Friday, February 15, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Green Taxes Are Killing Europe’s Economy, Sir Jim Radcliffe Warns

Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’ Will Turn America Into Venezuela

In this newsletter:

1) Green Taxes Are Killing Europe’s Economy, Sir Jim Ratcliffe Warns
Financial Times, 12 February 2019 

2) Walter Russel Mead: The Incredible Shrinking Europe
The Wall Street Journal, 12 February 2019 

3) Rex Murphy: US Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’ Will Turn America Into Venezuela
Rex Murphy, National Post, 12 February 2019

4) China And India Lead The Way In Global Greening, NASA Reveals
NASA Earth Observatory, 12 February 2019

5) IPPR Climate Lies Promoted By BBC and The Guardian
Climate Scepticism, 12 February 2019 

6) What’s Behind Climate Change Activist Greta Thunberg’s Remarkable Rise To Fame?
The Spectator, 13 February 2019 

7) Fritz Vahrenholt: Old Warmth In The Sea And New Cold In The Living Room
Global Warming Policy Forum, 12 February 2019

Full details:

1) Green Taxes Are Killing Europe’s Economy, Sir Jim Ratcliffe Warns
Financial Times, 12 February 2019 

Britain's richest businessman says green policies and high energy costs make bloc uncompetitive


The chemicals tycoon and Brexit supporter Jim Ratcliffe has fired a broadside against the EU, accusing it of “foolish” green taxes that deter investment and describing the continent as “no longer competitive”.

The billionaire businessman, who runs the $60bn chemicals and energy group Ineos, slammed EU environmental policies as counterproductive and said they had driven industry away.

In a withering open letter to the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Sir Jim also took aim at the bloc’s labour laws and high energy costs.

“Europe is no longer competitive,” stated the letter. “It has the world’s most expensive energy and labour laws that are uninviting for employers. Worst of all, it has green taxes that, at best, can be described as foolish as they are having the opposite effect to how they were intended.”

Industries that are large energy consumers and polluters, such as chemicals, steel and ceramics, have long complained that EU measures such as the carbon emissions trading scheme put them at a disadvantage to rivals in regions with less stringent regulations.

The missive comes after Ineos chose Belgium as the location for a new €3bn petrochemicals investment billed as the largest in Europe’s chemicals sector for a generation.

However, Sir Jim said that “nobody [else] in my business seriously invests in Europe”, resulting in an ageing chemicals industry with old environmental standards.

This was in contrast to the US, he added, which is spending $200bn on more than 300 new chemical plants and had “welcomed new investment on the condition that it has the highest possible environmental standards”.

“Europe going it alone with green taxes prevents renewal as it frightens away investment into the open arms of the USA and China. It also pushes manufacturing to other parts of the world that care less for the environment,” Sir Jim wrote, noting that Europe’s share of the $4tn global chemicals market had halved in the past decade to 15 per cent.

Founded two decades ago, Ineos has grown to become a major supplier of basic chemical building blocks that go into a range of everyday products.

The privately owned conglomerate has also expanded into the oil and gas sector and plans to start manufacturing an off-road vehicle inspired by a classic Land Rover model.

The intervention on public policy is the latest by Sir Jim, who this month attacked the UK government’s rules on fracking as having “no basis in science”.

Full story

** Read Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Open Letter to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

**and send a copy of his warning to your MP, Senator or Member of Congress.

2) Walter Russel Mead: The Incredible Shrinking Europe
The Wall Street Journal, 12 February 2019 

Last week offered fresh evidence that the most consequential historical shift of the last 100 years continues: the decline of Europe as a force in world affairs.

As Deutsche Bank warned of a German recession, the European Commission cut the 2019 eurozone growth forecast from an already anemic 1.9% to 1.3%. Economic output in the eurozone was lower in 2017 than it was in 2009; over that same period, gross domestic product grew 139% in China, 96% in India, and 34% in the U.S., according to the World Bank.

As its economy lags behind, Europe is becoming more divided politically. Brexit negotiations have inflamed tempers on both sides of the English Channel; Central European countries like Hungary and Poland are alienated from the West; much of Southern Europe remains bitter about the aftermath of the euro crisis; and anti-EU political parties continue to gain support across the bloc. A recent report from the European Council on Foreign Relations projects that anti-EU parties from the right and left are on course to control enough seats in the next European Parliament that they will be able to disrupt the EU and weaken it further. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The EU was founded to stop Europe’s decline, not reflect it.

