Saturday, September 8, 2018

GWPF Newsletter - Benefits of Global Warming: Global Tree Cover Is Expanding Rapidly








200 Years Worth Of Shale Gas: Australian Minister Announces Huge Discovery

In this newsletter:

1) Benefits Of Global Warming: Global Tree Cover Is Expanding Rapidly
Ronald Bailey, Reason Online, 4 September 2018
 
2) 200-400 Years Worth Of Shale Gas: Australian Minister Announces Huge Discovery
Australian Associated Press, 6 September 2018


 
3) Sunset For Jobs In Germany’s Wind Industry As Companies Shift Abroad
Bloomberg, 6 September 2018
 
4) ‘Developed Nations Not Committed To $100 Billion Climate Finance’
Reuters, 6 September 2018
 
5) New Paris Climate Agreement Proposal Would 'Let Rich Countries Off The Hook,' Activists Say 
Devex News, 6 September 2018
 
6) Australia: Paris Climate Deal Doesn't Stop Us Building New Coal Plants, Canavan Says
The Guardian, 7 September 2018
 
7) A New Report Shows Paris Climate Accord Backers Are Just ‘Outsourcing’ CO2 Emissions To China
The Daily Caller, 6 September 2018


Full details:

1) Benefits Of Global Warming: Global Tree Cover Is Expanding Rapidly
Ronald Bailey, Reason Online, 4 September 2018

Global tree canopy cover increased by 2.24 million square kilometers (865,000 square miles) between 1982 and 2016, reports a new study in Nature. These new findings contradict earlier studies that reported a continuing net loss of forest cover.



Researchers using satellite data tracked the changes in various land covers to find that gains in forest area in the temperate, subtropical, and boreal climatic zones are offsetting declines in the tropics. In addition, forest area is expanding even as areas of bare ground and short vegetation are shrinking. Furthermore, forests in montane regions are expanding as climate warming enables trees to grow higher up on mountains.

Tree canopy in Europe, including European Russia, has increased by 35 percent—the greatest gain among all continents. The researchers attribute much of that increase to the “natural afforestation on abandoned agricultural land,” which has been “a common process in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

The researchers’ satellite data also confirms the effectiveness of China’s large-scale reforestation and afforestation programs, leading to a tree canopy gain of 34 percent in that country. Declining forest cover in the western United States, meanwhile, has been offset by increased tree canopy cover in the eastern part of the country. The result is that overall U.S. tree cover increased by 15 percent in the study period.

The study notes that the expansion of the agricultural frontier is the primary driver of deforestation in the tropics. “The three countries with the largest area of net tree cover loss during 1982–2016 are all located in South America: Brazil (−385,000 km2, −8%), Argentina (−113,000 km2, −25%) and Paraguay (−79,000 km2, −34%),” report the researchers.

These new findings contradict earlier studies that reported a continuing net loss of forest cover. For example, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015 reported, “In 1990 the world had 4,128 million [hectares] of forest; by 2015 this area had decreased to 3,999 million ha. This is a change from 31.6 percent of global land area in 1990 to 30.6 percent in 2015.”

Full post

See also 

Indur Goklany: Carbon Dioxide: The Good News

Matt Ridley: Global Warming Versus Global Greening

2) 200-400 Years Worth Of Shale Gas: Australian Minister Announces Huge Discovery
Australian Associated Press, 6 September 2018

The Northern Territory holds enough natural gas to supply Australia for 200 years-plus and is comparable to the shale resources that have revolutionised the US energy sector, Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan says.



Such abundant gas should enable Australia to reduce its current high energy prices, which were the fault of southern states preventing development, Senator Canavan told an NT Resources Week conference in Darwin.

The NT government lifted a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to access onshore gas this year, which is banned in Victoria and much of NSW.

