Thursday, November 14, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Campaign Flops

IEA confirms what GWPF has been saying for the last ten years

In this newsletter:

1) Climate Campaign Flops: Global CO2 Emissions Rising Again And Won’t Peak Before 2040
Bloomberg, 13 November 2019 
2) No End In Sight For US Shale Boom
City A.M., 13 November 2019

3) Cambridge Prof: Green Energy Targets Require ‘Herds of Unicorns’
Breitbart, 13 November 2019 
4) Thousands To Lose Jobs As German Wind Energy Collapses
Recharge, 11 November 2019
5) Europe’s Green Fall
GWPF TV, November 2019
6) Tilak Doshi: The Brave New World of Ample Oil
Business Standard, 10 November 2019
7) Climate Models vs Observations: 2019 Update
Ross McKitrick, 11 November 2019 
8) And Finally: China’s Cheap Electric Cars To Conquer Green Europe
Bloomberg, 9 November 2019

Full details:

1) Climate Campaign Flops: Global CO2 Emissions Rising Again And Won’t Peak Before 2040
Bloomberg, 13 November 2019 

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Global greenhouse-gas emissions rose for a second year, ending a lull in emissions and putting the world on track for further increases through 2040 unless governments take radical action.

The findings in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) annual report on energy paint a grim outlook for efforts to rein in climate change and mark a setback for the increasingly vocal environmental movement.

It said emissions levels would have to start falling almost immediately to bring the world into line with ambitions in the Paris Agreement to limit temperature increases to well below 2 deg C since the industrial revolution.

Instead, the organisation’s most likely scenario shows net emissions won’t reach zero until at least 2070, or 20 years past the deadline suggested by climate scientists.

Strong economic growth, surging demand for electricity and slower efficiency gains all contributed to a 1.9 per cent increase in carbon dioxide emissions from energy in 2018, the IEA said in a report released on Wednesday (Nov 13).

It’s another indication that efforts to shift the world away from the most polluting fuels are moving too slowly to have a major impact on preserving the environment.

While the wind and solar industries are booming, the developing world’s thirst for energy also is lifting consumption of coal and other fossil fuels, pushing more pollution into the atmosphere. […]

This year’s report also puts to an end the idea that pollution could already have peaked. From 2014 to 2016, carbon emissions flattened out. They ticked up in 2017 and then again last year, the latest readings on greenhouse gases that the IEA has compiled.

Developing nations have deployed more coal plants even as industrial countries work to phase out the fuel, a legacy that will be felt for years to come since power plants are built to run for decades.

Global coal demand rose for the second year in a row in 2018. Three quarters of that came in the Asia Pacific region. If global coal policies remain unchanged, then demand will keep expanding for two decades, the IEA said.

The IEA says rapid cuts in emissions are necessary to keep temperature gains from pushing past the 2 degree mark.

If pollution peaked now, there would be a 66 per cent probability of keeping the global average increase below 1.8 degrees. That would require a “laser-like focus on bringing down global emissions,” said Mr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.

In its most ambitious scenario, the IEA anticipates the world could hit net zero emissions in 2070, some two decades after the date identified by United Nations scientists as consistent with avoiding the worst affects of global warming.

Full story

2) No End In Sight For US Shale Boom
City A.M., 13 November 2019

The US shale boom is set to continue, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2019, with output set to stay higher for longer than previously predicted.

Although the rate of production will slip from the rapid expansion of recent years, the report predicts that the US will account for 85 per cent of the increase in global oil production to 2030, as well as 30 per cent of the increase in gas.

The result of this continuing rush in productivity, which has been backed by $1 trillion in upstream and midstream development, is a fundamental reshaping of global markets and trade flows.

By 2025, total US shale output will surpass oil and gas production from Russia. By 2030, the combined production share of Opec and Russia will fall to 47 per cent, from 55 per cent in the mid-2000s.

Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said that the findings “highlight that rapid change in the energy system is possible when an initial push to develop new technologies is complemented by strong market incentives and large-scale investment.”

He added: “The effects have been striking, with US shale now acting as a strong counterweight to efforts to manage oil markets.”

The report, which was released this morning, finds that on current government policies, energy demand will rise 1.3 per cent by 2040, resulting in a strong increase in CO2 emissions.

Full story

3) Cambridge Prof: Green Energy Targets Require ‘Herds of Unicorns’
Breitbart, 13 November 2019 
James Delingpole

The green energy targets being pursued by Britain’s main political parties are so impossibly deluded, fantastical and overambitious that they could only be achievable with the intervention of herds of magical unicorns.

So says Cambridge engineering professor Michael Kelly in a stinging rebuke to the Net Zero policies currently being championed by Boris Johnson and his rivals in their desperate race to the green bottom. The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are all committed to carbon emissions reduction targets which they cannot hope to attain and which will be hugely damaging both to Britain’s prosperity and freedoms.

Professor Kelly has said:

“For the world to reverse two centuries of industrial development in a few decades would require the efforts of herds of unicorns.”

