Claim: Net Zero Corporate Climate Lobbyists are “Disengaged”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Greens are aghast at the lack of effort from corporations which claim they are onboard with the green mission to save the world from climate change.

Resource sector lobbies hardest on climate change, while net zero backers ‘disengaged’

By political reporter Melissa Clarke
Posted Thu 9 Sep 2021 at 12:01am

Corporate support for government action on climate change is muted in Australia, with the most intense lobbying coming from resources and energy companies calling for more limited change.

Key points:

  • A new study has examined the climate positions and lobbying efforts of 50 major Australian companies
  • Lobbying is most intense among resource and energy companies
  • Companies that back stronger climate action engage in minimal lobbying, unlike their overseas counterparts

Resources and energy companies undertake the most intensive lobbying on climate change, and most have policies that do not accord with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius and preferably below 1.5 degrees. 

Corporations that back reaching net zero emissions by 2050 as well as other policies that broadly support the Paris Agreement do little or negligible lobbying to encourage federal and state governments to take stronger action on climate change. 

“The strong lobbying activity of companies and industry groups opposed to Paris-aligned climate action is drowning out corporate voices who are pro-climate but relatively disengaged.”

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-09/climate-change-lobbying-mostly-fossil-fuel-companies/100445112

If I didn’t know better I might think this lack of engagement means most corporations which make net zero commitments just regard it as a PR exercise. But surely this cannot be the case – I mean the future of the world hangs in the balance.

Do I need the /sarc tag?

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John Garrett
September 11, 2021 6:19 pm

It’s entirely possible that Oz is more sane and smarter than Europe.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John Garrett
September 11, 2021 7:14 pm

Are you referring to the race for the 1st state to achieve Hitler’s gold standard of Fascism in nearly a century?

RickWill
Reply to  John Garrett
September 11, 2021 9:09 pm

Australia’s economy is dominated by large miners. What is not to like about soaring demand for the commodities needed to expand Random Energy generators across the globe. These resource hungry monuments to the weather are a godsend to Australia’s current account:
https://tradingeconomics.com/australia/current-account
All a result of rising demand and prices for the commodities needed to make the monuments.

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  John Garrett
September 11, 2021 11:15 pm

One word to refute that claim for Oz, Covid

MACK
Reply to  John Garrett
September 12, 2021 12:10 am

The large mining industry means there are plenty of mining engineers, geologists, geophysicists and other mathematically literate people who know how to measure and asses risk in complex natural environments. Many have looked closely at the climate data and are not convinced there’s a big issue, so they leave it to the PR department and get on with important stuff.

MarkW
Reply to  John Garrett
September 12, 2021 7:22 am

To the extent that Oz hasn’t gone as far down the road to socialism compared to Europe, that is true.

Matty
Reply to  John Garrett
September 12, 2021 4:23 pm

[spam comment removed- Anthony]

Last edited 2 months ago by Matty
Tom Halla
September 11, 2021 6:19 pm

Virtue signaling can be fairly cheap, which is mostly what the green campaigners should expect. Corporate cowardice is common, but outright suicidal behavior is not, so actually doing something substantive to meet green demands should be vanishingly rare.

n.n
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2021 6:41 pm

With sprinkles of redistributive change, they can wish upon a Rainbow until we are blue.

September 11, 2021 6:25 pm

We had better achieve Net Zero soon because our Florida drought is devastating … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHEHjECUSUQ

Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 11, 2021 6:54 pm

Thanks for posting your article.

philincalifornia
Reply to  John Shewchuk
September 11, 2021 6:46 pm

We actually had some light rain yesterday morning in the SF Bay Area. Was hoping for more, but at least it sprinkled all the tree’s leaves.

jimH in CA
Reply to  philincalifornia
September 11, 2021 8:21 pm

We got some light rain here in the Sierra foothills too, about 0.05 inches.
And, as you’ve said, it washed the dust off the oak leaves. They look very green again [ natural green, not political ‘green’].

Nick Graves
Reply to  jimH in CA
September 12, 2021 1:28 am

Is there a RAL code for political green?