Geoscience Australia estimates the NT has about 257,000 petajoules of shale gas to meet Australia’s demands for 200 years, Senator Canavan said.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he had been told by energy companies that figure could be double with the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

“There is more than enough gas in the Beetaloo to both export to demand overseas, to help out our fellow Australians and to support a gas manufacturing, value-adding industry here in Darwin,” he told reporters.
Senator Canavan described Beetaloo, located southeast of Katherine, as “a world class shale resource rich in liquids that is comparable to US shale resources which have been so critical in turning around the US energy market and manufacturing sector”.

“The refinement of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has turned the US from the world’s largest net energy importer just over a decade ago to becoming a net energy exporter in recent years,” he said.

“This has enormous implications for global trade and politics.”

Full story

3) Sunset For Jobs In Germany’s Wind Industry As Companies Shift Abroad
Bloomberg, 6 September 2018
 

After almost two decades building concrete towers for wind turbines at a unit of market leader Enercon GmbH on Germany’s North Sea coast, he will probably lose his job in the latest wave of cuts hitting the industry. The 40-year-old may join thousands of European engineers and workers that in the past few years have become victims of the globalization and maturing of a sector Germany led for decades.

As nations from Asia to South America embrace wind power to rein in pollution, plunging costs are squeezing profit and German suppliers are forced to move manufacturing and jobs abroad to markets with higher growth. In the past few years, more than 2,000 positions have been eliminated in Germany in what more and more mirrors the decline of its solar panel industry virtually wiped out by competitors in China.

“Once these highly specialized jobs go, they’re gone forever,” Kleen said by phone. “It’s crazy for German companies and the government just to sit and watch this happen.”

Enercon, a closely held manufacturer which built its first turbine more than three decades ago, said Aug. 2 it will cut about 800 German supply jobs from this quarter, citing declining domestic demand and a shift to steel from the concrete towers that Kleen has spent most of his adult life building.

And the story told by several other producers is similar: Surging orders abroad, but a domestic market in decline as subsidies make way for competitive auctions that crimp new supply.

“Shipping to India doesn’t work, shipping to Chile from Germany will never be cost-efficient,” said Manav Sharma, the interim chief executive officer at Senvion GmbH, a turbine manufacturer. “There are business requirements and there are solutions.”

With wind and solar output at times providing the majority of Germany’s electricity, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s transition of Europe’s biggest economy away from fossil fuels and nuclear, has drawn admiration from other nations seeking to comply with tougher pollution rules under the 2015 Paris agreement.

But the stalled growth and redundancies in the wind industry is a blow to her plan that clean power jobs can to some extent take over from employment at conventional power parks. Merkel is planning to exit coal as well as nuclear and was counting on the wind industry after lower production costs in China wiped out 130,000 domestic solar industry jobs.

Full story

4) ‘Developed Nations Not Committed To $100 Billion Climate Finance’
Reuters, 6 September 2018

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Developed countries are not taking their commitment to generate $100 billion in climate finance seriously, experts meeting in the Thai capital said on Wednesday, possibly jeopardising the 2015 Paris accord. “If they don’t commit to real finance, it’s all going to fall apart.”

The Bangkok talks precede a meeting in Katowice, Poland, in December, where government ministers will meet to agree on rules for the 2015 Paris accord.
Senior U.N. officials said it is hoped a draft text for negotiation on the rule book will emerge by the end of the week.

Items on the agenda include a promise to raise $100 billion a year in climate finance, from both public and private sources, by 2020 to help developing countries tackle global warming.

Discussion on the funding is being “blocked across the board” at the meeting by a group of rich nations led by the United States, said Harjeet Singh, a global climate lead at non-profit ActionAid.

“If they don’t commit to real finance, it’s all going to fall apart. Developing countries will not be able to implement their targets, which they have put forward in anticipation of the money,” Singh told Reuters.

“There is a big fear that the $100 billion target will not be met.”

Full story

5) New Paris Climate Agreement Proposal Would 'Let Rich Countries Off The Hook,' Activists Say 


Devex News, 6 September 2018

BANGKOK — Proposed text from the United States, Japan, and Australia could water down climate finance guidelines, and casts doubt that this week’s Bangkok negotiations will deliver the clear climate rules United Nations leaders have been calling for.

