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Friday, May 15, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Angela Merkel Caves In After Her MPs Climate Rebellion








German Chancellor Calls For EU Re-Negotiations Over Costly Climate Targets

In this newsletter:

1) Angela Merkel Caves In: German Chancellor Calls For EU Re-Negotiations Over Costly Climate Targets
Clear Energy Wire, 14 May 2020
 

2) Coalition Partner, Greens Accuse Merkel's MPs Of 'Stabbing Her In The Back'
EurActiv, 14 May 2020

3) Green Fears: Coronavirus Is Reshaping Europe & Causing A Green Backlash
The Guardian, 14 May 2020

4) Without Subsidies Germany’s Solar Industry Could Implode This Summer
EurActiv, 11 May 2020

5) Covid-19 Lockdown Has Killed 600.000 Renewable Energy Jobs
Reuters, 13 May 2020

6) Mexico Stops Renewable Energy Projects
OilPrice.com, 7 May 2020
 
7) Obama's Climate Officials Link Global Warming To Covid-19 Outbreak
Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times, 13 May 2020

8) Beyond Parody: CNN Taps Greta Thunberg For Expert Coronavirus Panel
Brad Polumbo, The Washington Examiner, 13 May 2020
9) Climate Crisis? What Climate Crisis? Record Crop To Push U.S. Corn Supplies To 33-Year High
Reuters, 12 May 2020

Full details:

1) Merkel Caves In: German Chancellor Calls For EU Re-Negotiations Over Costly Climate Targets
Clear Energy Wire, 14 May 2020

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said EU member states will have to re-negotiate their contributions to greenhouse gas emission reductions in sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading System (ETS) in case the bloc decides to raise its 2030 climate target.



“For me it is obvious that we need to have new negotiations about effort sharing,” the chancellor told national parliament (Bundestag). She added that if Europe wanted to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050, all member states would have to raise their ambition, also those who contribute less so far. “It would be tactically unwise to say we’ll contribute what we’ve always done without asking the others and even before having a proposal by the European Commission.”

Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance said a “fair” allocation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts is a prerequisite to raising the joint 2030 climate target. “Our European partners must contribute to reaching the climate target with comparable efforts,” the parliamentary group wrote in a position paper supporting the European Green Deal. The MPs call for “quickly” expanding the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to the transport and buildings sectors – with a small group of pioneer countries doing so already by the mid-2020s. The conservatives said supplementary emissions reduction efforts in third countries should count towards reaching an ambitious European goal.

The coronavirus crisis has “fundamentally changed the situation for political action” and the EU’s Green Deal, said the paper. The latter had to be designed to support the management of the crisis, not hinder it. The MPs put a lot of emphasis on safeguarding a strong economy and call for example for “a European industry power price” in light of high electricity costs.

Full story

2) Coalition Partner, Greens Accuse Merkel's MPs Of 'Stabbing Her In The Back'
EurActiv, 14 May 2020

In a position paper, Germany’s conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary group opposed increasing the EU’s climate target to 55% by 2030. While this has been the cause for much criticism from other parties, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats do not believe this contradicts her words. 

In the 13-page document, a draft version of which has been circulating in recent days, the Christian Democrats take a very critical stance on the proposed increase in climate targets for 2030.

Even the current climate targets already represent a “huge challenge,” they write. Increasing the current 40% emissions reduction target for 2030 would only be conceivable if the burden-sharing effort among EU member states were changed, the document adds.

The first draft programme of Germany’s EU Presidency contains mainly empty wording. There are no concrete goals for the Green Deal, with new initiatives only in the case of hydrogen. The coronavirus pandemic is to blame. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Kai Niebert, the president of the environmental umbrella organisation Deutscher Naturschutzring, has accused the CDU/CSU of bypassing the will of most citizens with its demands. A parliamentary group that refuses to accept the scientifically necessary changes promised by the chancellor herself must ask itself “whether it makes politics for itself or for the country.”

“The [CDU/CSU] Union is acting negligently by calling into question the EU’s climate goals and endangering Paris,” former Green MEP Franziska Brantner, now a member of the Bundestag, told EURACTIV Germany. With Germany’s EU Council Presidency starting in July, the government must make ambitious goals possible instead of torpedoing them, she added.

The CDU/CSU’s coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) took a similar view, calling the position paper a stab in the back for the chancellor.

Full story

3) Green Fears: Coronavirus Is Reshaping Europe & Causing A Green Backlash
The Guardian, 14 May 2020

From green backlash to reimposition of border controls, pandemic is accelerating tensions that could unravel the EU.

We are still in the early chapters of the Covid-19 story and it’s too soon to judge the full impact of the pandemic. But one can tentatively discern six negative trends for Europe. These had all emerged before the virus struck but are now accelerating. In various ways they are all likely to help the cause of anti-EU populists: greater economic autarky, stronger borders and more hostility to green policies....

