Wednesday, June 29, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: EU Climate Plans Stall As Brexit Talks Take Over

British Solar Industry In Total Free Fall After Subsidy Cuts

In this newsletter:

1) EU Climate Plans Stall As Brexit Talks Take Over
Climate Home, 27 June 2016
2) British Solar Industry In Total Free Fall After Subsidy Cuts
The Daily Caller, 27 June 2016
3) Siemens Freezes New UK Wind Power Investment Following Brexit Vote
The Guardian, 28 June 2016
4) Reality Check: Climate Policies will Not Strand Oil And Gas Reserves
Reuters, 28 June 2016
5) David Whitehouse: Will La Nina Resume The ‘Hiatus’?
Global Warming Policy Forum, 27 June 2016
6) And Finally: ‘Global Warming Caused Brexit’
The Daily Caller, 28 June 2016

Full details:

1) EU Climate Plans Stall As Brexit Talks Take Over
Climate Home, 27 June 2016
Megan Darby

UK’s probable departure from the EU throws carbon cutting agenda into confusion just as countries were preparing to approve Paris climate agreement

EU envoys will meet in Berlin next week for informal talks on saving the bloc’s reputation as a climate leader.

The bloc’s low carbon legislation is in limbo while the UK works out when and how far to disentangle itself.

Britain voted last Thursday for a so-called ‘Brexit’, but is in no hurry to invoke Article 50, which starts formal exit negotiations.

“All key decisions will have to wait for the new prime minister,” David Cameron, who is stepping aside, told parliament on Monday.

That will take months, with the Conservative Party due to chose a new leader by October and mounting calls for a general election to follow.

The uncertainty is expected to further delay Brussels’ ratification of the Paris climate agreement and plans to put its targets into practice.

A negotiator from one EU member state described the situation as “a complete clusterfuck”. Two others also shared concerns about the complex political decisions ahead. […]

Yet the extent of disruption will depend on who takes charge. Leading figures of the Leave campaign have shown little interest in the climate agenda, except to disparage it.

For starters, it is not clear whether the UK will continue to take part in the EU’s contribution to the Paris Agreement.

The European Commission was drafting proposals, due on 20 July, to carve up its 2030 target among 28 member states. Now it looks likely, but not certain, to be 27 – and that timeline is in doubt.

Full story

2) British Solar Industry In Total Free Fall After Subsidy Cuts
The Daily Caller, 27 June 2016
Andrew Follett

Solar power in the U.K. is collapsing after the government cut its subsidies, according to industry reports published Sunday.

The British solar industry estimates that it lost 18,000 jobs since the subsidy cuts. The U.K. subsidy cutbacks are part of the collapse of Europe’s green energy industry. The amount of money flowing into European green energy from governments collapsed from $132 billion in 2011 to $58 billion last year.

“All industries have their ups and downs, but the solar industry’s ups and downs are entirely dependent on the level of handouts from government,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The British government has realized that even in sunny Britain subsidizing solar panels is a waste of taxpayer money.”

British subsidies and tax incentives intended to support the solar industry were enormously costly. Brits paid a whopping 54 percent more for electricity than Americans in 2014 while energy taxes cost residents roughly $6.6 billion every year. Green energy subsidies in the U.K regularly exceed spending caps and account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to a government study released last July.

Full post

3) Siemens Freezes New UK Wind Power Investment Following Brexit Vote
The Guardian, 28 June 2016
Arthur Neslen

Siemens is putting new wind power investment plans in the UK on hold due to uncertainty caused by last week’s Brexit vote, the German energy company has told the Guardian.

A £310m manufacturing hub in Hull that employs 1,000 people will not be affected by the decision, and should still begin producing blades and assembling turbines next year.

But Siemens, one of the few firms to openly back a Remain vote, will not be making new investments until the future of the UK’s relationship with Europe becomes clearer.

Juergen Maier, the firm’s UK CEO, said that an existing blueprint to export offshore wind turbine machinery from the Hull hub was now up in the air.

