Thursday, September 6, 2018

GWPF Newsletter Forget Paris: Europe’s Carmakers Challenge EU Climate Targets








Walter Russell Mead:
'Anti-Capitalist Climate Campaigners Have Failed'


In this newsletter:

1) Forget Paris: Europe’s Carmakers Challenge EU Climate Targets
Deutsche Welle, 5 September 2018 
 
2) ‘Climate Leader’ Germany: Police Clear Protesters, New Coal Mining Imminent
Reuters, 5 September 2018


 
3) As UN Carbon Market Bombs, Climate Envoys Seek Successor 
Bloomberg, 5 September 2018
 
4) Walter Russell Mead: Anti-Capitalist Climate Campaigners Have Failed
The Wall Street Journal, 4 September 2018
 
5) Emmanuel Macron Under Attack Over Climate Change
The Guardian, 4 September 2018 
 
6) New Survey Shows Chukchi Polar Bear Population Is Growing, Not Declining
Polar Bear Science, 3 September 2018 
 
7) And Finally: The Great British Public Love A Heatwave!
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 5 September 2018 


Full details:

1) Forget Paris: Europe’s Carmakers Challenge EU Climate Targets
Deutsche Welle, 5 September 2018 


European carmakers have openly questioned the EU’s 2021 car emissions goals, rejecting tougher reduction targets planned for 2030. They claim the bloc’s climate targets and its push toward more e-cars will cost jobs.   

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) admitted on Tuesday that Europe’s car industry would find it hard to meet the EU’s 2021 target of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer (57.4 miles per gallon) for average fleet emissions, and flatly rejected an EU proposal for steeper cuts beyond 2030.

Erik Jonnaert, the head of the industry group, told Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency that there was “a lot of concern” among carmakers about how they should meet the ambitious targets.

Jonnaert noted that currently carmaker’s most modern fleets emit about 118.5 g/km of CO2 on average. By 2021, the EU Commission wanted fleet emissions to be cut by 20 percent, and was planning on reducing them by a further 30 percent by 2030.

“Of course it feels good to have high reduction targets on paper, but we want to make sure that whatever is put on paper, at least for our industry, we can deliver,” he said.

The EU goals are part of global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions — a greenhouse gas, which experts blame for causing climate change. Car fleet emissions in Europe have started to rise again, as more and more buyers are worried about likely diesel car bans in European cities.













Although diesel engines spew out less CO2, they emit more hazardous substances like nitrogen oxides, causing authorities to worry about air quality, notably in cities. Another source of rising CO2 emissions is said to be an increase in sports utility vehicles (SUVs), which have grown popular with customers in recent years.

Jobs on the line

In the interview with DPA, Jonnaert said that higher reductions of more than 20 percent were “unrealistic” against this background and “despite all efforts” by carmakers.

In an effort to substantiate its claims, the ACEA also published a study by US-based FTI Consulting, saying that the EU’s emission targets and its forced push for electric cars are threatening manufacturing jobs in the car industry.

Full story
 

2) ‘Climate Leader’ Germany: Police Clear Protesters, New Coal Mining Imminent
Reuters, 5 September 2018


BERLIN -- German news agency dpa is reporting that hundreds of police have entered a forest that protesters are trying to stop from being chopped down for a coal mine.

The agency reported that police are protecting workers from energy company RWE who plan to start clearing obstacles from the floor of Hambach forest Wednesday. RWE wants to cut down half of the ancient forest to expand a nearby lignite strip mine.

 
Police secures the area at the "Hambacher Forst" in Hambach near Cologne, Germany, September 5, 2018, where protesters have built a camp with tents and treehouses to stop the clearing of a forest for open pit mining.

The plans have enraged environmentalists, who want Germany to stop extracting and burning coal. Some have been camping in the forest for years in protest.
 

3) As UN Carbon Market Bombs, Climate Envoys Seek Successor 
Bloomberg, 5 September 2018
 

After the United Nations’s first attempt to build a global carbon market fizzled from $33 billion to almost nothing, climate envoys from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Bangkok this week to give it another go.














The diplomats gathered in Bangkok this week are working on a so-called Sustainable Development Mechanism that would channel investment into projects that cut pollution in some of the poorest countries of the world.

Richer nations that provide much of the finance would get credits in exchange that go to help meet their commitments on reducing emissions, which may allow them to take on more ambitious goals.