As Europe’s founders saw it, two factors contributed to the Continent’s geopolitical decline in the 20th century. One was inevitable: As the technologies of the industrial heartland spread to Asia and the Americas, the wealth gap between Europe and the rest of the world necessarily narrowed. The diffusion of medical innovations — which also often originated in Europe — contributed to population explosions in the rest of the world. Meanwhile Europe, the first continent to industrialize, was the first to experience the decline in birthrates associated with urbanization and affluence.

The second factor in Europe’s decline was internal division and nationalistic animosity. This was the problem the EU’s founders sought to cure. Two world wars left much of Europe impoverished and in ruins. If the Continent could unify under a single set of values and political institutions, future wars could be averted. The unification process began with Franco-German reconciliation after World War II. As the Cold War ended and Germany was reunified, European leaders launched an ambitious program to broaden and deepen transnational cooperation.

The union would expand to the east, securing democracy in the former Warsaw Pact countries. Economic cooperation would deepen with the development of a single market, the establishment of a common currency, and the adoption of common economic policies. Diplomatically, the Europeans would seek a united front in their dealings with the outside world. Building a new Europe that could compete on equal terms with the U.S. and China in the post-Cold War world is Europe’s overarching goal.

It’s become increasingly apparent that this grand project is failing. An uneven and perhaps overambitious expansion weakened rather than strengthened the EU. The euro was both an economic and political failure, and diplomatic unity remains a distant dream.

Neighbors like Russia, Turkey, Israel and the Arab states flout the EU’s wishes at will. European influence in Washington, already declining in the Obama years, has reached a nadir under Donald Trump. Neither Moscow nor Washington showed much regard for Europe’s interests while suspending the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which limits missile deployments in Europe. China takes Japan and India more seriously than it takes the EU, and neither the U.S. nor China has been particularly concerned about what Europeans think as they negotiate bilateral trade arrangements that may redefine the world trade system.

One European initiative did work: the single market. Europe remains formidable as a consumer bloc, and the EU’s ability to regulate the conditions under which foreign companies like Google and Gazprom operate inside its wealthy market is the most important card in its hand.

Leaders in France and Germany remain firmly committed to the European project, but with Britain on the brink of secession, Italy and Poland mutinous and Hungary defiant, the outlook is dimming. If Paris and Berlin could devise a program to reignite European growth, secure its frontiers, and satisfy the nationalist emotions now roiling the bloc, Europe could arrest its decline. So far at least, such an outcome seems unlikely.

Some on the nationalist right in the U.S. welcome Europe’s decline. This is a mistake. A strong Europe, even if it is sometimes cantankerous and disagreeable, is better for the U.S. than a weak Europe that can neither secure its own neighborhood nor contribute to global stability. But the U.S. must deal with the Europe we have, and the Europe we have isn’t doing well.

3) Rex Murphy: US Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’ Will Turn America Into Venezuela
Rex Murphy, National Post, 12 February 2019

The Green New Deal uses environmentalism as a lever to pursue a far-larger, more sinister, agenda, a mad leap to a socialist nightworld.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is out to prove she is the Thomas Jefferson of the infantile social-justice progressive Left. And she is doing one (non-carbon emitting) hell of a job. She is a marvel. In her mere 35 days as a freshperson in Congress she’s made her mark. She’s the Cardi B (I like to fake hipitude) of the Democratic party (the very seal of death to the Hillary era – it’s done); she takes to Twitter like a (Donald) duck to water, provokes whole rivers of drool over at CNN and MSNBC, and is the very embodiment and avatar of every social-justice warrior and barista malcontent’s idea of the perfect politician.

Ocasio-Cortez, like the Bishop of Ussher before her, knows when the world will end: 2030. She has said so — “We only have 12 years left.” And on that rock she has built her church. Her policies are determined from her predetermined date of apocalypse in 2030, unless … unless we heed her urgent call.

