Net Zero Agenda Faltering: “Pie in the Sky”


APRIL 2, 2021

By Paul Homewood

A round up of Net Zero news:


Yesterday, Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan warned that COP26 will end in failure without hundreds of billions in annual support from the rich West. Developing countries would need about $400 billion a year in climate finance support to shift towards low carbon development pathways, yet developed countries had failed to deliver the $100 billion a year of climate finance promised as part of the Paris agreement.

Now, India has come out fighting, calling the West’s 2050 Net Zero targets “pie in the sky.” India’s energy minister said poor nations want to continue using fossil fuels and the rich countries “can’t stop it”.

According to both the UK and US governments, at the UN climate summit in November all countries should adopt Net Zero emissions targets similar to those adopted by Western nations. The fundamental problem with this expectation is that it contravenes the Paris Climate Agreement which cements the UN’s key principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities.‘ This principle acknowledges that developing nations have different capabilities and differing responsibilities in reducing CO2 emissions.

In a recent interview, India’s climate negotiator Chandrashekhar Dasgupta made clear that the West’s Net Zero agenda undermined the principle of equity and “common but differentiated responsibilities” of developed and developing countries. This position also explains why India is demanding that richer countries adopt “net negative” emissions targets.

India: Net zero targets are ‘pie in the sky’

Sharp divisions between the major global emitters have emerged at a series of meetings designed to make progress on climate change.

India lambasted the richer world’s carbon cutting plans, calling long term net zero targets, “pie in the sky.”

Their energy minister said poor nations want to continue using fossil fuels and the rich countries “can’t stop it”.

China meanwhile declined to attend a different climate event organised by the UK.

Trying to lead 197 countries forward on the critical global issue of climate change is not a job for the faint hearted, as the UK is currently finding out. […]

India, the world’s fourth largest emitter, doesn’t seem keen to join the club.

“2060 sounds good, but it is just that, it sounds good,” Raj Kumar Singh, India’s minister for power, told a meeting organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“I would call it, and I’m sorry to say this, but it is just a pie in the sky.”

To the discomfort of his fellow panellists, Mr Singh singled out developed countries where per capita emissions are much higher than in India.

“You have countries whose per capita emissions are four or five or 12 times the world average. The question is when are they going to come down?”

“What we hear is that by 2050 or 2060 we will become carbon neutral, 2060 is far away and if the people emit at the rate they are emitting the world won’t survive, so what are you going to do in the next five years that’s what the world wants to know.”

Meanwhile China continues to plough ahead with coal power:


Despite its pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, China continues to burn more coal than any other developed nation, relying on the fossil fuel to satisfy the nation’s surging demand for electricity.

According to a report released Monday by U.K.-based energy and climate research group Ember, China accounted for 53% of the world’s coal-powered electricity in 2020—nine percentage points higher than its share in 2015, when China joined the Paris Agreement.

“Despite some progress, China is still struggling to curb its coal generation growth,” Ember senior electricity policy analyst Muyi Yang said. “[F]ast-rising demand for electricity” in China continues to be satisfied by burning coal.

China’s electricity usage has surged 33% since 2015. According to the International Energy Agency, demand from China’s steel and cement industry—propped up by the state’s heavy infrastructure investment—is one of the primary drivers of electricity consumption, alongside increasing automation of the manufacturing industry.


And the climate agenda is slipping in France as Macron finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place!


  The politicians have all left Emmanuel Macron‘s La Republique en Marche (LREM) over the President’s lack of commitment to environmental and social issues. The French leader has failed to stick to his famous “make our planet great again” slogan from 2017, sparking the fury of those both in opposition and in his own party.

Jennifer De Temmerman, an MP and former LREM member, said the President’s commitment was “skin deep”.

She told Politico: “It’s all communication, smoke and mirrors. He lectures others, but in reality, his actions in France don’t pass muster.”