Environment and energy delegates from around the world are gathered in the Thai capital to hash out the Paris “rulebook” — the framework of operating procedures for how countries should fulfil their obligations under the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change.

There is a sense of urgency at the U.N. conference center, with improved guidelines expected in just three months, when Poland hosts the 24th Conference of the PartiesUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa has repeatedly warned of the chaos delegations will face in the Polish city of Katowice if the Bangkok negotiations stall.

But recently published text from several developed countries serves to muddy the rules rather than clarify them, according to climate campaigners. The proposed text outlines the U.S., Japan, and Australia’s stance on article 9.7 of the Paris accord, which refers to accounting and is meant to establish rules about how developed countries report what finance they provide to developing countries.

The proposal, submitted to UNFCCC on Sept. 4, presents a flexible approach in favor of dropping climate finance rules and “does not create any meaningful rules on how climate finance is accounted for, and instead it essentially says ‘countries should report what they want,’” Brandon Wu, director of policy and campaigns for ActionAid USA, told Devex.

Full post

6) Australia: Paris Climate Deal Doesn't Stop Us Building New Coal Plants, Canavan Says
The Guardian, 7 September 2018

Minister says agreement Australia committed to ‘doesn’t actually bind us to anything in particular’

Australia does not need to quit the Paris climate agreement because our commitments are non-binding, and new coal plants can continue to be constructed, according to the resources minister, Matt Canavan.
Canavan told Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones on Friday he had never been to Paris, and was “happy to leave the Champs-Élysées for others”, but people needed to be clear the treaty Tony Abbott committed Australia to in 2015 “doesn’t actually bind us to anything in particular”.

Abbott said in 2015, when he announced Australia would be signing up, that the government was making a “definite commitment” to a 26% reduction in emissions by 2030 and “with the circumstances that we think will apply ... we can go up to 28%”.

But Canavan said on Friday the Paris commitment was a three-page document that allowed Australia flexibility to build new coal plants. The resources minister said rather than focusing on the situation in 2030, “what I want to focus on is solving the crisis we have in energy today”.

“We have to build power stations. There’s nothing in the [Paris] agreement that would stop us building power stations, including coal-fired power stations,” Canavan said.

“We need new ones”.

Canavan said Queensland was “propping up” New South Wales with the newest coal fleet in the country.

Jones prefaced his interview with Canavan with a long condemnation of the new foreign minister, Marise Payne, and the decision to sign on to a communique at the Pacific Islands Forum this week nominating climate change as the single greatest security threat to the Pacific.

The communique said all countries must meet their commitments under the Paris climate agreement.
Jones declared the prime minister, Scott Morrison, needed to “recall Marise Payne and replace her”. He said the Morrison government would have no hope of winning the next federal election if it wanted to “persist with the global warming rubbish and the Paris agreement”.

Full story

7) A New Report Shows Paris Climate Accord Backers Are Just ‘Outsourcing’ CO2 Emissions To China
The Daily Caller, 6 September 2018
Michael Bastasch

When President Donald Trump unveiled plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord in 2017, he voiced his concern the Obama-era deal would amount to an international wealth transfer.

Trump pointed out the Paris accord “doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America, and ships them to other countries,” he said in a Rose Garden speech last year.

new report shows Trump’s broader argument that emissions-intensive activities would not be eliminated, but moved overseas was probably correct. Industries have been moving operations overseas to poorer countries with fewer regulations.

The report, funded by the ClimateWorks Foundation, found that countries are increasingly “outsourcing” their emissions to other countries, like China and India.

Indeed, it’s a problem conservatives have warned about for years when it comes to climate policies — regulations emissions in, say, the U.S. will only encourage carbon dioxide-heavy industries to relocate overseas.

That’s exactly what’s been happening, according to the new report.

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 www.thegwpf.com.

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