Tuesday, May 12, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Angela Merkel’s MPs Rebel Against EU Climate Plans

New Survey: Most Young Europeans Believe Dictatorships Better At Tackling Climate Change Than Democracies

In this newsletter:

1) Angela Merkel’s MPs Rebel Against EU Climate Plans
AFP, 9 May 2020

2) EU Faces Existential Crisis Over German Opposition To Multi-Trillion Coronavirus Recovery Funding
Bloomberg, 11 May 2020
3) Conrad Black: Germany’s Course Could Signal End Of Clamor Over Climate Change
The New York Sun, 8 May 2020
4) Paul Homewood: Forget This Climate Nonsense And Save The Economy
The Conservative Woman, 11 May 2020
5) Post-Pandemic: China’s Ascent To Global Superpower Based On Cheap Coal
Radio Free Asia, 8 May 2020

6) Corona Recovery: China Fires Up Coal Power Plant Construction
China fires up coal power plant construction
7) Green Suicide: Most Young Europeans Believe Dictatorships Better At Tackling Climate Change Than Democracies
Europe's Stories, May 2020  

8) And Finally: Record-Low Temperatures And Snow Hit Eastern U.S.
Axios, 9 May 2020

Full details:

1) Angela Merkel’s MPs Rebel Against EU Climate Plans
AFP, 9 May 2020

Berlin (AFP) – Angela Merkel’s parliamentary CDU/CSU party is putting the breaks on the German Chancellor’s EU climate ambitions.

In her recent speech at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, Merkel supported the EU Commission’s stricter climate targets for 2030. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag is now criticising these very goals.

In the draft position paper the MPs attack the “far-reaching tightening of targets” that could have a massive negative impact on Germany. It demands that such a tightening of climate targets would only be acceptable with a new system of burden sharing within the EU. On Saturday, the Green Party reacted with outrage.

The draft CDU/CSU paper which was first reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” has been seen by the AFP news agency. The paper expresses deep scepticism about the EU’s proposal, supported by Merkel, to reduce European CO2 emissions by 50 to 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. Until now, the target had been a cut of 40%.

The CDU/CSU parliamentary party is warning of major cost burdens and is calling for a new system of burden sharing in the EU so that the burden of implementation won’t fall primarily on Germany. “We reject an increase of the EU’s climate target for 2030 without changing the existing burden sharing,” the draft says, because that would mean a “massive increase in the German climate target for 2030”.

“Climate change measures and emission reductions in third countries” should be counted towards Germany’s CO2 budget, the paper says. The authors also write: “Our European partners must make comparable efforts to help achieve the climate target.”

In the draft, the MPs call on the federal government not to lose sight of the current emergency situation due to the corona pandemic in the upcoming climate measures. “As a result of the Corona crisis, the economic situation for employees and companies in our country and in Europe in general has changed significantly,” says the document, which has not yet been adopted by the parliamentary party group.

“That is why the coalition of CDU, CSU and SPD has agreed to avoid any additional burden for employees and companies due to laws and other regulations as far as possible.” The European “Green Deal” must now “be designed in such a way that it does not prevent but support a recovery from the corona pandemic”.

Full story (in German)
see also CDU/CSU put brakes on Merkel’s climate ambitions

2) EU Faces Existential Crisis Over German Opposition To Multi-Trillion Coronavirus Recovery Funding
Bloomberg, 11 May 2020

Germany and the European Union are escalating a legal power struggle that could undermine the euro.

On Sunday, the European Commission threatened to sue the EU’s dominant economy after the German top court questioned the legality of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program. With the 27-nation bloc ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the standoff has major implications for the European project itself and the monetary policy that underpins it.

What infringement would the EU claim?

Germany’s constitutional court decided last week it wouldn’t follow a 2018 judgment by the EU Court of Justice that cleared the central bank’s debt purchases, totaling 2.7 trillion euros ($2.9 trillion) since 2015. But under EU treaties, the top European court ranks higher. The German judges said they could deviate because the bloc’s top judges overstepped their powers when they backed the ECB’s policy in a previous ruling. It was a stinging challenge to the 68-year-old EU tribunal. That prompted a rebuke by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday. “The final word on EU law is always spoken” by the European court, she said. “Nowhere else.” [....]