Thousands of protesters took to the street of Paris on Sunday to demonstrate against the President’s climate bill, which environmental campaigners say falls too short of Mr Macron’s promises to change the world.

Ms De Temmerman said: “We were expecting a grand bill, a landmark piece of legislation, and it falls very short of our expectations.

France’s High Council on Climate, a body set up by The French President himself to advise on climate policy, said the measures will not “fill the gaps in France’s transition to low carbon.

They added the bill will only deliver “between a half and two-thirds of the cuts needed between 2019 and its [40 percent] target for 2030”.

Those who once supported the French President’s green ambitions, now recognise the “contradictions” in his policies.

It strikes me that the world has actually made little progress (if that is the right word!) since Copenhagen in 2009. Back then the developed world had to agree to allow developing nations the right to carry on increasing emissions, as well as giving them hundreds of billions of dollars. Very little of that money has actually appeared.

Fast forward, and developing nations are still increasing emissions, while demanding ever larger sums of money. Meanwhile the West is finding that the transition to a low carbon world is going to be extremely painful.

No doubt at COP26 in Glasgow (rumoured that it may be postponed again because of the pandemic), the usual fudges will be made. There will be vague promises from poorer countries to “do something” at a time several decades in the future. These will of course be utterly worthless, and be no more binding than their Paris pledges.

The BBC will proclaim that the world has been saved (before reading the small print in a few years time). And a year later, Prince Charles will warn us that we only have X years to save the planet!

Same Old!

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April 4, 2021 10:14 am

you can’t quote the Express as any kind of reliable source, especially when it involves an EU country. (They’re the paper which thinks the duke of Edinburgh put the hit on Diana)

and look at that coal increase/decease chart… the total for the whole world went DOWN.

Reply to  griff
April 4, 2021 10:26 am

Coal is replaced by gas wherever the $$$s dictate that it should be so.

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Mr.
April 4, 2021 11:23 am

Self delusion is the most difficult kind to counter. “There are none so blind” (or deaf), but at least your slanted postings provide some enjoyment, and an opportunity for clarifying responses the educate the undecided.

Reply to  Richard (the cynical one)
April 5, 2021 6:53 am

yes, people are always telling me I’m deluded – but I see very little evidence posted as to why…

(You are in permanent moderation for a good reason) SUNMOD

Reply to  griff
April 4, 2021 10:29 am

You saw it ?
There are other quotes 😀
The total goes down ? 😀
Africa to double coal fired power by 2030
In the next ten years, Australia will close a couple of coal plants, while Africa will build 1250.
Africa is going to double its energy and almost all the increase is coming from fossil fuels. This is hard to explain, given that renewables are “free” and Africa is poor. But at the end of the decade unreliable renewables will still make less than 10% of the energy in Africa.

Wait to see your numbers 😀

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 5, 2021 6:54 am

Africa doesn’t have that much coal power and I doubt if it will double what it has.

Reply to  griff
April 5, 2021 8:10 am

You need to learn to do research, there are large coal areas in Africa, South Africa alone have some of the biggest coal reserves in the world.


Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  griff
April 4, 2021 10:47 am


The “coal increase/decrease chart” that you reference does NOT give a value for whether or not coal use for “the whole world” went up or down . . . it only shows a very tiny decease, 1% or less from scaling, of coal used for electricity generation over the period of 2015-2020.

1) Coal is used for many things other than electrical power generation, including steel production, a heat source for cement production, direct/indirect (steam) heating of homes and commercial buildings, and production of synthetic fuels.

2) Due to the 2020 pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 and its economic impact on different nations, the graph you reference might well be distorted from the trend line for say, the 2014-2019 period, for even coal used to generate electricity.

It is sad that you did not consider these facts in arriving at your stated conclusion.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 4, 2021 12:46 pm

In your final line, it should read “before arriving at your predetermined conclusion”.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  griff
April 4, 2021 1:06 pm

IF it went down, it’s because the US and the Western World is burning more natural gas, you silly git.