I’ll look again under the reds…

Scissor
Reply to  John Shewchuk
September 11, 2021 7:42 pm

Beautiful!

n.n
September 11, 2021 6:39 pm

Perhaps with recycled federal incentives, and China 2.0 (i.e. labor and environmental arbitrage), and immigration reform (i.e. insourcing, democratic gerrymandering), they will be more amenable to take a knee to the hypothesis of anthropogenic CO2 perturbation with climate lag. Throw in intermittent/renewables, with progressively priced reliables, and the Green blight will be certain to overwhelm.

philincalifornia
September 11, 2021 6:39 pm

“If I didn’t know better I might think this lack of engagement means most corporations which make net zero commitments just regard it as a PR exercise. “

I actually do know better, because I speak with people who work in phony climate saviour departments. My experience has made think that they don’t even know they’re doing it. Just blathering about it, whatever it is, appears to be safe for continuing mortgage payments on the nice house.

Greta knows this too and she, or her handlers, ain’t too happy..

Dave Fair
Reply to  philincalifornia
September 12, 2021 9:15 am

It is well known that in socialist countries ordinary people just mouth the latest ideological pronouncements. Sort of like “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

Mr.
September 11, 2021 6:50 pm

The leftist media is awash now with these snooty, superior, holier-than-thou articles implying how ‘bumpkin’ anyone is who isn’t totally invested in the “climate crisis” dogma.

Next demand will be that non-compliant corporation executives should be required to wear a yellow star on their lapels.

Reply to  Mr.
September 12, 2021 2:07 am

Like all blackmail, the only way to get rid of greenmailers, is to simply refuse to go along, because once you give in, they will never stop demanding more and more.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mike Haseler (aka Scottish Sceptic)
September 12, 2021 9:18 am

The only problem the watermelons have are stockholders. Without subsidies, the investors go away (e.g. Warren Buffett). Political slogans don’t equate to profits. They are finding that Woke advertising isn’t selling anything. If anything, it pisses off real people. Professional sports, anyone?

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Fair
Philip
September 11, 2021 7:26 pm

So we should be surprised that corporations tell a few lies to get environmentalists wackos off there backs and to buy their products.
It seems to me that a certain clothing line refused to make jackets for a company that produced fossil fuels, when it turns out almost all their clothes are made from fossil fuels. The poor greenie wackos must be devastated.

RickWill
September 11, 2021 8:40 pm

Random Energy generators offer endless demand for Australian commodities. None of the iron ore miners and coal producers are complaining. It takes a lot of iron ore and coal (both met and thermal) to produce the steel used to make and mount wind generators.

The wonderful feature of these magnificent machines is that they can never produce the energy needed to replicate them. So they will support strong demand for all the extracted commodities coming from Australia for ever.

The commodity prices will continue to rise. Energy prices will continue to rise. And Joe Average will be spending more of their income on energy. More people will be employed in the extractive industry to source the raw materials demand.

old engineer
Reply to  RickWill
September 11, 2021 9:43 pm

Rick Will

The wonderful feature of these magnificent machines is that they can never produce the energy needed to replicate them.”

I have seen this statement over and over again here at WUWT, but I Have never seen a reference. It smacks of same sort of statement as “97% of scientist..” that we get from the climate alarmists.

Until I see a reference with the math, I shall continue to be skeptical that this statement is anything but wishful thinking. 

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  old engineer
September 11, 2021 10:02 pm

Until I see a reference with the math, I shall continue to be skeptical that this statement is anything but wishful thinking.

I look at it the other way. Until someone proves otherwise, I’ll assume the statement is true. Occam is on my side in this.

If i want to invest in solar panels, the payback period is probably 6 or 7 years. That is with some heavy subsidies. Without subsidies, I imagine the period is more like 10 years.

After 10 years, performance is degraded, and maintenance needs increase.

This is for me, and I have a rather unusual need for electricity when the sun is actually shining, both for my a/c in the summer, and pool heating in the winter. I’m also living in the tropics, so get a significant amount of sunshine, even in the winter.

90% of people will not have similar needs, conditions, and will not get similar benefits. The payback period for those 90% would be significantly longer, probably longer than the life of the installation.

