Wednesday, August 29, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Angela Merkel Rejects New Climate Targets

Merkel Allies Pressure German PM To Keep Coal Plants Running For Next 30 Years

In this newsletter:

1) Angela Merkel Rejects New Climate Targets
Channel NewsAsia, 27 August 2018 

2) German Chancellor Now Opposes Climate Targets She Originally Proposed
Watts Up With That, 28 August 2018 
3) Merkel Allies Pressure German PM To Keep Coal Plants Running For Next 30 Years
Bloomberg, 22 August 2018 

4) Canadian Conservative Leader Promises Refund Of Carbon Tax Revenue If He Wins Elections
CBC News, 27 August 2018 

5) ‘New Australian PM Won’t Last Long Without Slashing Green Subsidies’
Stop These Things, 27 August 2018 

6) Old Wine In New Bottle: Energy Prices Down, Paris Targets May Stay
AAP, 28 August 2018 

7) William Kininmonth: Paris Is No Longer Relevant
Quadrant Online, 27 August 2018 

8) Global-Warming Advocates Pressure Media to Silence Skeptics
National Review, 27 August 2018 

Full details:

1) Angela Merkel Rejects New Climate Targets
Channel NewsAsia, 27 August 2018 
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected on Sunday a proposal, floated by the European Commission last month, of setting new, stricter CO2 emissions cuts targets, saying EU countries should focus on meeting the targets they have already set themselves.


The Commission’s climate change chief, Miguel Arias Canete, said last month he was considering increasing from 40 to 45 percent the size of cuts to harmful carbon dioxide emissions that EU countries should target by 2030 in response to evidence that climate change was gathering pace.

“I’m not particularly happy about these new proposals,” Merkel told ARD public television. “I think we should first stick to the goals we have already set ourselves. I don’t think permanently setting ourselves new goals makes any sense.”

Full story

2) German Chancellor Now Opposes Climate Targets She Originally Proposed
Watts Up With That, 28 August 2018 

Eric Worrall 
Economic and political reality is biting hard in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a push back against CO2 emissions targets which she originally helped to propose.

Merkel Pushing Back Against Higher EU Climate Change Target
Dave Keating
Aug 27, 2018,5:01 pm

In 2014, the leaders of the 28 countries of the European Union came to a difficult compromise on combating climate change – agreeing to make greenhouse gas emissions 40% lower than 1990 levels by 2030.

Now, some of those countries say new data and Europe’s alarming heat wave this summer mean that target should be raised to 45%.

Miguel Arias CaƱete, the EU’s energy chief, said earlier this month that he will put forward just such a proposal in September, following a request in June from 14 EU countries including France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

… Though Germany was one of the original signatories of the letter asking for an increase, following significant pressure from German industry, Chancellor Angela Merkel has changed her tune.

Asked this weekend about the proposal to raise the target, Merkel told the German program Tageschau that she is opposed. “I am not so happy about the new proposals because many member states today do not comply with what they have already promised,” she said “We should first reach the goals we have already set. I don’t think that constantly setting new targets makes sense.”

What a surprise – EU member states cheating on their own carbon targets. Germany hesitating to support deeper CO2 emissions cuts, citing the climate hypocrisy of other EU member states.

Full post

3) Merkel Allies Pressure German PM To Keep Coal Plants Running For Next 30 Years
Bloomberg, 22 August 2018 

Germany’s states are upping pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to keep coal-fired power for as long as 30 years as the nation approaches a deadline for setting an exit date from the fossil fuel.

Merkel’s administration is committed to shuttering about 120 lignite and hard-coal plants to cut emissions and plans to set a final exit point in October. As the deadline nears, six states where coal power is concentrated have banded together to keep an extended lifeline for the stations.

“A 25- to 30-year time frame to close the chapter on coal power is realistic,” said Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer in an interview in Leipzig on Tuesday. “We need time to reset regional economies now dependent on coal.”