But by all means, keep on voting to export the entirety of Europe’s industrial capacity to Communist China. Keep voting for low density, intermittent power. Just don’t come crying when you reap the whirlwind.

Reply to  griff
April 4, 2021 1:53 pm

Your trolling is ineffective. CO2 emissions continue to rise. CO2 concentration continues to rise.
The result? Marginal warming, blockbuster crop yields, and a greening earth.
Sorry that you prefer stone age misery. Perhaps you should set an example for others and stop releasing CO2 with every breath?

M Courtney
Reply to  griff
April 4, 2021 2:30 pm

You’re right about the Express though.

Reply to  griff
April 4, 2021 7:30 pm

You quote the guiardian as a reliable source and have a look at their track record 🙂

Meanwhile Australia continues to export lots and lots of Coal as most don’t want to learn to become coders 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by LdB
Reply to  LdB
April 5, 2021 6:56 am

The Guardian ALWAYS prints links to the scientific papers behind its articles and I urge you to look through the Guardian at those links. It is not the Guardian I’m urging you to look at: it just happens to print more links to the science than other newspapers… plus it is free to access online.

Reply to  griff
April 5, 2021 7:59 am

The Guardian too often misrepresents the links.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
April 5, 2021 7:51 am

According to Carbon Brief the world has doubled its coal fired power capacity since 2000 to around 2045GW so wrong again Griff.

patrick healy
Reply to  griff
April 5, 2021 9:07 am

sorry to be the nigger in the woodpile but when the Griff says the now marxist Express is any kind of reliable source, he does not deserve down votes.- ok “out of the mouths of babes etc”

Ron Long
April 4, 2021 10:15 am

Show me the money!

Gordon A. Dressler
April 4, 2021 10:21 am

“Rules for thee, but none for me!”

Gregory Woods
April 4, 2021 10:56 am

As it happens, ‘Prince’ Chucky and I are the same age, and I believe that both of us will reach Net Zero before carbon dioxide emissions do…..

April 4, 2021 11:02 am

“The UK Government has said it wants hundreds of thousands of heat pumps to replace gas boilers.

Radiators would have to run 10 degrees cooler under changes to homes needed for Britain to hit net zero, the public has been warned. “…

Reply to  saveenergy
April 5, 2021 4:59 am

They will probably run at those those temperatures anyway as air source heat pumps will be incapable of raising the temperature to what people might like unless the home is really well insulated.

As an aside, I read that in a large uptake of heat pumps scenario. peak electricity demand would be around 150GW. Peak demand is currently in the 40sGW.
I imagine a blocking high, freezing cold, no wind, lots of sunshine but not much use at our latitude in winter. What would supply 150GW? Not windmills and solar panels, no matter how many of them there were.

Mr. Lee
April 4, 2021 11:14 am

“Net ” zero. The term itself sounds like the negotiation stage of grieving.
I guess the elites invented it to confer a veneer of plausibility to the goal, so that it does not lose its power in subjugation via guilt.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Mr. Lee
April 4, 2021 5:38 pm

Net zero.
The elites that push this won’t have to change what they do but you will to make up for what they emit?

M Courtney
April 4, 2021 11:19 am

Cutting CO2 emissions is pointless if it doesn’t affect CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. It’s the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere that warms the planet. (We’ve been told that’s settled science).

2020 was a good dry run for cutting CO2 emissions. The whole world went into lockdown. Aviation declined. Traffic declined. Even industrial output declined as staff self-isolated. It was 12 months of strong action on CO2 emissions. And unusually, by all nations of the world in the same year.

So what effect did this cut in CO2 emissions have on CO2 concentration in the atmosphere?
Not a bit, that can be perceived. Just look at Mauna Loa data. It’s still rising undaunted.

Conclusion: One year of Lockdown was too small a sacrifice to make. We need to lockdown harder and for longer.

And anyone who campaigns for cuts in CO2 emissions that do less than that are wasting their time. They are just asking for costs with no benefits at all.