Full story

3) Conrad Black: Germany’s Course Could Signal End Of Clamor Over Climate Change
The New York Sun, 8 May 2020

The coronavirus has had, at least, the unanticipated benefit of obscuring and diminishing the tedious public clamoring about climate change. It is a slightly redeeming virtue of crises that they tend to supersede and diminish previous crises; if a crisis is serious, public opinion can rarely worry about more than one menace at a time. […]

While climatologists largely agree that somewhat unusual things are occurring in the weather, it is not remotely clear whether this is outside the normal cyclical shift in the world’s temperature, whether it is influenced by human activity, what the nature of such changes may be and what their extent could be, or if they are occurring at all.

The whole academic and theoretical alliance that mistrusted the pursuit of economic growth informally merged with a broad range of conservationists. This meant the Club of Rome, and even followers of John Kenneth Galbraith, who railed against the perceived conflict between vigorous commerce and the environment in his most successful work “The Affluent Society” in the 1950s, made common cause with the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and champions of duck-hunting, bird-watching, and butterfly-collecting.

What ignited this coalition and — by attacking most energy sources and forms of locomotion fueled by petroleum products — turned it into a battering ram against almost all primary and secondary industry, was the spontaneous and overwhelming adherence of the international Left.

The Left improvised ingeniously after the collapse of international Communism, the end of the Cold War, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and conversion of the People’s Republic of China to the virtues of economic growth.

The Left saw that the most effective method of obstructing capitalism was not through the revolutionary subversion of Western governments or developing countries (though some of that persisted, especially in Latin America), but in an ostensibly nonpolitical movement that assaulted capitalism under the cloak of saving the planet and making it a happy nature sanctuary.

Just in the last year, we have all been subjected to the nonsense, the parody, of a Swedish teenager touring around the world in a wealthy eco-patron’s sailing yacht lecturing large and docile audiences, parliaments, the United Nations, on how aggrieved the youth of the world is at the fouled earth that their elders have created and will be bequeathing.

Historians of the future will look upon this phenomenon of the Western nations pouring trillions of dollars into self-impoverishment to install inefficient and hideously expensive alternative energy sources, covering the land with solar panels and windmills, as we today look on the Dutch Tulip Panic of the 17th century.

India, emulating China, is pursuing economic growth. Indians and Chinese comprise almost 40% of the world’s population, and neither India nor China nor Russia, nor most other countries outside Western Europe, North America, and Australasia, pay any attention to the climate change zealots. Rather China, the world’s greatest polluter, set itself up as head of the “G-77,” a bloc of 135 countries demanding reparations from the industrially advanced countries for the havoc they supposedly have wrought in the world environment. (Even Barack Obama balked at paying China.)

Germany is the greatest power in Europe and should be, next to the United States and China, the greatest power in the world. It isn’t. For complicated reasons buried in the mists and forest murmurs of Teutonic history, it is still somnambulating politically, allied with everyone and in a cocoon of an economic union where it amiably predominates, and in a defensive alliance led by the United States that has no real enemies at the moment.

The state whose militarism intermittently terrified the world from 1870 to 1945 has now become a soft-left stuffed animal of a country that has shut down its advanced and efficient nuclear energy program and is transforming itself into a state of thorough energy-dependence on President Putin’s threadbare Russia, chronically unreliable (apart from its rascality and duplicity).

As it wanders aimlessly about in search of a national vocation, Germany has fragmented politically. The Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, which since 1949 had the support of more than 80% of the public, have barely 50% now. The Social Democrats now demand a joint assault on the coronavirus and carbon emissions, an insane proposal that would turn the German government into an agent of national self-imposed industrial penury.

There are five smaller parties, representing the far-Left, far-Right, wild-eyed greens, amiable quasi-anarchists, and bourgeois small business, of which only the last would be presentable in government with the larger parties.

