peta of Newark
December 13, 2020 12:17 pm

As I keep saying Ad-Tedium, the Human Animal cannot lie.

Thus, regulars visitors to the BBC news site will see at the bottom of most pages a little link pointing to an explanation of ‘Why You Can trust The BBC’

(I’ve *never* been there, I feel queasy just saying about it here)

As Shakespeare wrote: “Methinks the lady doth protest her innocence a little *too* strongly”

So it comes to pass that Yours Truly is quite convinced that the BBC is proclaiming their goodliness ‘A Little Too Strongly.

Pinch of salt etc etc blah blah blah
(Another thing that’ll convince you The World has gone mad.
>>Modern healthcare says “Don’t Eat More Than X Amount Of Salt”
Should one ignore that, one will find that salt is an epic appetite suppressant. It obviously triggers whatever signal from guts to brain that says ‘”That’s enough, don’t need eat anymore”
See where I’m going, does Modern Health Advice effectively railroad folks into eating more and more and getting …. you know the rest. Fat.

And what sort of people are dying of Covid if not the obese and diabetic?

Maybe a bit extra salt in the diet would have averted a lot of this, what has turned into, debacle.
Funny old world

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 13, 2020 1:41 pm

The very fact that the BBC tries to assert its honesty means that it can never be trusted. Honesty and integrity are shown by deeds, not words.

Hamish Griffiths
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 14, 2020 5:04 am

He wrote “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”.

December 13, 2020 12:49 pm

China’s continued increases make everyone else’s hard won decreases irrelevant. The idea that China is going to get to any kind of 2060 goal is dreaming in technicolor.

Reply to  Scissor
December 13, 2020 5:23 pm

On the one hand, Chinese spying and theft of government and corporate secrets is beyond question. On the other hand, membership in the Chinese Communist Party is kind of like having been a Boy Scout.

The last time I checked, China would not let its citizens have dual citizenship. That means that, not being American citizens, they are barred from a whole bunch of sensitive jobs.

Bruce Cobb
December 13, 2020 1:59 pm

Everybody likes to flap their gums about the “climate emergency”.
But nobody wants to do anything about it.

a happy little debunker
December 13, 2020 2:07 pm

As long as Australia (& it’s territorial waters) remains a net carbon sink then Australia is doing better with CO2 emissions than almost every other nation on the planet.

Prove me wrong!

John F Hultquist
Reply to  a happy little debunker
December 13, 2020 4:26 pm

Dear Happy,
I think you have taken the wrong message.
These folks do not want proof of anything. The first axiom
of the Climate Cult is that Carbon Dioxide shall kill Earth.
Unless you wear a hair shirt, you are unforgiven.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  a happy little debunker
December 13, 2020 6:20 pm

No, actually we have done MORE than more than almost every other nation.

Remember they realised the Great Barrier Reef is not actually dead, and if it isn’t dead then it is clearly acting as a massive carbon sink.

So, Rest of the World? Oi Oi Oi!

Geoff Sherrington
December 13, 2020 4:08 pm

The graphs with BBC at lower right are horribly misleading.
Traditionally, one compares graphs using the same scales on both X-axis and Y-axis. If not, a note is used to point out the different scales.
These BBC graphs are all over the place with both axes. This makes them more like cartoons than science.
Here I have drawn a rough display of Australian historical emissions (excluding forestry!!!) on the same graph as Chinese emissions.
Thoroughly deceptive of the BBC. Shame. Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 13, 2020 4:39 pm


Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Mike
December 13, 2020 5:44 pm

Thanks Mike,
Also, for what it is worth, a plot of the Phillipines data at the same scale is hard, because all Phillipines is similar to the width of the line on the China scale and it comes out as a little thicker line along the horizontal axis that the eye finds hard to see. Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 13, 2020 6:13 pm

I’ll give you 100% too. (And I thought I would clarify that the “100%” above is a different Mike).

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 14, 2020 1:55 am

Thanks Mike and Mike.
There is only one Geoff S here.
Geoff S here.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 13, 2020 5:10 pm

Well spotted.