Merkel faces tough choices. Coal states run by the same parties that make up her federal coalition fret that a rapid reduction of fossil-fuel plants will leave a huge economic hole in their regions and threaten the security of power supplies. But hard coal and lignite push out about a third of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, which Merkel is committed to cutting.

The six states, which includes North-Rhine Westphalia, home to utilities RWE AG, Uniper SE and STEAG GmbH, this week petitioned a group set up by Merkel to plot a coal exit, demanding that it strikes a balance between climate goals, energy security and power prices.

The 28-member “coal commission” of government aides, labor unions, utilities and environmentalists tasked with setting a coal power exit date, mapping out closures and spelling out how to substitute coal power.

State premiers such as Kretschmer and the leaders of North-Rhine Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt, Saarland, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony are concerned that Germany’s lackluster record in cutting emissions may tempt Merkel to seek a quick fix by closing some of the oldest coal plants.

“The temptation is there,” said Kretschmer. “That would be premature indeed.”

As many as 65,000 direct and indirect jobs hang on coal power generation and lignite mining, according to Psephos GmbH, a think tank. Saxony, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt — all signatories of this week’s letter to the commission — face regional elections next year, which will be fought by the populist Alternative for Germany party.

Full story 

4) Canadian Conservative Leader Promises Refund Of Carbon Tax Revenue If He Wins Elections
CBC News, 27 August 2018 

Blaine Higgs estimates a 12-cent-a-litre carbon tax, on top of gas tax, would cost a family $1,200 a year

Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs says he'll refund any carbon-tax revenue to New Brunswickers if he is premier and if Ottawa ends up imposing its own pricing regime on the province.

Campaigning in Moncton on Monday, Higgs repeated his promise to join a legal challenge by the Ontario and Saskatchewan governments aimed at killing the federal plan.

But he said if that doesn't work, he'll make sure New Brunswickers aren't taxed more.

Premier Brian Gallant's Liberal government originally promised a revenue-neutral carbon tax system — a phrase that usually means other taxes are reduced to offset the tax consumers would pay on fossil-fuel consumption.

Gallant later abandoned that promise and is now using carbon-tax revenue to fund environmental programs.

"The original concept — we're sticking with it," Higgs said. "Taxpayers were told it would not add to their bottom line. Gallant and Trudeau have drifted away from that. Well, we're bringing it back.

"If we're not successful [in the legal challenge], we will indeed make it revenue neutral. Which means taxpayers of this province will not have increased taxes as a result of the federal government imposing it."

Full story

5) ‘New Australian PM Won’t Last Long Without Slashing Green Subsidies’
Stop These Things, 27 August 2018 

New PM, Scott Morrison must slash subsidies to renewables now to tame the 40 rebel MPs who crushed wind and solar obsessed Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia’s new Prime Minister Scott Morrison

The 40 MPs who forced Turnbull to walk the plank, will do exactly the same to Morrison if he fails to arrest Australia’s out-of-control energy crisis, starting right now.

Morrison’s first task is to stop listening to his gormless Deputy, Josh Frydenberg (now Treasurer) who, as Energy Minister promoted the National Energy Guarantee – which turned into a political quagmire and, ultimately, led to Turnbull’s crushing downfall.

Morrison also needs to stop listening for the so-called energy experts and the renewable energy rent seekers who, together, hijacked the NEG and turned it into the RET on steroids.

The biggest clowns in the circus, Audrey Zibelman, Kerry Schott and Chloe Munro came up with ridiculous notion that adding more wind and solar would actually reduce power prices; it was that nonsense that set the rebels on the war path, who then crushed both Turnbull and the NEG.

The idea that a modern economy can run on sunshine and breezes, is part delusion and part disease. As with any malady, resolving it involves a mix of diagnosis and prescription.

In this piece, Alan Moran provides both. It obviously predates Turnbull’s ignominious demise. However, Alan’s prescription will work just fine in the hands of the new PM, Scott Morrison.

A Simple Prescription for the Energy Mess
Alan Moran, Quadrant, 23 August 2018

Power prices have ignited the current leadership crisis and there are few signs of sufficient understanding of what caused this in the political firmament or, for that matter, in the mainstream media.