As all politicians can see that they cannot deliver eternal lockdown without revolutions leading to them swinging from lampposts, they have to refuse to do it.
But they can’t annoy the unthinking middle classes who Believe. So they must pass the bill onto others who can take the blame.

Thus the next COP is doomed. And the AGW scare is practically dead.
Just the looting of the corpses to go.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 4, 2021 12:27 pm

We need lockdown while freezing in the dark, you mean. That’s what will make the difference in reducing the global average temperature 1 degree C in a hundred years. Sounds like its worth it to me. Think of the children.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  M Courtney
April 4, 2021 2:52 pm

The first to sacrifice if anyone is to do so- are the rich, heavy “carbon polluters” like Gore, Gates, Obama, etc. Once they’ve drastically lowered their standard of living to that of working class folks- then maybe I’ll START to take them seriously.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 4, 2021 8:25 pm

Oh they do their bit, they buy carbon offsets – you know the feel good BS. Same as those who go to Church every week to get their forgiveness and then go back out into the world and repeat it all again the next week.

Same as those who eat junk food but buy a diet drink to go with it. Makes you feel better and you think your doing something but you’re not.

I’m getting a new car through a lease and the first thing I had removed from the contract was the $18 a month carbon offset…(wonder if they sneak that in on hybrids and electric car leases.)

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  liberator
April 5, 2021 3:18 am

Massachusetts Audubon, probably the oldest conservation organization in America, sells a carbon offset specifically to people who feel guilty flying in jets. They say they’ll use the money to buy more land and lock it up. In their advertisement for this service they show a jet flying over a few solar panels and a few wind turbines that look about 30′ tall- surrounded by a beautiful pasture filled with flowers. I like MA Audubon, they do have some nice properties which I like hiking in- but this really turned me against them.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 4, 2021 4:39 pm

It’s the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere that warms the planet. 

Where does this nonsense come from – there is no “greenhouse effect”.

The ocean surface temperature is limited to 30C maximum and -2C minimum. Within our ability to measure it, the average surface temperature is the mean of the two extremes – 14C or 57F.

I can confirm fewer warm pools at 30C today compared with a week ago and none showing up in the Atlantic yet:,-11.00,376/loc=118.156,-15.313

M Courtney
Reply to  RickWill
April 4, 2021 5:19 pm

Not helping.
People can argue with your science to promote misery.
They can’t argue with their own science.

Gary Pearse
April 4, 2021 11:33 am

Good stuff Paul as always. I respectfully suggest that WUWT keep hammering the “pie in the sky” aspect rather than the science except for knockout-punch science as far as convincing the public is concerned.

Skeptics have already beaten the faux consensus to the mat, won every debate when the other side still had an apetite for this and they have now segued into dismissing (and threatening à la Nuremburg) sceptics. They have been successful with the marginalization of sceptics hiding this t
pie in the sky argument.

The public is not getting enough of this side of the issue. The climate wroughters never mention it because this is the most damning fact for the ’cause’. People think the whole world is on board except for some right wing Americans. If people being polled know that we are going to be increasing CO2 no matter what cash and complianis achieved by The West.

Let’s do a poll asking people if CO2 is going to increase hugely in developing nations and the West can’t do it on its own, should we continue to kill our economy to no avail.

The good news is that the climate response to the enormous additional CO2 has been little to none other than the Great Greening and bumper harvests. We should also be hitting the good news more forcefully.

April 4, 2021 11:42 am

Net Zero chance of Net Zero anytime soon …—…

Data & Statistics – IEA

Like saying an electric vehicle is Zero Emissions without counting the emissions needed to create it and charge it, or burning wood pellets for power, and not counting it in the calculations.

“Yeah, that’s the ticket”

Reply to  Ossqss
April 4, 2021 5:53 pm

Where is the comment from Griff on countering the TES data points? C’mon man!

April 4, 2021 12:35 pm

So what if it’s impossible.