Green Backlash

The pandemic is likely to strengthen opposition to policies that are designed to moderate the climate crisis and make us live greener lives. Before the virus arrived, populists such as the Sweden Democrats, the AfD in Germany, Nigel Farage in the UK and the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) in France were using hostility to green policies as a means of drumming up support.

Many voters whose standards of living are dropping dramatically will not want to take a further hit to jobs and incomes from measures designed to tackle the climate emergency. Europe’s leaders insist that their plans for curbing carbon emissions are sacrosanct. But as the recession bites, the pressures on them to moderate their green agenda, including from industry, will strengthen.

Full story
 
4) Without Subsidies Germany’s Solar Industry Could Implode This Summer
EurActiv, 11 May 2020

Germany’s solar industry is in deep crisis and may implode in the summer as a legal end to subsidies looms.

Solutions have been around for a long time, but internal power struggles and debates over distance rules between wind turbines are holding back progress.

The country’s solar industry is collecting signatures and writing incendiary letters to politicians to finally abolish the solar cap and thus save thousands of jobs.

According to the latest survey results of the German Solar Industry Association (BSW), the industry’s business expectation index has halved in just three months, and that’s not even due to the coronavirus.

“We have never seen a comparable slump in such a short time. More and more solar companies are having existential fears,” said Carsten K├Ârnig, BSW’s chief executive officer.

The latest figures from the Federal Network Agency show how thin the air under the solar cap has become.

At present, Germany has solar plants with a capacity of 50.09 gigawatts.

However, once the 52 GW threshold is reached – probably as early as this summer – the cap will close. This means that smaller plants of up to 750 kilowatts, which make up the majority of newly built plants, will then no longer be entitled to subsidies from the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).

Postponed, cancelled and ignored

There are no technical reasons why the solar cap has not been abolished despite all the promises made by the grand coalition since last year. The legislative text has long been drafted and is in the hands of the Bundestag’s energy committee, right next to a draft bill by the Bundesrat, which advocated abolishing the cap in October .

But there is no white smoke rising from the Bundestag building in Berlin just yet because internal resistance is blocking the release of the law to the plenary.

Full story

5) Covid-19 Lockdown Has Killed 600.000 Renewable Energy Jobs
Reuters, 13 May 2020

(Reuters) - The U.S. clean energy sector has lost 17% of its work force, or nearly 600,000 jobs, as stay-at-home orders halt production of components from solar panels to electric cars and slow installations at homes and businesses, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The sector lost 447,200 jobs, about triple the 147,100 lost in March when states first began implementing lockdown orders to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, according to the analysis of U.S. unemployment data conducted by BW Research Partnership.

While they represent a tiny fraction of the nation’s total job losses during the period, the clean energy industry’s fall in employment has exceeded estimates. After a similar study last month, BW Research had projected 500,000 job losses sector-wide by the end of June. It now expects 850,000 job losses, about a quarter of all clean energy jobs, in that time.

Full story

6) Mexico Stops Renewable Energy Projects
OilPrice.com, 7 May 2020

It sounds like a news report out of yet another dystopian novel: Mexico is halting grid connection for new solar and wind power projects.



















In a world rushing to produce clean energy, Mexico has suddenly stood out like a sore thumb. But, as usual, there’s more to the story.

The country’s National Energy Control Center, or Cenace, announced it would suspend grid connections of new solar and wind farms until further notice earlier this week. The motivation behind the decision was the intermittency of solar and wind power generation, which, according to the state-owned power market operator, could compromise Mexico’s energy security in difficult times.

“The intermittent generation from wind and PV plants affects the reliability of the national electricity system, [impacting] the sufficiency, quality and continuity of power supply,” Cenace wrote in a document setting out the rules of the country’s electricity market during the Covid-19 lockdown...

According to CCE, the move, which stops pre-connection tests for solar and wind farms explicitly, is the latest push against renewables on the part of the government. Conservative in its approach to the energy industry and protectionist of state-owned utilities, the Andres Manuel Lope Obrador government is, according to the critics, trying to stifle renewables to support state-owned Comision Federal de Electricidad, PV Magazine’s Emiliano Bellini and Jorge Zarco wrote.

Mexico’s president has made no secret of his attitude to renewable energy, which could be called condescending. In a late March tweet, the Mexican president called wind turbines “fans”, saying they didn’t produce much energy. He proceeded to reportedly say that the government will stop issuing permits for new wind projects that interfere with the environment and cause “visual pollution”. Other reports of the same tweet said Obrador also downplayed the amount of electricity wind farms produce and said the companies that build them were private businesses that needed to be subsidized. In short, one could safely say AMLO is not a fan of… fans.

There is, however, the issue of energy storage. While critics may be right that the decision to halt pre-connection tests for new solar and wind farms, it is a fact that Mexico—and Latin America as a whole—has been slow to build reasonable energy storage capacity, even after it has been identified as crucial for the long-term success of solar and wind power.