Malcolm Turnbull engineered the now comatose National Energy Guarantee to disguise his ideological imperative of a planned energy system that is fundamentally based on those wind/solar/battery technologies he regards as the shape of things to come.

He says:

Our primary focus is to bring power prices down.

No single measure can achieve this …. there’s no single reason why power prices have been so high and there’s no single solution. So that’s why we’re taking action right across the board, with retailers, distributors, generators. And together, our measures will deliver cheaper electricity.

Turnbull is thrashing around, looking to place the blame for the energy mess on market manipulation by retailers and deceitful price offerings. His key solutions are

* price fixing disguised as some form of regulation of “standing offers”
* new powers for the ACCC to order separation of vertically integrated firms; and
* underwriting support for some form of new dispatchable energy.

The energy crisis was created by the subsidies to renewable energy, feted at every turn by green activists and supported by all the major research consultancies whose models saw this as a key to lowering prices, on the basis that the subsidised renewables, having their costs covered by subsidies, would bid in the market at very low prices forcing the established players to follow suit. Such regulatory initiatives neatly expropriated the established businesses, especially the coal-fired generators which, like wind generators, have low variable costs but, unlike wind, have long asset lives and do not, of course, get the subsidies.

Full post

6) Old Wine In New Bottle: Energy Prices Down, Paris Targets May Stay
AAP, 28 August 2018 

Australia's new prime minister is under pressure not to dump emissions reduction targets, as he promises to send electricity prices "down, down, down".

Scott Morrison is reportedly resisting his party's calls to ditch a commitment to the Paris climate change targets because it could harm a free trade deal with Europe.

He's under internal pressure to abandon the emissions reduction targets after last week's controversial Liberal leadership turmoil.

Mr Morrison zeroed in on power prices, introducing new energy minister Angus Taylor as the "minister for getting electricity prices down".

The two posed for photos on Tuesday with their fingers pointing downwards as the prime minister said "electricity prices are going to go down, down, down".

Melissa Price has been handed the environment portfolio, with Mr Morrison saying on Monday he would leave climate change debates for "another day" as he was asked about its effect on drought.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama on Tuesday congratulated Mr Morrison for securing the top job, saying he looked forward to working with the prime minister on a range of issues.

" ... including the global campaign for action on climate change, the greatest threat facing Australia and all of your neighbours in the Pacific," he wrote on Twitter.

The Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday the coalition will maintain the Paris commitment, despite uncertainty over how it will reach the goal to cut emissions to 26 per cent (from 28 per cent on 2005 levels) by 2030.

Internal division over the coalition's National Energy Guarantee was one of the catalysts for the successful challenge to Malcolm Turnbull's leadership.

The former prime minister was dumped despite withdrawing the Paris targets from the policy in a failed effort to placate rebel MPs.

"I have consistently said we can meet our Paris commitments, they are achievable, they are reasonable and I do think as a nation we should live up to the commitments we make," Resources Minister Matt Canavan told reporters.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Mr Morrison was right to stick with the target.

"Energy policy has taken down any number of conservative leaders and it's been a tricky debate on all sides of politics," Mr Shorten told ABC radio.

The Labor leader said he supported more renewable energy in Australia.

Full story

7) William Kininmonth: Paris Is No Longer Relevant
Quadrant Online, 27 August 2018 

With The Lodge flushed there is a possibility of post-Turnbullian sanity, with the first priority being to re-evaluate Australia's commitment to the Paris Agreement. As a nation, we are pauperising ourselves in a cause demonstrably false and easily discerned as such

National energy policy is failing to satisfy what has been described as the trilemma of objectives: meeting national commitments for emissions reduction under the Paris Agreement; providing affordable energy; and ensuring continuity of supply.

There is potential flexibility for adopting different technologies to provide affordability and continuity of supply, but governments are tightly constrained by the need for national emissions reduction.