Pat from kerbob
April 4, 2021 12:50 pm

If they actually cared there would be a moonshot program to build nuclear plants instead of coal and gas.

Clearly the 3rd world isn’t buying the fiction that wind and solar are a useful solution

John Dueker
April 4, 2021 12:58 pm

India deserves credit for calling out the lunacy of net zero targets. They should have gone farther and called out the lunacy of company net zero targets like Amazon’s.

Reply to  John Dueker
April 5, 2021 8:50 am

A few high-profit companies can do Nett Zero without doing much harm* but the greater the number doing it the harder it will be for them to comply as more and more of their energy will have to come from unreliables.

So we should be resisting this tokenism because it’s not just costless virtue signalling; it will drive up costs.

*or much good, for that matter

Joel O'Bryan
April 4, 2021 1:03 pm

net zero = beggaring the middle class.
By design.

April 4, 2021 1:15 pm

… poor nations want to continue using fossil fuels and the rich countries “can’t stop it”.

There’s the problem. If the West tries to punish the poor countries it will just force them into China’s arms. We know exactly how this works because we went through the same thing with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Reply to  commieBob
April 4, 2021 2:00 pm

*China and Russia. The Russians have long had sense enough to refute the ‘settled science’

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom
April 4, 2021 2:55 pm

The Russians are hoping and praying that their several million square miles of Siberia warm up several degrees C.

Peta of Newark
April 4, 2021 1:16 pm

Net Zero is a perfectly grotesque phrase and Complete Madness.

It implies the burning/destruction of Biomass

Biomass destruction caused the Warm Periods so enjoyed by all previous (attempts at) civilisation and it will destroy this one in the exact same way.

April 4, 2021 1:57 pm

Every time I fill up here in Toronto at Shell, I am reminded that they are ‘offsetting [my] carbon emissions’. I’m sure similar nonsense will be spouted by the west (“Look how many trees we planted! And we forgot to count the CO2-injection for EOR in depleting oil and gas wells. We are net zero!”) while the rest of the world gets on with life and adapting to climate as it comes.
How many more years will sensible people in the west put up with this silliness?

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom
Reply to  Tom
April 4, 2021 2:49 pm

“How many more years will sensible people in the west put up with this silliness?”

Probably until we get some major major blackouts. Lots of posts on how UK or California ” Just avoided” a major grid meltdown. Texas was a good start but the reasons for it have been well covered up. A few major blackouts with obvious causes are needed to wake the sheeple up. Electricity prices are not going to do it as they happen too slowly.(frog in a warming pot). Few people really care about the poor who are struggling, MSM just avoids talking about them.

Jeff Meyer
April 4, 2021 2:15 pm

Looks like just the Socialistic States are the ones screwing up the most!

Coeur de Lion
April 4, 2021 2:29 pm

India will equal the EU in energy production by 2030 on the back of fossil fuels.
Boris Johnson gave the Green Climate Fund £20 from every man woman and child in the U.K. last March. Do they know? Did he ask them?

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
April 4, 2021 4:00 pm

That’s £80 per household with very, very little control over what is spent on once it leaves the country. Various recipients will use the money to buy low emissions Toyota trucks to mount their 50 cal DShK machine guns on, and plant trees to tie dissidents to.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 4, 2021 5:02 pm

Various recipients will use the money to buy low emissions Toyota trucks to mount their 50 cal DShK machine guns on, and plant trees to tie dissidents to.

I cannot imagine the tiny sum from the UK will trickle down to dictators. The USD2bn over 3 years will hardly cover the UN GCF admin fee.

The poor nations have lost patience with the UN. They have realised that China is willing to finance development without the religious strings that money from the UN entails.

April 4, 2021 3:44 pm

“Ms De Temmerman said: “We were expecting a grand bill, a landmark piece of legislation, and it falls very short of our expectations.”

Well, they will certainly be getting a Grand Bill later on and so will all the rest of those who are compliant with tis foolish idea. The question will be … ‘Who will pay?’ … and it is London-to-a-Brick-on that it will be you.

