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EU Climate Leadership in Doubt as Bloc Set to Miss 2030 Goal

December 4, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

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MADRID — The European Union said Wednesday that it will likely miss its target for reducing greenhouse gases by 2030, dealing a blow to the bloc’s efforts to be a leader in the fight against climate change.

The European Environment Agency said existing measures put the EU on course to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide and other planet-warming pollutants by 30% in the next decade compared with 1990 levels.

Currently, the 28-nation bloc is aiming for a reduction of 40% by 2030, and some leaders have called for this target to be raised to 55%, with a long-term goal of ending virtually all new emissions by 2050.

“Recent trends highlight a slowing down of progress in areas such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, industrial emissions, waste generation, improving energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy,” the agency said in a report. “Looking ahead, the current rate of progress will not be enough to meet 2030 and 2050 climate and energy targets.”

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/12/04/business/ap-climate-talks.html

As we are rapidly finding out in the UK, it is one thing setting targets for twenty years time, it is another actually achieving them when the time comes.

By then, of course, those who set the targets are long gone.

Both here and in the EU, the low hanging fruit has been picked, albeit at obscene cost. Phasing out of coal power, to be replaced by gas and small amounts of heavily subsidised renewables is not that clever.

But to make the next transition is another story, involving decarbonising heat and transport, dealing with industrial emissions and running power grids with a high proportion of intermittent renewable energy.

None of these can be achieved without radically altering citizens’ lifestyles and standards of living.

The saner nations of Eastern Europe have already worked this out. Now there are signs other are waking up.

26 Comments
  1. Curious George permalink
    December 4, 2019 7:10 pm

    “a long-term goal of ending virtually all new emissions by 2050.” Not virtually, and not new. They have to eliminate a lot of existing “emissions”. Definitely no “new emissions”.

  2. December 4, 2019 7:20 pm

    carbon dioxide and other planet-warming pollutants

    CO2 is neither planet-warming nor a pollutant, so the whole NYT article is a waste of space.

    • Washington 76 permalink
      December 4, 2019 8:02 pm

      You get it oldbrew. Nov 28, 2019 This becomes advocacy and propaganda rather than science

      European Parliament, Strasbourg, 28 November 2019

    • Washington 76 permalink
      December 4, 2019 8:12 pm

      A well informed post oldbrew!

      February 13, 2017 Chemistry Expert: Carbon Dioxide Can’t Cause Global Warming

      Scarcely a day goes by without us being warned of coastal inundation by rising seas due to global warming.
      Why on earth do we attribute any heating of the oceans to carbon dioxide, when there is a far more obvious culprit, and when such a straightforward examination of the thermodynamics render it impossible.

      http://principia-scientific.org/chemistry-expert-carbon-dioxide-cant-cause-global-warming/

    • Washington 76 permalink
      December 4, 2019 8:14 pm

      Sorry about my duplicate post this is what I intended on sharing originally.

      February 13, 2017 Chemistry Expert: Carbon Dioxide Can’t Cause Global Warming

      Scarcely a day goes by without us being warned of coastal inundation by rising seas due to global warming.
      Why on earth do we attribute any heating of the oceans to carbon dioxide, when there is a far more obvious culprit, and when such a straightforward examination of the thermodynamics render it impossible.
      Carbon dioxide, we are told, traps heat that has been irradiated by the oceans, and this warms the oceans and melts the polar ice caps. While this seems a plausible proposition at first glance, when one actually examines it closely a major flaw emerges.

      http://principia-scientific.org/chemistry-expert-carbon-dioxide-cant-cause-global-warming/

    • December 4, 2019 9:24 pm

      Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The fact is that warming will be modest and largely beneficial.

      Sceptics do ourselves no favours by saying CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        December 4, 2019 9:35 pm

        Jit, could it not be argued that any gas is a global warming gas, together with dust in our atmosphere, because it all holds heat down at lower altitudes ie. they all keep our world alive?

      • Up2snuff permalink
        December 4, 2019 9:40 pm

        Jit, could it not be said that any gas is a ‘greenhouse’ gas because together with water vapour and dust in the atmosphere, they help keep heat trapped at lower altitudes and everything on this planet alive?

      • Bill Morgan permalink
        December 4, 2019 9:43 pm

        On the contrary, Jit, you ignore the history. CO2 is incapable of causing a greenhouse effect as Earth has had numerous Ice Ages with massively more CO2 in the atmosphere.

      • December 4, 2019 10:49 pm

        Diatomic gases are not greenhouse gases (N2, O2). Nor are the noble gases.

      • December 5, 2019 10:38 am

        @ Bill

        That might preclude CO2 having a strong effect (the net effect in absence of feedback is known to be small, but the feedback is a major cause of uncertainty. This is why Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity has been given a range of about 1.5-4.5 degrees K since 1979, despite the billions spent on climate research).

        Other factors have a larger impact than CO2: the opening of the Drake Passage, for instance, leading to the permanent ice cap on Antarctica. The CO2 concentration dropped a long way during the last glaciation, almost low enough to start starving plants. Another reason why high CO2 is not so bad.

