Saturday, January 27, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: A Climate Sceptic Just Took Charge Of EU Environment Policy








New EU Emissions Targets Will Cost Germany A Trillion Euros

In this newsletter:

1) A Climate Sceptic Just Took Charge Of EU Environment Policy
Dave Keating, Forbes, 26 January 2018

2) Germany Falling Short of EU Emissions Targets (along with Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta.)
The Wall Street Journal, 24 January 2018


 
3) Expensive Mega-Flop: Germany's CO2 Emissions Continue To Rise 
Climate Change News, 24 January 2018 

4) New EU Emissions Targets Will Cost Germany A Trillion Euros
Futurism, 22 February 2018

5) Macron's Hot Air: France To Revise Climate Target After Missing 2016 Goal
Reuters, 22 January 2018

6) Rupert Darwall: Europe's Energy Crack-Up
National Review, 22 January 2018 


Full details:

1) A Climate Sceptic Just Took Charge Of EU Environment Policy
Dave Keating, Forbes, 26 January 2018

Neno Dimov has a master’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in physics. He is Bulgaria’s environment minister, a climate sceptic and  the new president of the EU’s Environment Council.



Neno Dimov, the man who took over as the president of the EU’s Environment Council on Jan. 1, got an earful yesterday when he appeared before members of the European Parliament. Some of his past words were coming back to haunt him.

Lawmakers were aghast that a man who once called climate change a fraud and described himself as an opponent of climate science (sic) was going to be coordinating the EU’s environment policy for the next six months.

“You personally have been questioning climate change and whether human activity is the cause; you even challenged the theory of sea-level rise,” Dutch Liberal MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy said to him. Other MEPs demanded he clarify his personal stance.

Dimov demurred. He would not say anything about his personal opinion on climate change, noting only that there is a “political consensus” within the EU on climate change and that he will “keep this consensus alive.” However, he said, there is always room for “challenges and doubts.” A vocal admirer of U.S. President Donald Trump, Dimov has in the past said global warming is being used as a tool of intimidation. [...]

As Bulgaria’s environment minister, Dimov will chair the Environment Council until the end of July. This means he will set the agenda and conduct negotiations with the European Parliament on behalf of all the member states. The Council does not propose legislation – that task falls to the Commission, the EU’s executive branch, and its environment commissioner, Karmenu Vella. But Dimov will still have the power to steer important pieces of legislation over the coming months.

Full post


2) Germany Falling Short of EU Emissions Targets (along with Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta.)
The Wall Street Journal, 24 January 2018

BERLIN—Germany is missing its European climate targets and will have to pay for rights to emit green house gases due to polluting vehicles, farms and buildings, the government said Wednesday, an embarrassing admission for Chancellor Angela Merkel who had once put energy transformation at the forefront of her policies.



Germany will have to purchase greenhouse gas emissions allowances for the years 2019 and 2020 from other European Union members, an environmental ministry spokesman said.

“The environment ministry is preparing itself to purchase emission allowances from countries that have surpluses in the coming years,” a spokesman said.

The extent of the shortfall in the years 2019 and 2020 will only be known two years after these periods and the permits will then be purchased bilaterally from an EU-country at a yet to be determined price at the expense of German taxpayers, he said.

As part of its commitment to prevent global warming under last year’s Paris agreement, the European Union has pledged to curb global warming by accelerating reductions in carbon discharges not only for industry but also as a second pillar for nonaviation transport, agriculture, waste, buildings and forestry, among others.

As part of this second pillar, Germany’s target was to cut CO2 emission by 14% by 2020 compared with the 2005 levels. And this goal, according to the ministry, won’t be met.

The admission comes after Germany last autumn already conceded it will miss its national goal to cut overall carbon emissions by 40% by 2020, compared with 1990.

A report from the European Commission from November highlighted that emissions from the EU as a whole would remain below the 2020 target, with 21 EU Member States expected to keep or reduce their emissions below their national targets by 2020.

Germany, however, was identified as one country that needed to enhance its efforts immediately to meet its 2020 targets, along with Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta.

3) Expensive Mega-Flop: Germany's CO2 Emissions Continue To Rise 
Climate Change News, 24 January 2018 

Germany’s total emissions rose in 2016 for the second year in a row with the head of the environment agency calling for rapid reduction in coal power

An increase in transport sector emissions drove up Germany’s total greenhouse gas emissions for the second time in a row in 2016, according to the the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

Official figures for 2016 were released as chancellor Angela Merkel faces tough scrutiny of her climate credentials at home and abroad. While she tries to negotiate a coalition deal at home after a lukewarm election victory, the German leader has been criticised internationally for the country missing key climate targets.

At 909.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, emissions were 2.6m tonnes higher than 2015, the agency reported. Emissions from the transport sector amounted to 166.8m tonnes, higher than in the base year 1990, and mostly due to a higher share of road freight transport and rising registrations of private heavy vehicles.

Full post


4) New EU Emissions Targets Will Cost Germany A Trillion Euros
Futurism, 22 February 2018

Germany will have to spend more than 1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) to meet the EU’s 2050 climate target

It was only last week that we reported on the European Union’s decision to raise its renewable energy targets from 27 percent to 35 percent. The adjusted targets will impact several member states, including Germany, which elected to backtrack on plans to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2020. However, the country reportedly still intends to meet the goal of cutting 55 percent of emissions by 2030.