Ms. O-C, as I shall sometimes for brevity refer to her, is thereby much to be prized. She is the most perfect example ever offered to the public at large of a Greener who says what is on the Green mind, who doesn’t water down the message to avoid scaring off people whose feet occasionally make contact with the ground, one who puts in writing for all to read what it really means if you believe all the stuff about skinny polar bears and deliquescent ice caps, shrinking lobsters and sinking cities, the whole dreary catalogue of infinite earthly degradation about to fall on us all, if “climate change” as the cause of wars, warts, pestilence and famine and whatever else can be put on a bullet-list, is not stopped in its tracks — now!

She out-Suzuki’s Suzuki. She out Naomi’s Klein. If Al Gore had wed Jane Goodall, and Elizabeth May presided at the ceremony, eventually the world would have cheered the nativity of someone very likely to grow up as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Captain Marvel of the Green movement.

I suspect her poster adorns Catherine McKenna’s office wall. Justin Trudeau himself, were he not now preoccupied with a recalcitrant minister and fiddling with disaster on the persnickety principle of the rule of law — and how it intersects with one’s popularity in Quebec — would probably do a bhangra in her honour. So Green she is, he would ask her for a selfie.

Last week, Ms. O-C issued one of the greatest fantasy projections since H.P. Lovecraft was possessed by the anima of Lewis Carroll. Read it and weep America.

It’s called the Green New Deal, the greeniest dream wish list so far to come out of the church of global warming. Compared with Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, the grim nostrums of the NDP Leap Manifesto could have been written by Pat Buchanan on sabbatical at the Fraser Institute. She provided this rationale and description:

“IPCC Report said global emissions must be cut by 40-60% by 2030. U.S. is 20% of total emissions. We must get to 0 by 2030 and lead the world in a global Green New Deal.

“This is a massive transformation of our society with clear goals and a timeline at a scale not seen since World War 2.”

A mere sample of her vision reveals its dreary grandeur. She wants to:

— Take the airplanes out of the sky — monorails will replace air travel. Bye-bye Amazon, bye-bye FedEx, bye-bye Boeing, bye-bye American Airlines, all domestic aircraft.

— Retrofit every single building in the United States — tower and tent, home and office, townhouse and condo, shed and shelter — in less than 10 years. (This would require a workforce — carpenters, engineers, plumbers, electricians etc — only slightly less than the population of India. Leaving no one to fix, repair, replace or maintain anything else. And ignores the need for a pyramid-size workforce to build the infinite windmill replacing all other sources of power.)

— Eliminate the internal combustion engine, stripping the nation of all cars, boats, bulldozers, cranes and tractors. Bye-bye General Motors, bye-bye Ford, bye-bye automobile workers, bye-bye unions.

— Go to fossil fuel zero before the end times. This amounts to shutting down or off the greatest industrial economy the world has ever seen — in 10 years no less.

— Regulate the back exhaust (may I be explicit? — the explosive expulsions) of all cattle. Imagine Anthony Hopkins in the Silencing of the Cows — stoppers or plugs — your call. (To all kine reading this — URGENT. Head for Mexico. NOW.)

— Guarantee every American an income, including all who are “unwilling to work.” (O-C tried to walk this back, but it was there in the FAQ sent to National Public Radio. There are screenshots aplenty.)

— Free health care for all. Housing for all. Free everything for all.

Contrary to some overwrought responses, it does NOT call for the public strangulation of the rich and the disembowelment of billionaires, however diverting that spectacle would be. Only because there will be no need. In unmitigable despair, they will seek traditional exits from this vale of tears via skyscraper window ledges (the stockbroker leap) and braided hemp neckties (the oak branch-high-above-the ground-in-the-backyard farewell) all on their own.

And this is just a sample.

Full post

4) China And India Lead The Way In Global Greening, NASA Reveals
NASA Earth Observatory, 12 February 2019

The world is literally a greener place than it was twenty years ago, and data from NASA satellites has revealed a counterintuitive source for much of this new foliage.

A new study shows that China and India—the world’s most populous countries—are leading the increase in greening on land. The effect comes mostly from ambitious tree-planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries.

Ranga Myneni of Boston University and colleagues first detected the greening phenomenon in satellite data from the mid-1990s, but they did not know whether human activity was a chief cause. They then set out to track the total amount of Earth’s land area covered by vegetation and how it changed over time.

The research team found that global green leaf area has increased by 5 percent since the early 2000s, an area equivalent to all of the Amazon rainforests. At least 25 percent of that gain came in China. Overall, one-third of Earth’s vegetated lands are greening, while 5 percent are growing browner. The study was published on February 11, 2019, in the journal Nature Sustainability.