Mighty Germany, the country of Bismarck, Adenauer, and Kohl, the culture of Goethe and Beethoven and Thomas Mann, having become, in Richard Nixon’s admonitory phrase, “a pitiful, helpless, giant,” is finally in reluctant flirtation with the idea that it can’t afford self-inflicted green wounds any longer. If Germany changes course on climate politics, Europe will follow, and the whole movement to deindustrialization will expire.

Full post 

4) Paul Homewood: Forget This Climate Nonsense And Save The Economy
The Conservative Woman, 11 May 2020

Throwing money at worthless green hogwash would be sheer madness.

THE BBC’s ‘environment analyst’ Roger Harrabin gives the latest advice from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) the usual uncritical coverage. 

Harrabin’s report says: ‘The UK must avoid lurching from the coronavirus crisis into a deeper climate crisis, the government’s advisers have warned.

‘They recommend that ministers ensure funds earmarked for a post-Covid-19 economic recovery go to firms that will reduce carbon emissions.’

The reason, of course, is to save the planet, as committee chairman Lord Deben explains: ‘The government must prioritise actions that reduce climate risks.’

But Britain accounts for only 1 per cent of global emissions of carbon dioxide, so whatever we do will have no effect on the world’s climate.

There is a lot of twaddle in the CCC report, but the core proposal is to pour whatever bailout money there is into ‘green’ industries, and leave the rest of the economy to fend for itself.

This logic, however, is fundamentally flawed.

The CCC talk about home insulation, tree planting and peatland restoration as examples. But these have little or no economic value. If families are struggling to put food on the table, it won’t be much consolation to know that peatlands have been restored!

Home insulation may, in theory, save a tiny amount on energy bills, but studies regularly show that the cost of installing serious insulation is far greater than any benefits accruing.

And all of these jobs have to be paid for by somebody, making the country poorer as a result. The CCC even have the nerve to suggest that jobless workers should be retrained to work in these ‘labour-intensive green industries’. Try telling a skilled, well-paid employee in, say, an oil refinery or car factory that he has to relocate to the Highlands to plant trees!

As a country, we have to import much of what we need, including food. How can we pay for that if we have no exporting industry left?

Harrabin makes a particular reference to aviation, suggesting that any bailout should include a condition that the industry shrinks. But this would simply mean that overseas airlines took up the slack, along with thousands of jobs.

Other proposals include working from home, or walking and cycling to work. It may well be that the coronavirus encourages more homeworking, as employers find their fears assuaged. But governments cannot order this. Besides, the vast majority of jobs cannot be carried out at home, and very few people live within walking or cycling distance of their work.

The CCC want to prioritise broadband over road building. But universal roll-out of full fibre broadband is already happening. That should not be allowed to prevent investment in the road network, which is vital for the nation’s productivity.

For some reason, the CCC’s letter also tackles ‘broader social themes of fairness and risk’. Quite what this has to do with the CCC is beyond me. What poorer people need are well-paid jobs and lower household bills. They will be the ones who suffer most from higher energy bills, brought about by expensive renewable energy, which is already subsidised by £12billion a year. They will also be the ones who suffer most when they find their jobs have disappeared.

The stark reality is that there are few sectors of the economy which are not struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus. Whatever bailout money is available must be used to keep these otherwise perfectly viable companies on the road, thus protecting jobs and the contribution they make to the overall economy.

Full post & comments

5) Post-Pandemic: China’s Ascent To Global Superpower Based On Cheap Coal
Radio Free Asia, 8 May 2020

This year’s record drop in carbon emissions due to the COVID-19 crisis has renewed questions about China’s continued push for coal-fired power as the government pursues economic recovery.

Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that worldwide carbon emissions linked to global warming will plunge nearly 8 percent this year in the wake of the pandemic and production shutdowns.

Global energy demand will fall by 6 percent, a loss seven times greater than during the 2008 financial collapse, the IEA said in a 41-page report.

In the first quarter, China recorded the biggest cut with a slump in demand of over 7 percent following an eight-week lockdown to limit the spread of the disease.