The talks are part of a push to set out the rules governing the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, where nations rich and poor alike vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions for the first time. To developing nations such as Brazil, which is pushing for the mechanism, a deal would have the potential to raise billions of dollars to clean up energy production and bring in entrepreneurs like the founder of Tesla Inc.

“To transform billions into trillions, you have to send the right signal so that early movers are recognized,” Thiago Mendes, climate change and forestry secretary in Brazil’s Ministry of Environment, said in an interview.

“We want to have an ‘Elon Musk guy’ in all countries.”

The SDM as it is known for short would replace the CDM, or Clean Development Mechanism, which was born with the UN’s Kyoto Protocol on climate change in 1997. World leaders endorsed the principle of building the SDM when they approved the Paris deal in 2015 but left it to lower-level officials to agree on the details.

Those delegates were forced to organize an additional meeting in Bangkok until Sept. 9. They’re hoping to develop a proposal that their ministers can endorse at the annual UN climate meeting, which this year is being held in December in Katowice, Poland. Technical discussions are continuing on how the new mechanism will work.

“It’s indeed one of the issues being discussed, and we still don’t know, sadly, what’s going to come,” Patricia Espinosa, the UN representative helping coordinate the meeting, said in an interview in Bangkok on Monday.

“There are different views among the parties and at the same time what we’re seeing are a lot of developments regarding carbon pricing and carbon markets in different parts of the world.”

Initially backed by the U.S., the CDM gave markets a central role to play in slashing emissions by handing an incentive for rich countries to pay for projects to lower emissions in developing ones. China was the biggest beneficiary.

Full story
 

4) Walter Russell Mead: Anti-Capitalist Climate Campaigners Have Failed
The Wall Street Journal, 4 September 2018


The problem isn’t climate-change denial. It’s doubt that climate activists have the answers.

Last week French environmental minister Nicolas Hulot, once a prominent supporter of President Emmanuel Macron, threw in the towel. “I don’t want to lie anymore. I don’t want to create the illusion that my presence in the government means that we are on top of [environmental] issues,” he said during a live broadcast announcing his resignation.

Mr. Hulot is not alone among environmentalists in denouncing the hypocrisy and inadequacy of government action on climate change. The Paris accords are “a fraud, really, a fake,” said climate activist James Hansen in 2015. “There is no action, just promises.”

Three years later, Mr. Hansen’s words look prescient. Even ostensibly committed countries like Germany and France are on course to miss the voluntary 2020 targets they announced to such fanfare in 2015. The Climate Action Tracker estimates that only Morocco and Gambia are on a “Paris agreement compatible” path.

The climate-change movement is stuck, even after a scorching summer elevated the issue across much of the Northern Hemisphere. It is powerful enough to command lip service from politicians, but too weak to impose the policies it says are needed to prevent catastrophic change.

Many environmentalists fail to grasp that the real problem isn’t skepticism that the climate is changing, or even that human activity is a leading cause of the change. Millions worry about climate change and believe human activity is in large part responsible. But they do not believe that the climate movement has the answers for the problems it describes. Green policy blunders, like support for ethanol in the U.S. and knee-jerk opposition to nuclear power, erode confidence that environmental activists—who too often have an anticapitalist, Malthusian and technophobic view of the world—can be trusted, to as they often say, to “save the planet.”

For center-right politicians and people who support both free markets and a healthy environment, the status quo is also a problem. In the U.S. and abroad, market-friendly politicians cannot embrace the stagnant, statist and rent-seeking policies often proposed by environmentalists. Yet neither do they wish to turn a blind eye to a consequential problem that voters care about.

The world needs a green movement that can command more than lip service from politicians. Such a movement would be tech-positive, pro-science and pro-growth, recognizing that capitalism can deliver technological and social changes that offer humanity’s best hope of a greener and cooler future. A realistic green movement would not only embrace zero-carbon nuclear power as part of the solution to the climate problem; it would embrace the broader potential of the information revolution to raise living standards around the world while reducing humanity’s carbon footprint.