      • December 5, 2019 11:51 am

        Actually CO2 IS NOT a “greenhouse gas” unless you are in a greenhouse. It is properly designated an “atmospheric gas” and totally natural.

      • December 5, 2019 5:06 pm

        @ Joan

        I would agree that it is a poor description, but there it is. To call it an atmospheric gas is true as far as it goes, but does not distinguish it from diatomic and noble gases as a molecule with a dipole that can gain energy by absorbing an infra-red photon.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        December 6, 2019 3:57 pm

        Jit, from the above you appear to be claiming that no other parts of our atmosphere have any effect whatsoever on keeping our planet warm and inhabitable. And only CO2 does it.

        Is that right? Do I have that right?

        (Apologies to you & Paul for my duplicate post above – may be down to ISP, internet or PC problems)

  3. December 4, 2019 7:28 pm

    “The saner nations of Eastern Europe have already worked this out” as have most of the other ex-communist nations, including China. The communist syle EU has to figure out the difference between their X-year plan, and reality. And all their model central planning relies on the false assumption that emissions are important, or even relevant, to anything about climate. Ha. Ha. Such are politicians…..

  4. December 4, 2019 7:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.press.

  5. Washington 76 permalink
    December 4, 2019 7:58 pm

    Nov 28, 2019 This becomes advocacy and propaganda rather than science

    European Parliament, Strasbourg, 28 November 2019

  6. December 4, 2019 9:25 pm

    The bloc’s failure is one reason why they want muggins (UK) to stay.

  7. Up2snuff permalink
    December 4, 2019 9:29 pm

    “But to make the next transition is another story, involving decarbonising heat and transport”

    It cannot in reality be done. The CO2 generated in the manufacture of a subsidised electric car for everyone will be massive. Then there is the charging infrastructure required: more CO2 expended. That’s just cars. What about motorbikes, vans, trucks and buses? More CO2 will be pushed into the atmosphere manufacturing that lot, let alone the batteries for them. Then trains will require replacement if diesel powered, so more CO2 will be produced.

    Anyone thought about boats? And all the extra electric tractors, new electric cropsprayers and new electric irrigators? ‘Going vegan’ will result in an increase of CO2 emissions, not a reduction.

    Then there are all the industrial processes that require heat. That will all need to be ‘electrified’ which = even more CO2 emissions.

    And if we are to tear out GCH boilers, just carting them away will produce more CO2, the manufacture of replacements even more and then there will be CO2 expended in installation and testing. What about powering them on windless, long northern hemisphere nights? That will mean CO2 to build a network of nuclear power stations just to keep the lights on, and houses warm and vehicles charged.

    I have a distinct feeling that either ‘they’ haven’t thought this through or there will be a sudden reason not to bother, like a major war producing its own CO2 emissions.

    Planting trees will not offset this because, doh! it involves transport which = more CO2 emissions. Double doh!

  8. December 4, 2019 10:13 pm

    C02 is a oderless coulurless gas that does not trap heat in an open atmosphere. Read Dr Patrick Moore and then read or watch about ten short videos on YOU TUBE from ‘Tony Heller ‘. The alarmists debate doesn’t add up when faced real science

    • Up2snuff permalink
      December 6, 2019 4:01 pm

      george, that is why I am questioning Jit, above. He/She seems to be turning the science I was taught upside down.

  9. December 4, 2019 11:01 pm

    And they will miss all further goals as local politicians start to understand that in order to reach them they would have to enact policies that would hurt people even more than they are hurting already now. This is a sure election loser and this is the one thing a politician can’t risk. His cushy job where he gets a lot of cash for some hot air. So, we get hot air from politicians promising to limit hot air and do nothing for real.

  10. Stuart Wakefield permalink
    December 5, 2019 12:15 pm

    The UK import 50% of our energy mainly from gas & oil. This is costing my country a massive amount of money about £80bn PA ” please correct if wrong ” The government refused to support a tidal flow power station in Wales that would reduce to cost of importing energy. I live in the Midlands and our power is provided by a foreign company importing gas from Russia? Now the government is pushing us to buy electric cars, what is the point if the cars are charged by power stations burning gas.

    • December 5, 2019 6:14 pm

      The Swansea Bay scheme would have cost nearly double Hinkley Point per MWh, and only produced a tiny amount of power. To all intents and purposes, it was an irrelevance

      If we want to stop imports of gas, we should either be fracking or build more nuclear.

  11. December 6, 2019 1:11 am

    “Currently, the 28-nation bloc is aiming for a reduction of 40% by 2030, and some leaders have called for this target to be raised to 55%, with a long-term goal of ending virtually all new emissions by 2050”

    Yes sir. There is a carbon budget. And it must not be crossed by our cumulative emissions. The science is clear. So is the math. Here it is.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/09/21/boondoggle/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/08/remainingcarbonbudget/

  12. December 11, 2019 1:26 am

    “The European Union said Wednesday that it will likely miss its target for reducing greenhouse gases by 2030”

    Surely they can make up for it with angst and declarations of love for mother earth.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/10/19/emotion/

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