The maps on this page show the increase or decrease in green vegetation—measured in average leaf area per year—in different regions of the world between 2000 and 2017. Note that the maps are not measuring the overall greenness, which explains why the Amazon and eastern North America do not stand out, among other forested areas.

“China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9 percent of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation,” said lead author Chi Chen of Boston University. “That is a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from overexploitation.”

This study was made possible thanks to a two-decade-long data record from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. An advantage of MODIS is the intensive coverage they provide in space and time: the sensors have captured up to four shots of nearly every place on Earth, every day, for the past 20 years.

“This long-term data lets us dig deeper,” said Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and a co-author of the study. “When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Now with the MODIS data, we see that humans are also contributing.”

China’s outsized contribution to the global greening trend comes in large part from its programs to conserve and expand forests (about 42 percent of the greening contribution). These programs were developed in an effort to reduce the effects of soil erosion, air pollution, and climate change.

Another 32 percent of the greening change in China, and 82 percent in India, comes from intensive cultivation of food crops. The land area used to grow crops in China and India has not changed much since the early 2000s. Yet both countries have greatly increased both their annual total green leaf area and their food production in order to feed their large populations. The agricultural greening was achieved through multiple cropping practices, whereby a field is replanted to produce another harvest several times a year. Production of grains, vegetables, fruits and more have increased by 35 to 40 percent since 2000. […]

Nemani sees a positive message in the new findings. “Once people realize there is a problem, they tend to fix it,” he said. “In the 1970s and 80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss was not good. In the 1990s, people realized it, and today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That’s what we see in the satellite data.”

Full post

read also: 
Indur Goklany: Carbon Dioxide: The Good News

5) IPPR Climate Lies Promoted By BBC and The Guardian
Climate Scepticism, 12 February 2019 
Paul Matthews

The self-styled “progressive” think tank IPPR has issued a ridiculously alarmist report today, This is a crisis: Facing up to the age of environmental breakdown.

The report recycles various bogus scares, and contains obvious falsehoods such as

“Since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times.”

The IPCC says in AR5 that

“In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”

Unsurprisingly, useful idiots Roger Harrabin and Jonathan Watts have unquestioningly promoted the IPPR’s bullshit, including the blatant lie about floods, for the BBC and the Guardian, without questioning anything or subjecting the report to any kind of fact-check or sanity check.

Here’s another lie from the IPPR report:

“Average global surface temperature increases have accelerated, from an average of 0.007 °C per year from 1900–1950 to 0.025 °C from 1998–2016”

What is the temperature increase from 1998-2016? According to the Woodforthetrees index, which uses a combination of temperature indices, the linear fit gives a change of 0.15C which is 0.008 °C per year, a third of what the IPPR claim.

Where does the IPPR get their “facts” from? What scientific institution is making these claims? Well, none. Not even a climate scientist. Both the above fake claims seem to come from a document written by an investment fund manager called Jeremy Grantham.

On the Today programme this morning, the bogus report was promoted several times, with Laybourn-Langton given a soft interview by Martha Kearney (who read out the lie about floods) at 6.50 and a discussion including three “experts”, Joanna Haigh, Rick Stafford and Ottoline Leyser at about 8.45.


Laybourn-Langton now claims that the 2005 was a “typo” and that it should have been 1950. That’s not a typo. A typo would be getting one digit wrong. How did they manage to get all 4 digits wrong?

Even with the date changed to 1950, it’s still nonsense. The claim comes from an article written by non-scientist fat-cat Jeremy Grantham. He claims it comes from something called EM-DAT. But someone who worked on the EMD-DAT database says it can’t be used for trends in numbers of floods.

Full post

6) What’s Behind Climate Change Activist Greta Thunberg’s Remarkable Rise To Fame?
The Spectator, 13 February 2019 
Andrew Montford

Greta Thunberg at Davos

The rise to fame of Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist, has been nothing short of extraordinary. Less than a year ago, she was an unknown schoolgirl from Sweden, albeit an unusual one: she is the daughter of a famous opera singer and an actor. Thunberg also has Asperger’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and selective mutism. The latter, she says, ‘basically means I only speak when I think it’s necessary’. ‘Now is one of those moments,’ she said in a Ted talk watched hundreds of thousands of times on the topic that first brought her into the public eye: her decision to stage a ‘school strike’ last August to draw attention to climate change. Thunberg’s profile has only grown since. Her appearance at the UN climate conference in Poland propelled her to international fame. Most recently she was in Davos. Her message to the billionaires at the World Economic Summit was stark: ‘I want you to panic’ about climate change, she said.

