Comrade Harrabin’s Trump Card
By Paul Homewood
Roger Harrabin’s programme on Radio 4 this week, Climate Change: The Trump Card, was an exercise in delusional groupthink, stunning even by BBC standards.
It spent the first half in a sob fest about how the wicked Trump was going to ruin the world’s climate single handed. It related how all of the attendees at the Marrakesh climate conference were in a severe state of depression, when they found out he had won the election.
Then there followed interviews with the likes of Mary Robinson, long time signed up member of UN internationalism, and Hans Schnellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute. You certainly are not going to hear the truth from those two.
But then, we discover that there is really nothing to worry about at all, because those nice governments in China and India are going to take up the US mantle, and save the world.
China, we are told, wants to lead the world in “clean energy” technology, although, as even the programme admits, what they really want is to dominate the manufacture of the technology, something they are already well on with.
Then Corinne Le Quere of the Tyndall Centre is wheeled on to point out that China is shutting down many old coal power plants in urban centres because of air pollution. This, we are assured, will mean that China’s emissions of CO2 will start to drop much sooner than expected.
Nobody seems to have told her that China’s Five Year Plan, published two months ago, calls for an increase in coal fired capacity of 39% by 2020.
As for China’s commitment to renewable energy, the same plan aims to grow wind and solar capacity to 320 GW.
While that might sound an impressive number, it will only raise wind and solar’s share of electricity output to 7%.
Then we move on to India, and a recorded segment from an earlier Harrabin trip.
We hear about his visit to the world’s largest solar farm at Kamuthi in southern India, part of Modi’s “solar dream”.
We know from India’s INDC that 40% of electric power capacity will come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
However, much of this is intended to come from nuclear power. And because they are so intermittent, the contribution from wind and solar will be much less, just 12% of India’s electricity demand in 2030.
And all of this comes at a huge cost. Again according to India’s INDC, it will cost $2.5 trillion to meet India’s climate change actions between now and 2030. Much of this they were hoping would come from the US.
And nowhere does Harrabin mention the massive expansion in coal fired capacity, which India has planned.
For a dose of reality, we should perhaps consult the Exxon Energy Outlook, just published this week.
This estimates that CO2 emissions in China/India will rise from 11bn tonnes in 2015, to 13.4bn by 2040. By that stage, they will account for 37% of the world’s emissions.
Does he really believe that China and India are going to abandon their pursuit of economic growth, that can only occur with cheap, reliable energy?
Does he really believe that they will take over the US role in providing hundreds of billions in climate aid, money which they themselves have been banking on?
If Harrabin actually talked to some people outside of his tightknit circle of climate scientists, Greenpeace activists, renewable lobbyists and UN cronies, he might have discovered some harsh truths.
Instead we are left with a wishy washy collection of wishful thinking and mutual back slapping.