World View: Climate Change Report Shows Countries Are Failing to Meet Commitments

French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with world leaders on Tuesday, two years to the day since 195 nations adopted the climate-rescue Paris Agreement

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Climate change report shows countries are failing to meet commitments
  • China building a ‘tsunami’ of coal-powered plants across Asia

Climate change report shows countries are failing to meet commitments

Satellite image of coal-fired power plant in Guangdong province, China. The two cooling towers are clearly visible. (Planet Labs)
Satellite image of coal-fired power plant in Guangdong province, China. The two cooling towers are clearly visible. (Planet Labs)

A new United Nations report on climate change shows that countries that had been vocal about supporting the 2015 treaty on climate change have been failing miserably at meeting the goals of that treaty.

According to the Paris treaty, the world had to reduce carbon emissions sufficiently to prevent the world temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Centigrade by 2100. In order to meet that target, global greenhouse gas emissions would have to fall by 55 percent by 2030.

Recently, a new report by scientists said that 2 degrees was not good enough to avoid global catastrophe, and so we would have to cut carbon emissions enough to prevent world temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Centigrade.

The countries of the world have not been doing what they promised and global greenhouse gas emissions actually increased in 2017. If things continue as they are, then global temperatures will increase by 3.2 degrees Centigrade by 2100.

The report describes different countries:

  • Argentina, Australia, Canada, the EU (including the UK), South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa are falling significantly short of their commitments.
  • Greenhouse emissions are surging in China. Even so, China made almost no commitments in 2015, so it is meeting its non-existent commitments.
  • Other countries – Brazil, Japan, India, Russia, and Turkey – are either on track or slightly ahead. But these “third world” countries made very small commitments in 2015.
  • The United States reached peak emissions in 2007, and the amount of emissions has been falling since then. However, in 2015, President Barack Obama made substantially greater commitments that are not now being met.

According to the report, the countries that failed to meet their emission commitments did so because their economies had been growing. The report implies that emissions of greenhouse gases are correlated to economic growth. This is an eminently obvious conclusion, and is certainly true.

But it also implies that greenhouse gas emissions will not be sharply cut unless economic growth is sharply cut, and that is not going to happen in any country.

There is nothing in the Paris treaty that describes any technology for reducing carbon emissions except by cutting economic activity. As for other technologies, they only provide a minuscule part of the solution and, anyway, environmentalists are opposed to those, too. These include nuclear power plants, huge windmill farms, and huge solar panel farms.

As usual, every time I write one of these articles on climate change, I make the point that I accept the conclusions of the climate “scientists”: That there has been and is global warming, that the global warming is caused by increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and that the increased emissions are caused by human activity.

However, climate “scientists” have been getting climate change predictions completely wrong for thirty years, and so I do not accept that these scientists have any idea what the temperature will be in 2100 any more than then know what the temperature will be a month from now.

Even if you accept the scientific conclusion that human activity is causing global warming, the climate change movement is still a scam. It is nothing but a movement to take money from developed countries (the U.S., the E.U., etc.) and give it to developing countries, and also give it to the cronies of the climate change activists by funding them.

Every scientific organization in the world understands that if they can “solve” the emissions problem with new technology, then they will be billionaires. No further encouragement is needed and no climate change treaty is needed.

Furthermore, it is almost 100 percent certain that there will be one or two world wars prior to 2100, killing 30-50 percent of the world’s population. That reduction in the population will reduce the amount of human activity by a proportional amount, which will completely solve the global warming problem. BBC and CNN and Washington Post and France 24 and United Nations

China building a ‘tsunami’ of coal-powered plants across Asia

“Like an approaching tsunami triggered by a distant earthquake, a massive cohort of hundreds of new coal-fired power plants is on course to be added to the already overbuilt Chinese coal plant fleet,” is how a September report from CoalSwarm’s Global Coal Plant Tracker begins.

In 2016 and 2017, authorities in Beijing tried to reduce the number of coal-fired plants being built and they issued a series of suspension orders for many of the plants scheduled for construction.

However, satellite imagery shows that many of the suspended plants were not suspended at all, or at most were delayed. Apparently, regional and provincial authorities ignored the suspension orders from Beijing, and allowed construction to continue anyway.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this illustrates how major decisions are made by large populations or large generations of people, even in a dictatorship. Someone commented on my recent article on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and said that all the projects would be completed because China is a “command economy.” But China has a population of 1.4 billion people and a population that size cannot be controlled, even in a “command economy.” China is far too big a country, long overdue for a major internal rebellion with the right triggering event.

However, China’s activities with coal-fired plants go far beyond their borders.

China is taking a leading role in financing a wave of now coal plants in countries across Asia. Export credit agencies such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, China Development Bank Corp., and Korea Trade Insurance Corp. are among the biggest supporters. The three biggest destinations for those funds are Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

China alone emits 27 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but that is just within China’s own borders. Thanks to China, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing in countries across Asia as well. Guardian (London) and BBC and China Dialogue and EndCoal and Bloomberg

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Climate change, China, Paris treaty
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