Full story

4) Reality Check: Climate Policies will Not Strand Oil And Gas Reserves
Reuters, 28 June 2016

LONDON, June 28 - Fossil fuel-producing companies have been thrown onto the defensive over the last two years by the argument that many of their reserves will be "stranded" as the world transitions to cleaner forms of energy.

Climate campaigners claim a large percentage of already known oil, gas and coal reserves must remain unburned if the rise in global temperatures is to remain below two degrees Celsius.

The two-degree target has been endorsed by government leaders from around the world and was made even more ambitious at the climate summit in Paris in 2015.
The Paris agreement commits the signatories to holding the rise in average global temperatures "well below 2 degrees C" and "pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C".

But the problem with the concept of "unburnable carbon" is that it confuses what campaigners would like to happen in an ideal world with what is actually likely to happen in the real one.

Fast-growing demand for energy from countries in the developing world is likely to ensure increased consumption of both fossil fuels and cleaner energy from renewables over the next 20 years.

As more households in developing countries reach middle-class status, their demand for work and leisure travel, electrical appliances, consumer products and services are all set to grow, and with them total energy demand and most likely greenhouse emissions.


World primary energy consumption is projected to increase to more than 800 quadrillion British thermal units in 2040, up from 550 quadrillion in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Consumption in countries within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is projected to grow by just 44 quads or 0.6 percent per year.

But consumption in the rest of the world is projected to increase by 222 quads or around 1.9 percent per year between 2012 and 2040 ("International Energy Outlook", EIA, 2014).

Energy consumption in developing countries is forecast to grow three times faster than in the advanced economies over the next two decades.

The resulting INCREASE in energy demand from developing countries will be very nearly equal to the TOTAL energy consumption of the advanced economies in 2012.

The consequence is an increase in all forms of energy consumption, though renewable fuels will claim an increased share of the larger total.

According to the Energy Information Administration, global consumption of wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy will increase by 2.6 percent per year or by a total of 67 quads.

Gas consumption will rise by 1.9 percent per year or 87 quads. Oil consumption will rise 1.1 percent per year or 62 quads.

In more familiar terms, global oil consumption is projected to rise from around 90 million barrels per day in 2012 to 120 million barrels per day by 2040.

Global gas consumption is projected to grow from 120 trillion cubic feet to 203 trillion over the same period.

Full story

5) David Whitehouse: Will La Nina Resume The ‘Hiatus’?
Global Warming Policy Forum, 27 June 2016

It’s clear that the intense El Nino, one of the three strongest on record, is now over and forecasters are expecting a transition to La Nina conditions within a few months. What does this mean for the much-discussed “pause” or “hiatus?”

Australia and NOAA have issued L Nina alerts for 2016/7. In mid-May the sea surface temperature in the diagnostic El Nino 3.4 region dropped below the 0.5°C threshold for El Nino conditions. Global surface temperatures, which reached record levels, are now declining. Lower tropospheric temperatures are also declining with May’s UAH reading of 0.55°C being 0.16°C down on the previous month.

Of course, no one knows what will happen next. Will La Nina be swift or be a multi-year event like 1998-2001? In general La Ninas are slow to leave and that there is an indication that multi-year La Nina’s tend to occur after the strongest El Ninos. Perhaps we might experience back-to-back La Ninas like 2010/11 and 2011/12.


The 2015 El Nino caused record temperatures. Many had expected this. There are indications that the El Nino tried to start in 2014 but stalled. It left behind a pool of warm water that “kick-started” the 2015 event. In October NASA Giss passed a temperature anomaly of 100 for the first time starting seven months above 100.

May’s temperature anomaly is 93, still high though not unprecedented. At the moment it is likely that the very high temperatures of the first five months of 2016 will result in another record year for Giss unless the temperature decline is very rapid. HadCRUT4shows a decline with April having a temperature anomaly of 0.926 down from 1.065 the previous month. NOAA‘s May surface data shows a global record for the 13th consecutive month although technically May 2016 tied with June and August 2015, again showing the start of a global temperature decline.