December 13, 2020 4:34 pm

Don’t trust ANYTHING from the BBC ;
I learned that in 1985 at he time of the Heysel Stadium Disaster when the BBC reports were totally different from all other eye witness reports.
The BBC reported that the Liverpool fans had not been aggressive & the Italian fans were the perpetrators…
Unfortunately, I travelled on the same overnight ferry (Hull -Zeebrugge ) as a load of drunken Liverpool fans (I was working in Brussels at the time) they rioted on the ship attacking crew & passengers with chairs, extinguishers & broken bottles, only quelled when BIG engine-room staff arrived & started swinging hammers & 2 foot long spanners. Next morning dozens of fans were taken off in cuffs by Belgian riot police.

Over the next few days I witnessed Liverpool fans going on the rampage (fuelled by strong Belgian beer) smashing shops, cars, trams & people, even ripping down a park fence to use as spears.

On the day of the ‘game’ we went to stay in Antwerp for a few days to be safe & saw what happened at the stadium on TV, the Belgian, Dutch French German & British ITV all showed the same footage & told roughly the same story; but the BBC showed crudely edited footage & told a different story. My multi-lingual hosts & I were appalled.

Some years earlier, when I was interviewed by the BBC all seemed OK at the time (even though the interviewer had tried to put words in my mouth), but when the edited version was put on air they’d made it look like I was saying something totally different.
Don’t trust ANYTHING from the BBC

December 13, 2020 4:35 pm

This chart from mid-2019 says it all:
Another Year, Another CO2 Target

December 13, 2020 4:56 pm

If China took over Australia, would BBC count in the forestry in their CO2 estimates?

December 13, 2020 5:05 pm

The BBC should look at the INDC (intial nationally determined contribution) that became the first NDC when the country ratified or acceded to the Paris Agreement rather than looking at the climate tracker for the commitments. There is no sense on including China as it INDC or NDC was for their GHG emission to peak by 2030 and they will try there best effort to peak earlier. In simple language, China’s emission could be as high as they want. It looks like the graph was for China’s effort to reduce energy intensity and use of renewable resources. (see page 5 of the English version in the UNFCCC webpage) .The second big error is the Philippine commitment. The Philippines INDC is to reduce its emission by 70 per cent not an increase of 30 per cent. (see page 3 of their INDC although there seems to be no NDC from the UNFCCC webpage). The second NDC is supposed to be on the table this year but has been postponed to next year. Most likely the commitments will be increased as current UNFCCC analysis shows current commitments are insufficient. Countries do lots of foot works to hide the real intent. For example, India used reduction in energy intensity by 33 to 35 per cent but since the divider which is the GDP increases much faster than energy usage, the actual result is an increase of almost 300 per cent. I think this has been discussed here at WUWT before. Second, the Indian commitment is based on the financial grants of some $2.5 trillion ( see page 31 of their INDC), Overall, countries tries to use different base years to show apparent reduction.
Comparison has to be done with care.

Craig from Oz
December 13, 2020 7:02 pm

Another trick when comparing apples to zinc plated metric hex nuts is casually play with the X and Y scales and hope no one actually notices.

The eyes of the casual viewer are drawn to the big bold lines of the graph, so for most viewers the shape becomes important. UK is a downwards shape… That is good, right? Australia is a flat shape. Well they clearly aren’t pulling their weight.

However when you look closer you should notice the X axis finishes at 2030 for Australia but extends further for the other graphs, allowing the creator the space to show ‘on track for future reductions’ (whatever they actually are) while Australia – who stops at 2030 – can be described as not planning ahead. Cause they are bad.

On the Y axis we have the scale to deal with. Australia has the major marks on the Y as 200 mega ton gaps. China by comparison has 5000 mega ton dividers. Superimposed the Australia line would be a flat squiggle just above the zero axis. In fact if that line was drawn thick enough it might as well actually be the zero axis.

Also, in context Australia is trying to reduce by roughly 30 Megatons. China, I feel confident in saying, has their weekly emission vary by that amount just through their standard casual variations.

Like some other’s pointed out, you can prove anything with a graph, provided you are the person making it.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Craig from Oz
December 14, 2020 1:57 am

Hi Craig,
Read the earlier comments including (ahem) one by Geoff S here
Geoff S
Then click on this

Geoff Sherrington
December 14, 2020 2:01 am

Hi Craig,
Read the earlier comments including (ahem) one by Geoff S here
Geoff S
Then click on this

Although, afterthought, the Chinese graph from the BBC looks a little like this solution to everything.