Greta’s steely gaze and call to action has won her legions of fans online. She certainly makes for a good story: the sweet girl who is moved to climate action and ends up as an unlikely international celebrity.

However, her sudden appearance in the limelight has led to some pointed questions: is Greta’s celebrity status less to do with chance and more to do with a carefully orchestrated public relations campaign?

Doubts were first raised when the Swiss magazine Weltwoche published an article last month entitled ‘We’re making a climate icon’. It revealed that Thunberg’s school strike had coincided neatly with the launch of a book about climate change written by her mother, Malena Ernman. Is this a coincidence? It looks less like one when you learn from the same article that the first publicity of Thunberg’s school strike came via the social media of the book’s PR man, Ingmar Rentzhog, on the day of its launch.

It seems that Rentzhog took a freelance photographer along to the school strike, later posting the pictures on his Facebook and video on his company’s YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, Swedish journalist Henrik Alexandersson has claimed that Thunberg’s much-touted speech to the Katowice summit was actually delivered to an almost empty hall – perhaps unsurprising given that she was speaking near the end of the day. Yet it was hard to tell this from the film of her speech – which went viral – which only showed close-ups of her face, a shot of the stage and a brief sequence of an apparently appreciative crowd. Nevertheless, it was this apparently inauspicious event that propelled Thunberg to worldwide fame.

Further worrying details have also emerged. As well as working for Greta’s mother, Rentzhog had also recently launched a business called ‘We Don’t Have Time’, a sort of climate-focused PR agency. In October 2018, he invited Greta to join the company’s Youth Advisory Board, and in the weeks that followed, he used her image intensively ahead of the company’s share issue. This seems to have been very successful, and brought in something short of a million pounds.  But whatever the figure is, Greta has proved to be an extraordinarily lucrative asset for Mr Rentzhog, and the environmental press has been extraordinarily helpful too.

Full post

7) Old Warmth In The Sea And New Cold In The Living Room
Global Warming Policy Forum, 12 February 2019
Prof Fritz Vahrenholt

In January 2019, Science published a work worth reading entitled “The Little Ice Age and the 20th-century deep Pacific cooling”. The result: the Pacific has cooled down in depth from 1870 until today, the Atlantic has not.

The circulation of the deep sea means that the Pacific depths are still influenced today by the Medieval Warm Period (“MWP”), about 950 to 1250, and the transition to the Little Ice Age (about 1500 – 1800). The warmed water from 1,000 years ago will take so long to reach the Pacific Ocean at depths of around 3,000 meters. This implies two things: The Medieval Warm Period was a global warming period of comparable magnitude to today’s warming, as we also prove in our MWP project and in several publications (hereherehere). The IPCC models cannot reflect this warming, they fail in retrospect.

Why is this publication so important? In 1750, the climate was not yet in equilibrium, as the models assume. Because the models attribute warming since 1750 to anthropogenic components, they neglect the fact that residual heat from the MWP was still present in the deep waters of the Pacific. The growth in the total heat content of the oceans to date is therefore smaller than the models assume. In other words, the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 is much smaller than previously assumed.

The IPCC report will therefore have to be fundamentally revised. There is much to be said that if CO2 is doubled, the temperature increase will not be 1.85°C (IPCC) but 1.3°C at most. Thus, there is no reason to fear that the 1.5°/2°C targets will be exceeded in this century. We would therefore have much more time – until the end of the century – to switch to a low-CO2 energy supply. This realization would have dramatic effects on politics if it were not based solely on government advisers such as Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who predicts a warming of 6 to 8°C: “Some tipping points may already have been exceeded. All the more important it is to defend the 2 degree limit. If we give up those, it can be that the Holocene with its mild temperatures is soon distant past and we slip into a self-reinforcing greenhouse effect with 6 or 8 degrees warming.“

The exit from coal and the price of panic

The Federal Government has welcomed the results of the Coal Commission and will implement them. According to the findings, 12,700 MW of coal-fired power plants will be decommissioned by 2022 and a total of 52,100 MW (including nuclear power plants) by 2038. The current peak load is around 75,000 MW. The costs are estimated at 80 billion euros.