Australia is further constrained by policy shackles of its own making. Legislation is in place that rules out the most obvious technology readily satisfying the policy trilemma: nuclear generation. The reluctance to consider nuclear is baffling considering that seventy percent of France’s electricity generation is from nuclear and the global nuclear increase from 2016 to 2017 was a not inconsequential 65 terawatt hours. That is, nuclear provided more than 10 percent of the global increase in electricity generation, the equivalent of 10 new Hazelwoods.

Not surprising, the government’s favoured option of renewable energy, in the forms of wind and solar, is saddled with the burden of intermittency; there is no generation when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. In addition, expansion of the renewable base requires considerable reallocation of public funds from other infrastructure and social needs (schools, hospitals, transport, etc.).

As each day passes it becomes clearer that the federal government is finding the competing objectives of the policy trilemma impossible to resolve. The costs of overcoming intermittency and the subsidies to promote wind and solar expansion are driving electricity prices for consumers through the proverbial roof. In addition, major industries that underpin our national prosperity are threatening to close or relocate overseas.

It is time to re-evaluate our national commitment to the Paris Agreement and its requirement for emissions reduction. As a nation, are we pauperising ourselves in a cause that is now demonstrably false?

The basis of the Paris Agreement is the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming. Computer models of the climate system, which few scientists understand, are invoked to project global temperature rise as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increases. The most recent assessment from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that global temperature is projected to rise between 1.5oC and 4.5oC for a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration.

Few dispute that human activities, especially burning of fossil fuels, are causing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to increase. Since the beginning of the 20th century the concentration has increased from 280 ppm to more than 400 ppm.

Similarly, few dispute that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration will increase global temperature.

The ongoing debate amongst scientists is about the sensitivity of global temperature to carbon dioxide and the role of natural variability. Is the sensitivity in the range of 1.5oC to 4.5oC as projected by models or is it in the range 0f 0.5oC to 1.0oC as alternative analyses indicate? If the latter, then the anthropogenic influence is lost within the likely bounds of natural variability. Any attempt to regulate climate by emissions control is wasted effort.

There are now 38 years of reliable satellite and related climate data that give new insights into global and regional trends over the period of most rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. We are now able to better resolve the competing anthropogenic and natural contributions to recent climate change.

Full post

8) Global-Warming Advocates Pressure Media to Silence Skeptics
National Review, 27 August 2018 
Wesley J Smith

A bit ago, I wrote here that it is a huge advocacy mistake for global-warming alarmists to refuse debating their opponents. After all, if global catastrophe is really coming, one should accept any and every opportunity to persuade doubters.

Now, global-warming public intellectuals have warned the media that if they allow skeptics to have a voice in stories, they will boycott giving comment. From the open letter appearing in the Guardian:

Balance implies equal weight. But this then creates a false equivalence between an overwhelming scientific consensus and a lobby, heavily funded by vested interests, that exists simply to sow doubt to serve those interests. Yes, of course scientific consensus should be open to challenge — but with better science, not with spin and nonsense. We urgently need to move the debate on to how we address the causes and effects of dangerous climate change — because that’s where common sense demands our attention and efforts should be.

Fringe voices will protest about “free speech”. No one should prevent them from expressing their views, whether held cynically or misguidedly. However, no one is obliged to provide them with a platform, much less to appear alongside them to give the misleading impression that there is something substantive to debate.

This “We are too right to debate” variation is also folly. Pressuring media to only present the alarmists’ side of the case — which already happens much if not most of the time anyway — will not change minds. To the contrary, it will raise the acute suspicion that they are silencing dissenters because their their hypotheses are actually very debatable and they can’t stand the contest.
And it isn’t as if dissenters’ voices won’t be heard anyway. Their views will still be voiced through the Internet, social media, and skeptical publications.

Global warming is not a top political priority for vast numbers of people. This kind of presumption and arrogance won’t increase their urgency. Insularity does not serve the global-warming alarmist side well. Engagement with all comers does.

The “experts” don’t get to decide when “the debate is over.” The people do.

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

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