“The absolute decline in global energy demand is without precedent, and relative declines of this order are without precedent for the last 70 years,” the Paris-based agency said.

Among the stunning figures in the IEA’s forecast, global oil demand could fall by 9 percent this year, rolling back consumption to levels of 2012.

Worldwide demand for electricity is expected to shrink by nearly 5 percent, driving coal demand down by 8 percent and cutting coal-fired power by over 10 percent.

The magnitude of the declines will draw attention to questions of not only when but how economies recover.

One of the wild cards in the forecast is what China will do to resume growth as the rest of the world struggles to restore demand in staggered time frames and recovery rates.

China’s gross domestic product tumbled by a record 6.8 percent in the first quarter, according to official statistics.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast a partial improvement this year with 1.2-percent growth, rising sharply with expansion reaching 9.2-percent in 2021.

But if China’s recovery relies on a big rebound in coal-fired power, the damage in terms of climate change could cancel out much of the emissions reduction expected this year.

“The recovery of coal demand for industry and electricity generation in China limits the global decline in coal demand,” the IEA outlook said.

Global coal use could recede only half as much as forecast, “if China and other large consumers … recover more quickly,” the IEA said.

The report classifies China as “a coal-based economy.” Despite gains in renewable sources and lower-carbon natural gas, the country still relies on coal for 57.7 percent of its primary energy, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Roughly two-thirds of China’s electricity is generated from coal, raising the odds that when the economy bounces back, so will coal consumption and carbon emissions.

“As after previous crises … the rebound in emissions may be larger than the decline, unless the wave of investment to restart the economy is dedicated to cleaner and more resilient energy infrastructure,” the IEA warned.

Full story

6) Corona Recovery: China Fires Up Coal Power Plant Construction
Nikkei Asian Review, 5 May 2020 

China approved nearly 10 gigawatts of new coal-fired power generation projects in the first quarter, roughly equal to the amount approved for all of last year, amid a broader scramble to jump-start an economy hobbled by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Investment in infrastructure like power generation has played an important part in China's rapid economic rise, especially in times of economic distress like the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Many expect such spending to play an important role as Beijing tries to restart the economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak that has brought activity to a crawl, causing the economy to post its first quarterly contraction since modern record-keeping began.

Coal has always been a controversial part of the nation's power mix. On the one hand, China has plentiful supply of the resource, which it has harnessed to rapidly build up power infrastructure to feed the country's growing economy. But such energy is notoriously dirty, and overly aggressive building led to oversupply earlier this decade that sent many producers into the red.

Those factors led the government to scale back and even halt many new coal-powered projects in recent years. But that trend went into reverse in the first quarter, when six major new coal-fired projects were approved that could add 9.96 GW of capacity, according to calculations by Caixin.

That was roughly equal to the amount of similar new power projects approved for all of last year. Of the new projects, four were in the coal-rich area of Shaanxi province, one was in South China's Guangdong Province and one was in Inner Mongolia.

Full story 

7) Snowflake Eco-Fascism: Most Young Europeans Believe Dictatorships Better At Tackling Climate Change Than Democracies
Europe's Stories, May 2020

“Authoritarian states are better equipped than democracies to tackle the climate crisis.”

Full survey
8) And Finally: Record-Low Temperatures And Snow Hit Eastern U.S.
Axios, 9 May 2020

North Carolina, West Virginia, Massachusetts and other states across the eastern U.S. saw snow this weekend as temperatures dropped to levels "virtually unheard of in May," the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports.

Photo: Climate Reanalyzer, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine. Data from the NOAA Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) and NWS Global Forecast System

Arctic air crossed into the country from Canada on Friday, freezing Chicago and Indianapolis and dropping snow in the Northeast and across Appalachia.

A National Weather Service weather balloon near Washington Dulles International Airport recorded the area's coldest May reading on record at about 5,000 feet, the Post reports.

"From Texas to Maine, record lows for May 9 fell in every state in the eastern half of the Lower 48 north of Florida," Matthew Cappucci writes.

Full post

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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