Kelly was speaking in London at the annual lecture of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

His speech – Energy Utopias and Engineering Reality – is a much needed corrective to the view, shockingly prevalent among the groupthink-afflicted political class not just in Britain but throughout most Western economies, that dramatic decarbonisation is both desirable and possible.

According to Kelly, one of the few serious thinkers to have considered the practical implications of taking an economy ‘Net Zero’, decarbonisation is neither desirable nor possible – at least not outside a 400-year time frame.

Green evangelists often talk about decarbonisation being the next Moon landing – one of those massive projects which the weight of government can get behind to create a better future.

But in fact, Kelly argues, the better analogy is President Nixon’s 1971 State of the Nation address in which he promised to throw whatever funds were necessary to finding a cure for cancer. Five decades on the cure remains elusive.

Kelly says:

“So the recent academic plea for mass leave of absence to ‘save the planet’ was quite misleading in appealing to the moon-shot as an exemplar – climate is more akin to the cancer example.”

The target of decarbonising the world economy by 2050, he argues, is unrealistically ambitious. […]

Professor Kelly’s speech ought to be required reading for the Britain’s political class and its attendant Civil Service, mired as they are in green groupthink. Exposure to the facts confounding their uncosted, ill-considered green virtue-signalling might well cause their heads collectively to explode. But given how badly their pie-in-the-sky policies have betrayed the people they’re supposed to serve perhaps that would be no bad thing.

Full story

4) Thousands To Lose Jobs As German Wind Energy Collapses
Recharge, 11 November 2019

Thousands of workers will lose their jobs at Enercon and outsourced production companies closely aligned to the German wind turbine manufacturer as a collapse in the wind power expansion in its home market hits the country’s leading turbine seller.

Due to the dramatic collapse in German onshore wind installations, Enercon is forced to end its cooperation with several domestic production partners, which will hit rotor blade plants in Aurich and Magdeburg. Jobs will also be shed at Enercon headquarters in Aurich and at suppliers.

A combination of ill-designed first onshore wind auctions in 2017, a permitting malaise, bureaucratic hurdles, and anti-wind protests have pushed German onshore wind additions to their lowest figure since 2000. Enercon during the first ten months of this year has installed turbines with a combined capacity of around 210MW in the country, compared to 2GW still erected in 2017.

The company blames politics for the slump.

“The current energy and climate policy endangers not only know-how that has been built up over years and jobs in our industry, but also climate protection and the Energiewende [energy transition] as a whole,” said Enercon managing director Hans-Dieter Kettwig.

“Worse, after the presentation of the climate protection package of the federal government, it becomes clear that problems for us will become even bigger.”

Full story

5) Europe’s Green Fall
GWPF TV, November 2019

Europe’s climate polices are increasingly hurting ordinary people and harming the continent’s competitiveness. 

    Click on the image above to watch the video

6) Tilak Doshi: The Brave New World of Ample Oil
Business Standard, 10 November 2019

The shift from scarcity to abundance has been brought about in an astonishingly short time by America's "fracking" revolution, leading to massive benefits for consuming countries.

In the oil universe, the September 14th attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities is comparable to the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers in New York City. Yet, the taking out of half of the Kingdom’s oil output led not to an oil shock but a whimper.

Barely two weeks after the brazen attack, oil headlines were once again dominated by fears of over-supply and falling prices amidst a slowing global economy.

Following an initial 20% intra-day price surge after the attack, the benchmark Brent crude oil price quickly retraced its steps back down to pre-attack levels.

The US oil production surge benefits Asia

The shift from a perceived world of oil scarcity to abundance has been brought about in an astonishingly short period of time by the advent of the “fracking” revolution in the US. This combines horizontal drilling and hydraulically-fracturing shale rock with high-pressure liquids to extract “unconventional” oil and gas. In the past decade, US crude oil production more than doubled. By mid-2019, US production was rated at over 12 million b/d, surpassing Russian and Saudi Arabian output as the world’s largest.

Academic studies suggest that global oil prices would have been higher by $10 to $50 per barrel higher if there had not been a fracking boom in the US. Given the scales involved, even with conservative estimates on the price impact, the US upsurge in unconventional oil production has probably led to the biggest transfer of wealth in history. Largely at the cost of reduced oil revenues to OPEC and Russia, benefits have primarily flowed to the world’s largest oil markets in the US, China, India, Japan and South Korea as well as the US unconventional oil producers.

From what was previously expected to be an inevitable growing dependence on Middle Eastern supplies, Asian oil refiners are now spoilt for choice. With Europe’s long-declining oil demand trends, crude oil exports from the Russian Far East, West Africa and Latin America to Asian markets compete with the traditional large exporters of the Middle East. While the majority of Asian crude imports are still sourced in the Middle East, prices are set at the margin by competing crudes from other regions including the US.

Middle East imperatives for economic reform

While the US fracking revolution has benefited Asia’s crude oil importers, it has burdened the Middle East oil producers. The Gulf states had built up extensive welfare states utilizing massive oil revenues to support social security, health, education and government employment programs. The social upheavals since the Arab Spring in 2010 led the Gulf states to further expand the social support programs to maintain their implicit social contracts with their citizens.