As reported by Reuters, the draft study — which was commissioned by the BDI German industry group and assembled by Boston Consulting and Prognos — states that Germany will have to spend more than 1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) to meet the low end of the EU’s target of reducing emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050.

While nothing to scoff at, as Sören Amelang at Clean Energy Wire wrote, several energy-intensive industry representatives are wary of the study’s information, as it essentially assumes these plans will go off without a hitch.

“The results assume that politicians only make right decisions from today,” said Kurt Bock, president of chemical industry association VCI and CEO of chemical giant BASF.

Despite the study’s optimism (sic), it does question Germany’s ability to reach the higher end goals, which would push the already high price to around 2.3 trillion euros ($2.8 trillion) even with the expected price drop of renewable energy.

Full post


5) Macron's Hot Air: France To Revise Climate Target After Missing 2016 Goal
Reuters, 22 January 2018

PARIS (Reuters) - France will revise its carbon emissions target by the end of this year to align it with its pledges in the Paris climate agreement after failing to meet the goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, the ecology minister said on Monday.

France is leading efforts to keep the momentum going on the landmark 2015 climate agreement but its carbon dioxide emission’s rose 3.6 percent over the targeted 447 million tonnes of CO2 emissions equivalent, the ministry said.

Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said in the statement that the revision of the France’s low-carbon strategy to set new targets, will take into account the plan to further reduce emissions and make France carbon neutral by 2050.

Full story


6) Rupert Darwall: Europe's Energy Crack-Up
National Review, 22 January 2018 

Europeans scold while the U.S. leads.

Drugs, human trafficking, weapons. Violent fundamentalism and Islamic terrorism.” Was this President Trump talking about Africa at his recent White House meeting with congressional leaders? Nope: “The problems Africa face are completely different . . . and are civilizational,” France’s President Emmanuel Macron told a reporter from the Ivory Coast at last year’s G20 summit. European leaders like to lecture the world on how to be virtuous, but when you look at what they do themselves, a different story emerges.

Nowhere is the contrast starker than in climate and energy policy. The European Union has set out to show the world how it can be saved from climate change. No country has been more prominent in this than Germany. At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Germany reneged on a deal with President George H. W. Bush by advocating targets and timetables for emissions cuts that they had agreed wouldn’t be in the United Nations climate-change convention. Germany pledged to cut its own greenhouse-gas emissions by 25 to 30 per cent by 2005 and subsequently set a 40 percent target to be reached by 2020.

Thanks to German reunification, the first 20 percent was achieved by closing down the former East Germany’s heavy industry and its most polluting power stations. With emissions on course for only a 30 percent cut by 2020, three months ago Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to explain that it was always clear that it would not be easy to save another 20 percent “at a time of relatively strong economic development.” The more you grow, the more carbon dioxide you produce. Logically, then, decarbonization policies mean lower growth. The elixir of carbon-free growth turns out to be snake oil after all.

Then two weeks ago, in the protracted talks to form a new governing coalition, Germany’s largest parties dropped the 2020 goal. An internal staff paper for environment-ministry bureaucrats acknowledged that missing the 2020 target would be a “disaster for Germany’s international reputation as a climate leader.” Indeed, 2017 was the year when Germany’s much vaunted Energiewende — a blueprint for America’s energy future if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election — demonstrably failed. Despite fearsome energy-saving policies, energy consumption rose (economic growth, immigration, and cold weather were blamed), greenhouse-gas emissions were flat, and retail electricity prices were projected to rise above 30 euro cents (36.6 U.S. cents) for the first time (the average U.S. residential rate is around 13 U.S. cents).

The perverse effects of wind and solar were evidenced by increased volatility in wholesale electricity prices, with a record 146 hours with negative electricity prices — indicating that during these hours, electricity is less than worthless, as there’s insufficient demand to mop up unwanted wind and solar power. The extent to which the German public has been cowed by relentless renewables propaganda can be seen from an opinion survey that showed 75 percent agreeing that the Energiewende was a collective responsibility that everyone should help make succeed. But the same survey found that 68 percent of people were “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the way it had been implemented, only 15 percent were “somewhat satisfied,” and only 1 percent were “very satisfied.”

Europe’s energy policies are worse than stupid. At the end of last year, Sir John Beddington, a former chief scientific adviser to the British government, lifted the lid on the scandal at the heart of the EU’s renewable policies. According to Sir John, since the EU’s first renewables directive in 2008, the growth of bioenergy — much of it sourced from North American woods and forests — has provided around half the expansion of renewable energy. To supply even one third of the additional renewable energy needed to meet Europe’s new 2030 target will require an amount of wood roughly equivalent to the combined harvest in the U.S. and Canada. The fiction currently being peddled is that Europe is only burning wood residues — the bits of trees left over from other uses — but new EU rules agreed to last week by the European Parliament will expand the definition of bioenergy to include trees specifically harvested to be burnt in power stations.

This, Sir John says, will result in higher emissions than from using natural gas or coal. Burning wood releases four times as much carbon dioxide per MWh of electricity as natural gas does, and over 50 percent more than coal. At the same time, cutting down trees reduces carbon sinks. Even so-called sustainable forestry practices incur “carbon debt,” with carbon paybacks running into decades and even centuries. EU policies, Sir John argues, gives a green light to developing countries for vastly greater forest removals, potentially risking “the incredibly valuable tropical forests that are not only valuable sources of biodiversity, but also form vast carbon sinks which are one of our best tools of defense against climate change.”

Full post


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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