Last edited 2 months ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
MarkW
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 12, 2021 7:28 am

By far, the biggest subsidy is requiring the power companies to buy the output of the solar panels whether they need it or not.
If they aren’t buying the power from you when you don’t need it, then you must be storing that energy somewhere. If you haven’t factored the cost of the storage system into your payback calculations, then you need to.
If you aren’t storing the energy, then you are just throwing it away and you aren’t getting the payback you believe yourself to be getting.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 12, 2021 9:25 am

Money spent is not energy used to build and operate ‘ruinables.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 12, 2021 1:08 pm

Money spent is not energy used to build and operate ‘ruinables.

You’re right, but since I have no way to assess the amount of energy used, I’m using the only metric that I have available, albeit a somewhat inadequate one.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  old engineer
September 11, 2021 10:25 pm

According to this paper the energy return on energy invested ratio for solar PV including storage is barely enough to theoretically return the energy invested but that depends on the location, some places they could replicate themselves in theory but could do little else i.e. universally, effectively, they cannot replicate themselves.
comment image
According to this paper in locations of moderate insolation solar PV is a net energy sink.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  old engineer
September 11, 2021 10:51 pm

A more down-to-earth guide: show me one place on the planet where solar panels are manufactured solely by energy from solar panels, similarly wind from wind, batteries from renewables/batteries.

2hotel9
Reply to  old engineer
September 12, 2021 3:59 am

Or you could prove they do produce enough electricity to “replicate” themselves. Why should anyone do it for you?

old engineer
Reply to  2hotel9
September 12, 2021 9:04 am

2hotel9-

Because I assumed that before anyone would make such a statement they would have done the math, otherwise they are just blowing smoke, which is not helpful to the skeptics “side”. Since I got no takers in my request for a reference, there probably isn’t one. So I will have to do it myself. Results later.
.

old engineer
Reply to  old engineer
September 12, 2021 10:28 am

Back-of-the-envelop calculations to answer the question: Does a wind turbine produce enough electricity during its life time to replicate itself?

Which is somewhat different than the question “Does a wind turbine produce enough revenue to replace itself?’

Let’s see if both questions can be answered.

Electricity produced by a wind turbine over it’s lifetime:
Assume: Typical wind turbine nameplate: 3MW
Annual average load factor: 0.3
Turbine life span 20 years

Electricity produced:
3 x 0.3 x (24 x 365 x 20) = 157,680 MWhr

Electricity used to produce a wind turbine

Assume: Wind turbines cost $4,000,000 for a 3MW turbine.
80% of the cost of the turbine is for electricity ( a ridiculous
assumption, but gives an upper bound.)
Industrial cost for electrcity: $50/MWhr ( $0.05/kwhr)

Electricity used
(4,000,000 x 0.8)/50 = 64,000 MWhr

Conclusion:

Over its lifetime a wind turbine will produce over 20 times more electricity than was required to manufacture it.

Now the more important question: Will a wind turbine produce enough electricity to pay for itself? Of course the money in wind turbines is not in the electricity produced, but in the subsidies. But let’s look at the revenue produced solely by the sale of electricity.

Assume: wholesale rate for electricity is $25/MWhr

157,680 x 25 = $3,942,000.

Conclusion:

Over it’s lifetime a wind turbine will probably NOT produce enough electricity to pay for itself.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  old engineer
September 12, 2021 2:33 pm

You are missing the point talking electricity generated and cost, what about the total lifetime units of energy used from mining materials to safe disposal compared to the total lifetime units of energy produced?
That’s the calculation done in Weißbach et al. above.
That’s the relevant calculation if the world is to go zero carbon which of course is impossible without nuclear.

old engineer
Reply to  Chris Hanley
September 12, 2021 4:57 pm

Chris

Couldn’t agree with you more. And if we have nuclear, why do we need wind and solar. which are erratic and weather dependent.
I appreciated your graph, thanks for taking the time to post it..

But note that the wind turbine unit cost has to include all the costs of the energy used from mining to finished product, plus profit of course. It doesn’t, as you point out, include the energy used in decommissioning. ( Assuming they do that. I saw a small wind turbine field in Hawaii that was just left to rot) nor does it include the energy used in maintenance.

Over it’s life time though, a wind turbine does produce more energy than it took to make it. But, that doesn’t mean it does so at a profit.

Doonman
September 11, 2021 8:40 pm

Greens are aghast at the lack of effort from corporations which claim they are onboard with the green mission to save the world from climate change.