In 2015, the fiscal break-even oil price for Saudi Arabia – that is the oil price at which the government budget is balanced — was estimated by the IMF to be $94.25/barrel while the reference “OPEC basket price” had plummeted to $49.50/barrel. The situation since has generally been one of increased government spending, low economic growth and recurring budget deficits.

The Gulf Arab states are reaching their limits of tolerance to declining oil export revenues. Low oil prices make the imperative of economic reforms and industrial diversification a central concern for the Gulf “rentier” oil states. The risks of a collapse in the social contract between the ruling regimes and their peoples in the Gulf region may be remote for now. The spectre of growing populations, unemployed youth and persistent budget deficits, however, will increasingly concentrate the minds of its planners and palace advisers.

Full post 

7) Climate Models vs Observations: 2019 Update
Ross McKitrick, 11 November 2019 

Back around 2014 many people, me included, were commenting on the discrepancy between climate models and observations. In a report for the Fraser Institute I showed the following graph:

The HadCRUT4 series (black) was then dipping below the 95% lower bound of the model distribution. The IPCC itself in the 5th Assessment Report (2013) noted that out of 114 model runs, 111 had overstated observed warming since the late 1990s. That same year, Hans von Storch told Der Spiegel that

“If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”

But before 2018 came along, the modelers were saved by the El.

El Nino, that is. The powerful 2015-16 El Nino caused temperatures to surge, apparently erasing the discrepancy. It was just in the nick of time. In 2018 the US National Assessment came out, using data sets ending in 2017, as did the Canadian counterpart, and they were able to declare that a lot of warming had occurred, more or less in line with model projections. Blog articles about the 30th anniversary of James Hansen’s predictions did the same.

Well it’s a couple of years later and the El Nino heat has mostly gone from the climate system. What does the model-observational comparison look like now?

This graph, like the earlier one above, compares the HadCRUT4 surface temperature average (black line) against the CMIP5 mean (red line). The pink band shows the 1-sigma (67%) distribution and the tan band extends out to the 2-sigma (95%) distribution. The outer yellow bands show the lower and upper 2.5th percentiles. The lines are positioned so all models and observations are centered on a 1961-1990 zero mean.

The model runs follow the RCP4.5 scenario and extend out to 2050

Let’s zoom in on the post-1950 interval.

The HadCRUT4 series ends in 2018, which is the last complete year. Temperatures in 2018 (+0.60C) are back down to about where they were in 2014 (+0.58C). We’ll know in February or March where 2019 ends up.
The worry back in 2014 was that the Hadley (black) line had dropped below the 97.5th percentile envelope of the CMIP5 model runs. The El Nino pushed it almost all the way up to the mean, but only temporarily. It’s now back to the edge of the yellow band, meaning it’s skirting the bottom of the 95 percent confidence interval.

The big issue is not whether warming has “paused” or not, it’s how it compares to model projections. RCP4.5 is considered a medium, plausible projection. But it’s already pulling away from the observations.
I have indicated 2030 on the graph. That’s the year we all die, or something. But I think it’s more likely that will be the year by which the HadCRUT4 line drops out below the bottom of the CMIP5 RCP4.5 ensemble once and for all. The El Nino disguised the model-observational discrepancy for a few years, but it’s coming back.

Full post

8) And Finally: China’s Cheap Electric Cars To Conquer Green Europe
Bloomberg, 9 November 2019

BEIJING — An SUV set to become the first Chinese entrant in Europe’s electric-car market, betting its competitive price will help draw customers away from the likes of Volkswagen Group and Tesla.

The planned starting price in Europe for the most basic U5 is about 25,000 euros ($28,000) —
half the price of its European competitors

Shanghai-based automaker Aiways has secured the required permits and certifications for a Europe launch, and plans to start sales in the second quarter of next year, co-founder Fu Qiang said in an interview. The company will first start selling the vehicle, called U5, in China this month.

While the European variant will be adapted to local tastes and regulatory requirements, Aiways could have a tough time winning over buyers in a market dominated by local, U.S. and Japanese brands for decades. The debut will be watched closely by dozens of other Chinese electric-vehicle makers with global ambitions.

“I believe we will be the first,” Fu said in Shanghai. Others “are still in the preparation period” or even further away with their plans, he said.

A successful domestic launch by the less-than-three-year-old company would defy rapidly souring demand trends in the broader Chinese EV market. The industry’s sales have fallen for three straight months through September, as the government — after spending billions of yuan to nurture the industry — scaled back subsidies this year.

Penetrating the European market would mark an historic shift in its own right. European brands’ sales in China have for many years underpinned much of the continent’s manufacturing strength, and countries like Germany are ramping up efforts to support their own expensive shift toward EVs as global competition picks up. […]

The planned starting price for the most basic version is about 25,000 euros ($28,000), which could give Aiways an edge.

While small electric cars from Volkswagen and its competitors start from less than 30,000 euros, electric SUVs easily go for twice that or more. Tesla’s Model X SUV can cost more than 100,000 euros in Europe.

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

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