Intermittency of power generation is a real problem. Its solution is energy storage. Mexico got its first battery storage facility at the end of 2018, at a car factory. A year later, the first behind-the-meter battery facility that also features frequency regulation capabilities came online in Puebla. Storage is slow in coming.

Full story
 
7) Obama's Climate Officials Link Global Warming To Covid-19 Outbreak
Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times, 13 May 2020

A cadre of Obama-era heavy hitters led by John Podesta fired up another effort Wednesday to put global warming at the forefront of the presidential campaign, this time by linking President Trump’s skepticism of a climate doomsday to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Mr. Podesta, the former Obama White House chief of staff who chaired Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid, unveiled Climate Power 2020 with a blast at Mr. Trump’s “anti-science policies,” which he said have “fueled the pandemic.”

“President Trump must be held accountable for his rejection of science, facts, and reality. For both COVID-19 and the climate crisis, the anti-science policies from this administration are pushing our nation into crisis,” Mr. Podesta said in a written statement.

In addition to Mr. Podesta, the advisory board features San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, the Democratic Party’s largest individual donor and a candidate for the party’s presidential nomination, as well as Obama administration figures including Secretary of State John F. Kerry, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and science adviser John Holdren.

“Today, it fueled a pandemic,” Mr. Podesta said. “Tomorrow, we will see the consequences in a world destabilized by climate change. Climate Power 2020 will change the politics of climate — pushing all candidates to aggressively campaign on climate action and holding science-denying campaigns accountable.”

Skeptics called the link between climate change and COVID-19 a stretch — given that the virus originated late last year in Wuhan, China, a signatory to the 2015 Paris climate agreement — while noting that this isn’t the first time Democratic power brokers have sought to push climate to the electoral forefront. […]

Has climate change fueled an increase in disease? A studyreleased May 8 by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation found the opposite. It reported dramatic reductions in climate-related mortality over the past 30 years, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose.

The report by science and policy analyst Indur M. Goklany, a U.S. delegate to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, found that “cumulative annual rates of deaths and disease from [climate-sensitive disease and events] are declining, and declining faster than the corresponding all-cause rates.”

“You see improvement across the board, but most notably there has been a wholesale rolling-back of the biggest killers like diarrhea and malaria,” said Mr. Goklany, who holds a doctoral degree in electrical engineering.

His report refutes the thrust of the 2019 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, which warned that a “changing climate has profound implications for human health, with more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events, changing patterns of infectious disease, and the exacerbation of existing health challenges around the world.”

Mr. Goklany said that the U.N.-affiliated researchers “highlight comparatively rare conditions, like dengue, which have worsened, while ignoring the wider picture, which is almost all good news. It’s highly misleading.”

The pandemic-caused economic downturn may have hurt the prospects of climate policies such as the Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat. The proposal’s price tag has been estimated in the tens of trillions of dollars, said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

“Almost all U.S. politicians who have tried to make climate change an election issue in the past have fared miserably, losing election after election,” said Mr. Peiser. “Repeating the same mistake and trying to sell the Green New Deal to voters in an unprecedented economic crisis and expecting different results borders on political delusion, if not insanity.”

Full story

8) Beyond Parody: CNN Taps Greta Thunberg For Expert Coronavirus Panel
Brad Polumbo, The Washington Examiner, 13 May 2020

The brave, hard-hitting journalists over at CNN are hosting a town hall Thursday evening called Coronavirus: Facts and Fears. Our First Amendment warriors are only bringing viewers the best of experts, such as former CDC Director Richard Besser, former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and … teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.












You literally cannot make this stuff up. This would be a masterful parody. It could have been one of the Babylon Bee’s finest works. Yet no, this is actually the reality of CNN in 2020.

There are almost no words for how ridiculous this is. Anchor Chris Cuomo has touted CNN as the “facts first” network. Reliable Sources (ironic) host Brian Stelter regularly tut-tuts Fox News (sometimes justifiably) for having unqualified guests speaking on expert subjects. But at least they don’t tell their viewers to take their coronavirus wisdom from 17-year-old, troubled teenagers.

The same liberal journalists who have scolded people for so much as questioning the wisdom of the federal government’s top coronavirus experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, are now literally telling people to get their scientific analysis from Greta Thunberg.

Full post
 
9) And Finally: Climate Crisis? What Climate Crisis? Record Crop To Push U.S. Corn Supplies To 33-Year High
Reuters, 12 May 2020

U.S. corn supplies will rise to their highest in 33 years due to massive plantings and what is expected to be a record crop.



















[It’s] a bounty so big that it will outweigh export demand and increased ethanol usage as the biofuel sector recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department, in its first forecast for the 2020/21 marketing year based on its March plantings outlook of 97 million acres, pegged corn stocks at a massive 3.318 billion bushels. If realized, that will be the fourth biggest ever and the largest stockpile since the 1987/88 marketing year.

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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