Tom Abbott
December 14, 2020 4:58 am

From the article: “Label on China chart: “China expected to meet its 2030 target”

I literally laughed out loud when I read that.

I laughed because China’s 2030 target is not a target. Under the Paris Climate Accord, China does not have to reduce CO2 output until 2030, and when 2030 rolls around, they can decide then, whether they are going to impose any CO2 restrictions on themselves. My bet is the Chicoms will not restrict themselves in any way.

I think it’s funny that people in some circles consider China a member in good standing of the Paris Climate Accord. China is doing nothing about reducing Chinese CO2 and will continue to do nothing. And some less-than-insightful people praise them for it.

China’s leader, Xi must marvel at how easy it is to dupe (or buy off) Western politicians. No wonder he thinks he ought to be running the whole world. He’s surrounded by idiots.

Tom Abbott
December 14, 2020 5:14 am

From the article: “USA: 0% (0Mt) – 4,800Mt in 1990, 5,800Mt in 2007, 4,800Mt in 2019 ”

So I guess that means U.S. production of CO2 has been reduced back to 1990’s levels.

And the U.S. did that without crippling its economy, and without putting a windmill on every street corner.

All it took was a little Free Enterprise and common sense.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 14, 2020 9:14 am

There are at least three other ways these statistics are misleading. First, they are not indexed by population change. During the span from 1990 to 2020, U.S. population increased by 79 million, from 252 million to 331 million, or 31%. Most of the U.S. population gain has been immigrants and first generation children of immigrants. Nevertheless, while the nation and economy grew dramatically, emissions did not show a net increase. All the while, the left cries for open borders AND net zero. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

EU-27 population rose from 417 million to 448 million during the same period, a change of only 31 million or 7.4%.

Second, one must consider population density. As of 2018, EU-27 population density is 108.8 persons/km2, while the U.S. population density in 2020 is 33.7 persons/km2. A union of states with a large land mass and scattered population necessitates higher per capita energy use for transportation, infrastructure and commerce. Australia and Canada are prime examples, vast in size and low in population.

One might add that among developed countries, the U.S., Canada and Australia are proportionately major producers of fossil fuels and primary minerals, all of which emit that devil molecule CO2 in order to energize themselves and the rest of the world. Per capita emissions reflect this, with Australia, Canada and U.S. at 25, 21 and 20 Metric tons of CO2e per capita. In order to approach net zero, the greens’ “aspiration” is for our economies to mimic those of rich and thriving Bangladesh, Uganda, Rwanda and Liberia (sarc).

December 14, 2020 9:02 am

The Australian landmass soaks up all our industrial emissions.

We should have always insisted on including that facto.

If we had added in our marine areas – then we are assisting rest of world.

December 14, 2020 9:42 am

In any case, bothering with this whole question is an exercise in futility. Leave it as an academic curiosity for researchers to argue over how many CO2 molecules can dance on the head of a pin, with NO public policy implications. The greening of earth and mild warming that we have experienced since the Little Ice Age are good for almost everyone. They are NOT a problem and CERTAINLY NOT a crisis or emergency for the foreseeable future. While Bjorn Lomborg does worry about climate while I do not, he and I agree that hasty, ill-conceived action to mitigate the change (much of which has been natural) is damaging and wasteful. Energy wise? Give time for R&D and infrastructure to progress naturally from coal to gas to nuclear, without wasting our efforts on ineffective, costly and environmentally devastating wind, solar and biofuels. Electric vehicles? Someday, but not yet, and not by government subsidy and mandate.

Our world has a far bigger problem, as it has from the Garden – sin in the form of pride, greed, corruption, lust for power, murder of the innocent, laziness, envy, Godlessness, sexual perversion of every kind, and disrespect for family and heritage. I could add others, but you can make your own top ten list, mix or match. These are the real pandemic and are quickly taking down Western civilization.

December 14, 2020 9:55 am

By the way, where is the list of words or phrases that automatically put comments in moderation? It would be good to know for future reference.

December 15, 2020 8:27 am

Does Matt McGrath allow for the fact that some countries, like China, talk and good game and promise the Earth but, from their practical policies, have absolutely no intention of doing what they say they are going to do?

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