An electricity price increase of 1.5 €ct/kwh granted by the Commission itself will raise the industrial electricity price for the aluminium, steel, metal and chemical industries by 40 percent. This will have an impact on the competitiveness of these industries. The federal government wants to compensate this price increase from the federal budget. It is written in the stars whether the EU Commission will take part. Economics Minister Peter Altmaier commented on the withdrawal of coal: “Security of supply is guaranteed”. He knows better and should not lie to us.

As early as mid-January, it was only possible to secure the electricity supply in Germany by taking large-scale consumers such as the aluminium industry off the grid with 1,025 MW for three hours. In 2018, the aluminium industry already had to endure 78 shutdowns (see my presentation to the Stiftung Marktwirtschaft on 8 February 2019). From 2022, the Federal Network Agency fears “increased probability of load cuts, increased risk of major disruptions”.

How does the Commission intend to compensate for the loss of secured capacity?

“In order to meet demand at all times…, demand must be made more flexible” (page 21 of the Commission’s final report “Growth, structural change and employment“). This confirms my assumption that load shedding will become a new energy policy credo, i.e. the closure of industrial plants and regions, as we know it from emerging countries.

The next means of compensation is “the use of renewable energies, storage and power-to-gas” (page 8 of the report). In order to know what we are talking about, we need around 16 terawatt hours of electricity to bridge a ten-day wind slack with battery storage. At storage costs of 100 €/kwh (which have not yet been reached), this will require investments of 1,600 billion €. To compensate for the fluctuation of one year, 4,000 billion euros investments – every eight to ten years. Electricity would then be three times as expensive as it is today. Two figures are enough to estimate the profitability of power-to-gas: Today’s production costs are about 50 €ct/kwh. Stock market price today 4 to 4.5 €ct/kwh.

Guaranteed performance through wind power?

They want to take the expansion with wind power plants seriously: For wind turbines and ground-mounted PV areas “relevant sizes must be designated, accepted and approved” (p. 21 of the report).  If the number of wind turbines doubles, there will be one wind turbine every 2.7 kilometres on average. This must be accepted. And nature conservation? And citizens’ concerns?  At least the Federal Government should know that nowadays almost half of the wind energy generated is shifted abroad. We pay 27 billion EEG costs per year, and almost half of the oh so proud 18 percent of wind power generated in 2018 crosses the border for reasons of grid stability (page 6 of the presentation “Is the German energy revolution more cost- and environmentally friendly?”).

But we are saving the climate. Really? Today’s emissions of 256 million tonnes from the electricity sector will be reduced to around 100 million tonnes for 80 billion euros in taxpayers’ money, because without more expensive gas-fired power stations (with half the CO2 emissions like coal-fired power stations) – as even the Coal Exit Commission sees it – it won’t work at all. That’s about 500 euros per tonne of CO2. Today’s CO2 price is 20 €/t. So it’s not about profitability, competitiveness, it’s about the spectacular process of getting out, switching off, shutting down.

But we want to be a role model. For whom? By 2030, China with 280,000 MW and India with 174,000 MW will increase coal capacity tenfold. Where do I get the figures from? These are the official notifications by China and India of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement. We are saving 150 million tons, and China will emit an additional 10 billion tons by 2030. Over the next few years, 1,600 coal-fired power plants will be built in 62 countries around the world. Many of them with Chinese help.

But the citizens seem to think it’s all good. 59 percent are in favour of withdrawing from coal in the near future. The Greens are at 20 percent in the polls and smart-alec Greta Thunberg is celebrated by the German media. What the citizens probably don’t know is that two thirds of coal-fired power plants provide domestic and industrial heat through cogeneration. Then we must dress warmly.

Fritz Vahrenholt is an honorary professor at the University of Hamburg in the Department of Chemistry and was Senator for the Environment of the Freie Hansestadt Hamburg until 1997. From 1998 to 2013, he held board positions in the renewable energy sector at Deutsche Shell AG, Repower Systems AG and RWE Innogy. He is Chairman of the German Wildlife Foundation and a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.

Full post (in German)

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