Corporations are thrilled to receive tax subsidies from government, because it helps the bottom line. When asked to incur expense for no benefit to the bottom line, not so much.

RickWill
September 11, 2021 9:04 pm

The authority responsible for securing the electricity grid in Australia has realised they now need to subsidise dispatchable generators, coal or gas fuelled, to remain economically viable. Essentially a dispatchable capacity subsidy that retailers collect from consumers and pay to reliable generators to offset the lost income from reduced output displaced by random generators.

First there were subsidies for ransom energy generators; now there are subsidies for reliable energy generators.

The NEM minimum demand in Australia has now shifted to middle of the day rather than early morning:
https://opennem.org.au/energy/nem/?range=7d&interval=30m
On a typical spring day, rooftops are supplying 1/3rd of the power at midday. Coal no longer sits there running near capacity. It is up and down twice daily over a 2X range.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  RickWill
September 11, 2021 10:06 pm

ransom energy generators

Watch out Freud, your slip is showing!

MarkW
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 12, 2021 7:30 am

That sounds like a good name for them. They do hold the rest of the system for ransom.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 12, 2021 9:38 am

No, yours is.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
September 12, 2021 9:35 am

“… now there are subsidies for reliable energy generators.” Which serve as an additional subsidy for random energy generators

September 11, 2021 9:29 pm

“The future of the world hangs in the balance” but what is that balance exactly?

https://wp.me/pTN8Y-5oU

Dave Fair
Reply to  Chaamjamal
September 12, 2021 9:41 am

You keep putting money and Marxism on one side to balance the manufactured fear on the other side.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Fair
September 12, 2021 1:45 am

The way to read this is as follows: Greenmailers want even more money from their big corp victims who fell for their greenmail scam, and so now they are demanding even more money to “lobby” on their behalf (by which they mean, to get expensive salaries and plush corporate HQs and do nothing at all for climate except push themselves as the way for idiots with big incomes to salve their consciences by donating to the greenmailers who do nothing but get expensive salaries and plush etc.)

Buckeyebob
September 12, 2021 3:25 am

The objective of any publicly traded corporation is to create value and profits for the shareholder. Net-Zero by definition defies this mission.

MarkW
Reply to  Buckeyebob
September 12, 2021 7:32 am

Unless by paying for a little bit of virtue signalling, you can avoid even more onerous regulations and taxes.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW
September 12, 2021 9:47 am

Risible. Think Danegeld.

2hotel9
Reply to  MarkW
September 13, 2021 4:36 am

They still get the onerous regulations and taxes.

2hotel9
September 12, 2021 3:47 am

It is called virtue signaling, they just say whatever, they never intend to do any of the stupid crap leftards keep screeching about.

Dave Fair
Reply to  2hotel9
September 12, 2021 9:49 am

Exactly the motivation for the Paris Agreement. That, and the vastly larger number of small countries voting to get money from the West.

2hotel9
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 13, 2021 4:34 am

When there is a big pile of free money laying on the table the parasites scamper out of the woodwork to grab some. Funny, all these countries that so far have cash&carried have not spent a single penny of it to improve the “climate”, it has all gone to fancy cars, planes houses and prostitutes.

2hotel9
September 12, 2021 4:02 am

They are supposed to be having electricity shortages, that is the whole point, less electricity, less gas, less diesel, less everything to “save” the climate. Get with the program! 😉

Dave Fair
Reply to  2hotel9
September 12, 2021 9:43 am

“Electric prices will necessarily skyrocket …”

Jo Ho
September 12, 2021 4:07 am

Help required: I remember reading some while ago (think it was a Willis post) the experience required to become a Climate Change (expert).
In a discussion with a friend (more alarmist then skeptic), yesterday evening, I stated that to become a ‘learned fellow’ in Climate Change you probably needed some post graduate experience in the following fields (ologies). His partner was even more alarmist believing every word that David Attenborough has ever muttered on the Climate!
The first six I reeled off but I will return and highlight others. Have I missed any other important ‘ologies’?
Climatology
Meteorology
Glaciology
Heliology
Geology
Oceanology

Paleoclimatology
Aerology
Geobiology
Helioseismology
Nephology
Planetology
Seismology
Selenology
Volcanology