One example would be the promotion of telework and other changes to the way people commute. The daily trek of hundreds of millions of commuters around the world is a major contributor to world-wide emissions. Commuting’s pernicious influence will grow as developing countries continue to urbanize. Promoting telework—substituting the movement of data for the movement of people and cars—will bend the carbon curve even as it saves time and money. The shift to autonomous cars can have a similar impact and reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Videoconferencing is already making inroads in the business world. Instead of $100 billion boondoggles like California’s struggling high-speed rail project, policy makers should encourage the development and deployment of this technology—reducing emissions and saving taxpayer dollars.

A smarter green movement also would embrace the development and use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture. Tweaking the genes of specific crops can raise yields while shrinking humanity’s carbon footprint. A field of “tweaked” soybeans that need little or no fertilizer or pesticides is the real killer app for solar power. Human ingenuity plus sunlight can dramatically reduce the need for fertilizer and pesticides with all the greenhouse-gas emissions and other environmental damage they entail.

These ideas are neither Malthusian nor anticapitalist. For that reason, many green activists will shun them.

Full post 
 

5) Emmanuel Macron Under Attack Over Climate Change
The Guardian, 4 September 2018 


French environment campaigners have warned Emmanuel Macron is doing too little to combat climate change and must radically rethink his environment policy if he is to honour his promise to “make this planet great again”.

Renewed criticism of the centrist French president’s approach to green issues came as Macron replaced his former environment minister, the TV personality Nicolas Hulot, who quit last week saying the government was in thrall to powerful lobby groups and taking only “mini-steps” that were insufficient to deal with climate change.

Macron replaced Hulot with the parliament speaker, François de Rugy, a former Green party figure who jumped ship to Macron’s party, La République En Marche, last year.

De Rugy was active in environmental politics for 25 years before opposing what he called a shift further left by the French Green party. He is described as a pragmatist and reformist who is loyal to Macron.

But environmental groups immediately questioned whether De Rugy would be able to have an effect on the government’s approach to climate change, saying Macron must better defend biodiversity and address environmental threats…..

The first challenge for De Rugy will be addressing future energy plans for France, a country overwhelmingly dependent on nuclear energy. The government announced in November that France’s long-held goal of bringing its reliance on nuclear energy down to 50% by 2025 was not feasible and was likely to take a decade longer.

Full post
 

6) New Survey Shows Chukchi Polar Bear Population Is Growing, Not Declining
Polar Bear Science, 3 September 2018 

Susan Crockford

The Chukchi Sea finally has a polar bear population estimate! According to survey results from 2016 only recently made public, about 2,937 bears (1,522-5,944) currently inhabit the region, making this the largest subpopulation in the Arctic.



This is exciting news — and a huge accomplishment — but the US Fish and Wildlife Service responsible for the work has been oddly mum on the topic.

Not only that, but an extrapolation of that estimate calculated by USFWS researchers for Chukchi plus Alaska (the US portion of the Southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation) was estimated at 4,437 (2,283-9,527), although with “significant uncertainty.”

Nevertheless, it means the 2016 estimate for Alaska could be roughly three times what it was in 2010: a whopping 1,500 or so, up from about 450 (or about 225-650) for the same area estimated during the last survey (Bromaghin et al. 2015: Fig. 5a).

Even if the real number for Alaska is only twice as large (~1,000), that’s still a huge improvement. It would eliminate the Southern Beaufort as the only polar bear subpopulation in the Arctic to have shown a significant decline blamed on human-caused global warming (Crockford 2018).

If the recovery is real, it means the 2004-2006 decline was a temporary fluctuation after all, just like previous declines in the region. I expect, however, that it will take a dedicated SB population survey for officials to concede that point.

There is not yet a detailed report to cite (Regehr et al. in prep), but the numbers were announced at the 10th meeting of the Russian-American Commission on Polar Bears held at the end of July this year (AC SWG 2018) by Eric Regehr (formerly of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, as of 2017 at the University of Washington). [h/t to G.H.]

This was the same report that raised the quota for subsistence hunting in the Chukchi from 58 to 85, based on these new figures, as I discussed last week.

Full post
 

7) And Finally: The Great British Public Love A Heatwave!
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 5 September 2018 


This is from You Gov’s latest poll:







https://yougov.co.uk/opi/surveys/results#/survey/f9eb987a-b027-11e8-87d3-75c386b007d7/question/12b125e4-b028-11e8-9b12-653a1b481a61/social

Rather says it all!

It shows what most people think about all of those ridiculous yellow warnings out by the Met Office, advising us all to stay inside, and alarmist articles in the BBC.

Full post & comments


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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