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Bjorn Lomborg: Trump Is Right To Reject Paris Climate Deal: It’s Likely To Be A Costly Failure

June 2, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

The inconvenient truth from Bjorn Lomborg, the inconvenient warmist:

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It is foolhardy and foolish for world leaders to stay fixated on Paris – not only will it likely falter, but it will be hugely costly and do almost nothing to fix climate change.

Hours before Donald Trump announced that the US would be quitting the Paris carbon-cutting treaty, UN Secretary General António Guterres took to the President’s preferred medium, Twitter, to declare that climate action is “unstoppable”.

The clear message, reinforced by leaders from the European Union and China, is that the rest of the world will continue with the Paris Treaty without US involvement. Their resolve is quickly going to smash into three incontrovertible truths.

First, the Paris Treaty will be the most expensive global agreement in world history. Cutting emissions without affordable, effective replacements for fossil fuel means more expensive power and less economic growth.Calculations using the best peer-reviewed economic models show the global price tag of all the Paris Treaty promises –through slower GDP growth from higher energy costs – would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030. Without US involvement, the rest of the world must cough up between $800 billion and $1.6 trillion annually.

Furthermore, the treaty hinges on the delivery of $100 billion a year in “climate aid” to developing nations, starting from 2020 – a vow that slightly awkwardly came originally from the U.S.

These huge costs have imperilled the Treaty since its signing. It is not difficult to imagine other leaders balking at slowed growth, or to envisage wealthy nations reneging on the promised aid.

“Unstoppable”? It remains to be seen if that bravado withstands an economic downturn.

Second, the agreement was always going to have a tiny impact on temperatures, but without the US it will achieve even less.

The little that any of us remember of the Paris Treaty is the bold political rhetoric from world leaders who said that they were committed to keeping temperature rises under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Legally binding – only go up to 2030, and only commit the world to achieving less than 1 per cent of the carbon cuts that would be needed to keep temperature rises under 2 degrees Celsius.

In other words, the Paris Treaty leaves 99 per cent of the problem in place, and even more if world leaders want the almost unattainable goal of keeping temperature rises to 1.5°C. Undoubtedly, we will hear lots of politicians talk a big game about future cuts, but experience doesn’t bode well for such promises. Remember the Kyoto Protocol – which was sold to the world in 1998 as the fix for global warming, and started falling apart almost as quickly as Paris.

Third, and most problematically: despite a lot of hype, green energy is nowhere near ready to take over from fossil fuel.

The rhetoric is relentlessly optimistic: a typical quote, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance chairman Michael Liebreich, is that “Renewables are robustly entering the era of undercutting” fossil fuel prices. We have heard this for decades. In 1976, environmentalist Amory Lovins said that solar energy competitiveness was imminent: “a largely or wholly solar economy can be constructed in the United States with straightforward soft technologies that are now demonstrated and now economic or nearly economic.” In 1984, the Worldwatch Institute declared that wind subsidies “will not be needed within a few years.”

After hundreds of billions of dollars in annual subsidies, we only get, according to the International Energy Agency, 0.5 per cent of the world’s energy needs from wind, and 0.1 per cent from solar PV

This was – and remains – wishful thinking. Green energy is so inefficient that its deployment is almost entirely reliant on subsidies. When the United Kingdom cut solar power subsidies, installations plummeted. Spain was paying almost 1 per cent of its GDP in subsidies for renewables, more than it spends on higher education. When it reduced these subsidies, new wind energy production entirely collapsed.

Subsidising the deployment of renewable energy such as wind turbines and solar panels to reduce our CO2 emissions has been a dead-end.  After hundreds of billions of dollars in annual subsidies, we only get, according to the International Energy Agency, 0.5 per cent of the world’s energy needs from wind, and 0.1 per cent from solar PV. Even by 2040, if the Paris Treaty had stayed fully in place, after spending $3 trillion in direct subsidies, the IEA expects wind and solar to provide just 1.9 per cent and 1 per cent of global energy.

These three incontrovertible facts mean that it is foolhardy and foolish for world leaders to stay fixated on Paris – not only will it likely falter, but it will be hugely costly and do almost nothing to fix climate change.

https://www.thegwpf.com/bjorn-lomborg-trump-is-right-to-reject-paris-climate-deal-its-likely-to-be-a-costly-failure/

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18 Comments
  1. Kent Marshall permalink
    June 2, 2017 10:20 pm

    The cardhouse is beginning to collapse…..

  2. June 2, 2017 10:24 pm

    It baffles me that those in power must know all this- yet the impression we get is that they are as green as the most ardent warmist. That’s politics I guess. After the ‘fox in the hen roost’ phase has settled down, I expect that we’ll see some quiet shifts in policy-after all, they know what side their bread’s buttered.

    • June 3, 2017 5:33 am

      I wonder whether people like Bjorn Lomborg actually believe in the man-made global warming nonsense, or whether they pretend to believe in it so that their position remains reasonably secure.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        June 3, 2017 9:22 am

        It could be that Lomborg has a similar view to Richard Tol. He shredded Stern’s climate economics as total rubbish but in other areas he assumed that the so called experts knew what they were talking about. That is possibly quite a common view.

    • TinyCO2 permalink
      June 3, 2017 8:16 am

      They don’t know it. They barely know anything about climate. They just fixate on ‘save the planet’ and leave the boring details to the shysters around them. They are genuinely in denial, refusing to hear anything that could damage the idea that either the planet is not in peril or that rash promises won’t save it if it was. There is a slight niggle at the back of their minds that says that it’s all a pointless money pit but there’s always a green activist or a global socialist on hand to drown it out.