What does this mean for the much-discussed “pause” or “hiatus?” Clearly the 2015 El Nino interrupted it. According to HadCRUT4 the temperature 2001/14 gradient is 0.002 +/- 0.144°C per decade. It will be interesting to see if the La Nina decline counterbalances the El Nino rise and we return to a similar gradient sometime in the future. There are many who expect it won’t because they maintain the background rise in global temperature is continuing as will be apparent when the expected La Nina has run its course. This expectation is strong among those who played down the effect of the 2015/6 El Nino. There was much confusion and contradiction about how much the El Nino had contributed to 2016 being a record year. Some said that 2016 would have been a record year without the El Nino, other that it caused the record but did not add much to global temperature and others (not quoted very much by many media outlets) maintained that without the El Nino the “pause” would have continued. If the 2015 El Nino’s influence was small then perhaps one can expect the forthcoming La Nino to lack the strength to re-establish the pause. We will have to wait and see.


6) And Finally: ‘Global Warming Caused Brexit’
The Daily Caller, 28 June 2016
Michael Bastasch

It only took four days after U.K. voters chose to leave the European Union for a liberal climate scientist and eco-activist to blame the whole event on — you guessed it — global warming.

Joe Romm, a climate scientist and writer for the liberal blog ThinkProgress, wrote an article Monday arguing the so-called “Brexit” and the rise of GOP candidate Donald Trump are driven by global warming.

“We’ve known for a while that there are scientific tipping points beyond which certain climate impacts — like the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet or the thawing of the carbon-rich permafrost — become unstoppable,” Romm wrote. “But it appears there may also be political tipping points, where certain climate impacts cause so much widespread harm simultaneously that they simply fragment the world.”

“In this fatally-fractured future, countries focus almost exclusively on the ever-worsening climate devastation to their country, destroying the possibility of collective action by the world to help those worst off,” he wrote.

Romm goes on to argue the Brexit movement was largely fueled by “scaremongering around the Syrian refugee crisis” — a crisis he says caused by global warming. Romm wrote:

The Syrian migrant crisis “had an outsized impact on the Brexit,” as NBC News political director Chuck Todd said Friday. You can see that in the pro-Brexit poster from the U.K. Independence Party (above) — which became a major advertising campaign of the referendum — featuring thousands of male refugees streaming from Croatia into Slovenia last October.

It bears repeating that a major 2015 study confirmed: “Human-caused climate change was a major trigger of Syria’s brutal civil war.” This study found that global warming made Syria’s 2006 to 2010 drought two to three times more likely. “While we’re not saying the drought caused the war,” the lead author explained. “We are saying that it certainly contributed to other factors — agricultural collapse and mass migration among them — that caused the uprising.”

And that mass migration ultimately fueled the mass refugee crisis of the last two years, a crisis the world has utterly failed to figure out how to handle.

Environmentalists and some scientists have tried to link the Syrian civil war to man-made global warming for years. The argument has been repeated by Democratic presidential candidates and even Secretary of State John Kerry as evidence for why the world needs to get serious about a warming climate.

“It is not a coincidence that immediately prior to the civil war in Syria, the country experienced the worst drought on record,” Kerry said in 2015.

“Now, I’m not telling you that the crisis in Syria was caused by climate change,” Kerry said, adding it “clearly made a bad situation a lot worse.”

Romm took the argument one step further, and is now using it to claim Brexit was a consequence of a global warming-fueled refugee crisis.

“Brexit and Trumpism make plainly — and painfully — visible that even rich, democratic nations deal poorly with a moderate amount of refugees, immigration, and economic dislocation. Imagine how we’ll deal with the 100-fold escalation of those problems if we fail to stop catastrophic climate change,” he wrote.

Full story

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

1 comment:

paul scott said...

I wrote a letter to Joe Romm. I told him that ISIS did not cause Brexit, nor Donald Trump. I I said I thought it was the votes of the people of Britain, which activated Brexit.
We can not be sure what games the Empire will play next. With regressives like Romm like to push Armageddon at us. They regressives and empire builders are immune to rational Science.