April 4, 2021 4:01 pm

I had a chuckle reading the Fortune headline. “China Burned Over Half the World’s Coal Last Year…” Really?  That is an awful lot of coal! What if they burn the other half of the world’s coal next year? That would solve the problem since no more coal will be left. 🤣

Reply to  PaulH
April 5, 2021 4:19 am

Oooh, you are naughty.

April 4, 2021 5:54 pm

People go back and forth between “per capita” and total emissions based on what ever makes their argument look good.

If you buy the alarmist position on “climate” (and I don’t) the atmosphere doesn’t give a good gosh darn about “per capita”, just tell Greta how many tons your country is spewing into the air and how many coal plants you are building, to compare with the UK and US’s “virtually none”.

Bruce Cobb
April 4, 2021 6:09 pm

That’s it, I’m investing in popcorn futures.

April 4, 2021 7:00 pm

Why are they allowed to say ‘Carbon free’.
I thought they hated CO2.
I can no longer buy charcoal to cook my steak?

Tom in Toronto
Reply to  Nashville
April 4, 2021 7:24 pm

Carbon sounds dirtier and scarier. As if what they are trying to stop is factories spewing black smoke filled with solid carbon particulates.
CO2 is a natural gas that all life on earth depends on in one way or another. It doesn’t sound scary enough for alarmists.
And if you want to buy charcoal in the ‘net zero economy’ you’ll find that its price will be sky-high because of all the tree-planting that they’ll do in order to pay the penance for your sin.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom in Toronto
Frank from NoVA
April 5, 2021 5:36 am

“Despite some progress, China is still struggling to curb its coal generation growth,” Ember senior electricity policy analyst Muyi Yang said.

Yeah, I bet they’re “struggling”! It’s quotes like this that tell you that the whole movement’s a load of crap.

Tom Abbott
April 5, 2021 8:11 am

From the article: “Now, India has come out fighting, calling the West’s 2050 Net Zero targets “pie in the sky.” India’s energy minister said poor nations want to continue using fossil fuels and the rich countries “can’t stop it”.”

Game over! 🙂

The Western world cannot offset India and China’s CO2 increased production if India and China refuse to stop using coal and other fossil fuels.

Dennis G Sandberg
April 5, 2021 9:15 am

What is wrong with my position? Someone please help me with this.

I hear all the China and India shaming for their CO2 emissions. But, they are producing the energy intensive products that every modern society requires. The West has abandoned those industry to reduce energy consumption (along with the jobs, tax base and profits but that’s another story).

Whatever percentage of the energy consumed in China and India is for exports to the West: Assign that amount of CO2 emission to the receiving Country. It wouldn’t be that complicated. Someone has to do the “dirty work”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
April 5, 2021 2:37 pm

“I hear all the China and India shaming for their CO2 emissions.”

Actually, we don’t hear much shaming of China and India for their fossil fuel use.

A few alarmist activists complain periodically, but never take one step to change anything, and most skeptics don’t care how much fossil fuel the Indians and Chinese burn.

What skeptics complain about is the hypocrisy of Western leaders berating their own people for their use of fossil fuels, while remaining almost silent about fossil fuel use in the rest of the world.

It just shows the political alarmists are not really that serious about reducing CO2, what they are really serious about is using CO2 for political control of the population, with themselves doing the controlling.

It’s authoritarianism dressed up as fighting the “crisis” of Human-caused Climate Change.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 5, 2021 8:22 pm

Thanks for commenting. I’m surprised China and India don’t respond to the shaming with my suggestion that they are just meeting a market demand that the West refuses to respond to. I guess it’s obvious, they love it just the way it is. Jobs, tax base and profits instead of the West’s preference for increasing national debt, unemployment, low GNP and virtue signaling.

Matthew Sykes
April 6, 2021 2:14 am

hundreds of billions in annual support from the rich West. ” Global Socialism.

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