  3. richard verney permalink
    June 2, 2017 10:51 pm

    The irony is that the US stayed out of Kyoto and yet it reduced its CO2 emissions by more than any other developed nation. The same will be so with the Paris Accord. Even though the US will be outside the Paris Accord, it will reduce its CO2 emissions more than any other developed nation.

    The reason why is simple. Fracking. The switch from coal to gas is decarnonisation and a proven formula for reducing Co2. On the other hand, the pursuit of wind and solar does not result in the significant reduction of CO2 since these are intermittent and non despatchable such that they require 100% back up from conventional fossil fuel generation.

    It is clear to see this when comparing how much the US has reduced its emissions since the early 2000s, and compare the reduction that Germany has achieved over the same period. Germany has not been able to significantly reduce CO2 emissions this century; in fact last year they even increased. Germany is building a number of coal powered generators to replace nuclear which it is closing down.

    The EU criticise the US, but the EU are planning to build 27 new coal fired power stations between now and 2030, whereas the US are not planning to build any. The Paris Accord was never intended to restrict global CO2 emissions since it this was the intention developing nations such as China and India would not have been given a free pass.

    The Paris Accord is political gesturing only, and Trump has sensible pulled the US out of it, but the world ought not to worry since the US will still be the only country that significantly reduces its CO2 emissions.

    • Old Englander permalink
      June 3, 2017 2:36 pm

      Re CO2 footprint of wind: it’s not just the backup requirements, it’s the CO2 generated in the course of manufacture, all the steel and concrete. Especially offshore, where power and reliability are better, but you need concrete platforms. Note, that’s for the people to whom CO2 really really matters. They don’t seem to realise that wind energy isn’t and cannot be “carbon neutral”. anyway.

    • Joe Public permalink
      June 3, 2017 10:34 pm

      Hi Richard

      ” the US …… reduced its CO2 emissions by more than any other developed nation.”

      Do you have a source for that?

      According to USEPA data, greenhouse gas emissions in the US have increased since 1990 (the base year of the Kyoto Protocol);

      https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks

      ….. but during same period, many other developed countries (e.g. UK, Germany) have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions.

      • Taylor Pohlman permalink
        June 4, 2017 10:06 am

        Cherry picking alert! Your own data source shows reductions since 1995, and really significant ones since 2005 (fracking boom). Going back in time to find a lower point is always possible, we’ve increased a lot since 1900, right? But try doing this as % of GDP, or “this century” and you will find the data supports the post’ assertions. Also, how about a link to those other countries you mention?

      • Henning Nielsen permalink
        June 4, 2017 7:11 pm

        Pohlman; Germany certainly reduced their emissions sinxe 1900, but most of this was in the years 1989-92, due to the closing down of old inefficient industry in the east. The link shows that Germany’s emissions have been practically the same since 2009. It looks very unrealistic for them to achieve 40% cuts from the 1990 level in 2020.

        https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/german-carbon-emissions-rise-2016-despite-coal-use-drop

  4. Simon Allnutt permalink
    June 3, 2017 9:12 am

    That is because it is not about climate but wealth redistribution, as Dr Ottmar Endenhofer has stated (co chair of WG3 IPCC).

  5. June 3, 2017 11:26 am

    Christina Figueres of the UN is one of the chief architects of the Paris Accord. She is from Costa Rica and a member of the National Liberation Party.

    As executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) she actually admitted that they have a goal and it is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

    Last year she withdrew from her bid to become Secretary General of the UN.
    I would applaud a bid for the US to withdraw from the UN. Maybe Paris would like to house them along with the US liberals–a match made in heaven..

    • Dung permalink
      June 3, 2017 11:32 am

      Well said Joan, Figueres has been involved in the climate debate since the start; spouting rubbish and denying truth.

  6. Curious George permalink
    June 3, 2017 3:48 pm

    Climate action is unstoppable, just like German armies in World War II. The science is settled. It must be, because Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker said so, and He is ALWAYS RIGHT.

  7. M E Emberson..... permalink
    June 4, 2017 3:15 am

    I’m probably wrong but I wonder if this is like the South Sea Bubble?
    People in high positions got themselves into situations with their own money and had to keep on telling the public it was all fine or lose their own money. They all lost the money in the end.
    In these days these fine people will lose lucrative jobs and/or investments and no one will listen to them again.

  8. Vernon Hughes permalink
    June 4, 2017 1:59 pm

    Would it not be wise to look at the progress being made in carbon capture at the same time as the hopeless prospects for wind and solar? British Chemist Rodney Allam has perfected the technique of capturing carbon dioxide with absolute efficiency, and my readings indicate that industrial level trials are due to commence this year. Look up The Allam Cycle and the February 2017 edition of America’s Forbes Magazine. Russia has recognised R Allam’s achievement, and the USA is taking a practical approach, and yet his name and achievement seem to be unheralded in the UK. See also on Utube the final interview given by the sadly late Professor Sir David J C MacKay and his instructive book ‘Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air’, which can be read without charge at http://www.withouthotair.com

    • A C Osborn permalink
      June 4, 2017 4:48 pm

      No, the last thing the world needs is less CO2 in the atmosphere, it promotes plant growth, it enhances crop growth and greens the planet.
      We need more not less.

  9. June 4, 2017 2:54 pm

    One critical point left out of the article is that the “science” implicitly cited regarding the earth’s temperature sensitivity to slight rises in CO2 is highly suspect, and most likely fraudulent.

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