I’m unsure whether the following study was included?:
Proctology

Pasainby
September 12, 2021 4:43 am

Perhaps it’s me, but this year seems to be lacking in the perceived global warning predictions

willem post
September 12, 2021 5:28 am

I very much doubt “Net Zero Corporate Climate Lobbyists are “Disengaged”, because they are actively promoting wind, solar, and battery TAX SHELTERED projects all over the US.
They do not give a damn about:

1) The cost to taxpayers, ratepayers, or adding costs to government debts

2) The CRIPPLING of the competitiveness of the US economy vs OTHER so-called trading partners, aka trading predators, in Europe, Germany, China, Korea, Japan, etc. They are still using Mexico and Canada as TROJAN HORSES, even AFTER renegotiating NAFTA.

Wall Street is complicit with these folks, because RE projects bring in BIG FEES and shower the benefits of TAX SHELTERS on wealthy clients, domestic and foreign

HIGH COSTS OF WIND, SOLAR, AND BATTERY SYSTEMS IN NEW ENGLAND
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-solar-and-battery-systems

EXCERPT

Wind Solar and Battery Projects are Tax Shelters for the Wealthy, whether Domestic or Foreign

Per standard Wall Street practice for tax-shelters, 

– The cash value of the subsidies to Owners has to be about 45 to 50% of the turnkey cost of RE projects
– The subsidies are “front-loaded”, i.e., in the first 5 years, to enable Owners to shelter as much income as possible in the early years; aka harvesting subsidies.
– The entire project cost has to be written off in about 5 years, no matter the length of the project, per MACRS IRS rules. See URL.
– Owners or VT utilities receive 9%/y on their invested capital, per Vermont Standard Offer RE-Promotion Program.
– Owners or VT utilities may finance up to 50% of the project cost, currently at about 3.5%/y, per Vermont SO program
– Owners or VT utilities are paid about 11 c/kWh (solar), 9 c/kWh (wind), delivered as AC to the grid, per Vermont SO program; the NE grid electricity wholesale price has been about 5 c/kWh or less, starting in 2009.

This explains why Wall Street investment bankers, such as Bloomberg, Lazard, Morgan, etc., are in favor of more and more RE projects for their wealthy clients, such as Warren Buffett.

https://solarplusllc.com/macrs-and-bonus-depreciation/
https://norwichsolar.com/vermont-commercial-and-industrial-solar-incentives/
https://vermontbiz.com/news/2019/october/22/owner-gmp-and-vermont-gas-will-get-new-ceo

Warren Buffett Riding the Subsidy/Rapid-depreciation Gravy Train
 
Quote: “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate, for example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” 
https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/even-warren-buffet-admits-wind-energy-is-a-bad-investment

Green Mountain Power, GMP, Riding the Subsidy/Rapid-depreciation Gravy Train
 
Vermont utilities buy about 1.4 million MWh/y of hydro power, at 5.7 c/kWh, under a 20-y contract, from Hydro Quebec. The HQ electricity is not variable, not intermittent and does not cause midday solar bulges
 
GMP, a Canadian company, refuses to buy more hydro electricity from HQ, because that electricity would just be a “pass-through”, on which GMP would make minimal profit. HQ has plenty of electricity and is eager to sell it. This approach requires no subsidies!!
 
GMP rakes in millions of our hard-earned money, by investing in: 1) utility-scale solar/battery combos, 2) leasing heat pumps and 3) wall-hung Tesla batteries for playing “catch the peak games”.
 
GMP rides the subsidy gravy train, and plays the “green, forward-looking utility” role.

Dave Fair
Reply to  willem post
September 12, 2021 9:53 am

Thanks, Willem, for listing all the reasons a corporation might invest in ‘ruinables.

MarkW
September 12, 2021 7:31 am

Those have been covered. Are we supposed to spend all of our time talking about only the things you are interested in?

Dave Fair
September 12, 2021 9:04 am

As a former corporate leader that lobbied legislators and energy commissions, I lobbied for things that directly benefited the corporation owners. Did my lobbying for a geothermal power plant mean my company broadly supported the Paris Climate Agreement?

Andy Pattullo
September 12, 2021 9:32 am

The corporations that live in the real world complement the Emperor on his fine new clothes when face to face, while snickering behind his bare backside as he swaggers away.

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