Tuesday, September 22, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Green Dole - Europe Faces Green Recession


Carmakers Cry Foul as EU’s Climate Plan Threatens Europe’s Key Industry

In this newsletter:

1) Carmakers Cry Foul as EU’s Climate Plan Threatens Europe’s Key Industry
Bloomberg, 18 September 2020 

2) Green Dole: German Car Industry Expected To Lose 100,00 Jobs Over EU Green Deal
Automobile Woche, 21 September 2020

3) Greenwashing The Green Deal: EU Commission Under Fire For Banking On ‘Carbon Sinks’

4) Wolfgang Münchau: Beware Of Smoke And Mirrors in the EU’s Green Recovery Fund
Financial Times, 20 September 2020

5) Niall Ferguson: California Burnin’ — A Warning Against One-Party Rule
Bloomberg, 20 September 2020

6) Francis Menton: Climate Change Apocalypse --“Permanently Immunized From Falsification”

Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, 17 September 2020

7) Fact Check: Atlantic Hurricane Season 2020
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 18 September 2020

 Full details:

1) Carmakers Cry Foul as EU’s Climate Plan Threatens Europe’s Key Industry

Bloomberg, 18 September 2020 

The EU’s Green Deal puts car makers’ ability to compete on the global stage at risk, Germany’s car industry association warns


Automakers balked at the European Union’s plan to set stricter emissions limits for the next decade, saying they lack the government support needed to achieve the targets.

The industry is among the sectors most under fire in the 2030 Climate Target Plan, which calls for the bloc to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 55% from 1990 levels rather than the previously planned 40%. To achieve this, the European Commission sees carmakers needing to gradually phase out combustion engines and roughly halve CO2 emissions from 2021 targets.

A dense, EU-wide network of charging stations must be built and governments will have to offer bigger incentives to make zero-emission vehicles affordable, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said. Germany’s car lobbying group warned the targets would be a burden on already-struggling suppliers and hurt employment and economic growth.

The European Commission’s policy paper, which Bloomberg News reported on in draft form earlier this week, was made public as Europe’s automakers released disappointing monthly sales results that dashed hopes the industry was starting to recover from the pandemic. Registrations are on track for at least a 20% drop this year.
Full story
2) Green Dole: German Car Industry Expected To Lose 100,00 Jobs Over EU Green Deal
Automobile Woche, 21 September 2020

Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess fears additional bankruptcies and job losses in the car industry if the EU Commission were to tighten the CO2 requirements for car manufacturers.

Eleven million jobs at risk from EU Green Deal, trade unions warn
"A faster transformation also means that more jobs and entire companies will come under pressure or be lost in certain areas," Diess told the newspaper "Welt am Sonntag". But new ones would arise in other areas.

If you want to achieve change faster, the right framework conditions are necessary, said Diess. "As long as the diesel price is at a long-term low at just one euro per liter, it will be difficult."
Diess' predecessor Matthias Müller brought the abolition of the tax advantage for diesel fuel into play at the end of 2017.

The auto industry has to adjust to stricter limits on carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen had proposed as a new EU climate target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by at least 55 percent below the 1990 level by 2030 - instead of the 40 percent previously targeted. This means that CO2 emissions from cars must also decrease more sharply.

100,000 jobs could be lost
According to industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer the tightening of the EU climate targets will hit the German auto industry less hard than feared. He expects that a maximum of 13,000 additional jobs will have to be cut due to the increased CO2 reduction targets in the industry, according to "Welt am Sonntag" from calculations by Dudenhoeffer.

At the same time, however, new jobs would be created - possibly on a similar scale. Overall, Dudenhöffer expects that the transition to the electric car will result in the loss of around 100,000 jobs in the automotive industry by 2030. The more stringent reduction target is already included in this calculation.

Translation GWPF

Full story (in German)

3) Greenwashing The Green Deal: EU Commission Under Fire For Banking On ‘Carbon Sinks’
EurActiv, 18 September 2020

Environmental campaign groups denounced the EU Commission’s plan to include carbon sinks in the 2030 climate target, saying this was “an accounting trick” to meet the 2030 goals.

The European Commission on Thursday (17 September) defended its plan to bring carbon removals from agriculture, land use and forestry into the EU’s updated climate target for 2030, saying this was in line with UNFCCC standards.

“If you look at the logic and the methods applied by UNFCCC, they all include carbon sinks,” said Frans Timmermans, the Commission vice-president in charge of climate policy.

“This is exactly what we have done at the European Commission,” he told journalists at a press briefing. “So I think we’re on solid ground here”.

Timmermans was speaking after the EU executive officially unveiled its plan to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, up from 40% currently.

The updated 2030 target, announced the day before by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, aims to put the EU in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement and the bloc’s broader objective of becoming the first “climate neutral” continent in the world by 2050.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced plans on Wednesday (16 September) to target a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as part of a broader European Green Deal programme aimed at reaching “climate neutrality” by mid-century.
‘Accounting trick’

But environmental campaign groups denounced the Commission’s plan to include carbon sinks in the target, saying this was “an accounting trick” to meet the 2030 goals.

“Relying on forests to reach climate targets sends the wrong signal that it’s OK to keep polluting because the land will absorb it,” said Sam van den Plas, policy director at Carbon Market Watch, an environmental NGO.

“The Commission is greenwashing its own climate target: including carbon dioxide removals in the calculations means emissions will actually go down by a lot less. We’re facing a climate emergency, and there isn’t time for games,” said Alex Mason from the WWF.

In Europe, forests are currently a net carbon sink because they take in more carbon dioxide than they emit. On a global level, oceans and forests are the two biggest carbon sinks.

But the capacity of European forests to absorb CO2 “has been shrinking” over the years, Timmermans warned, saying “the sink has to go back to its previous levels” if Europe wants to reach climate neutrality and preserve biodiversity at the same time. [...]

“The current EU target of ‘at least 40%’ agreed in 2014 does not include sinks,” affirms Bert Metz, a climate scientist who co-chaired the mitigation working group of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from 1997 to 2008.

“Including sinks means that the new 55% target would effectively be less than 50% in the current target’s terms,” he wrote in an opinion piece for EURACTIV.

“We need to restore Europe’s forests and protect and restore our precious ecosystems, but that must be on top of greenhouse gas reductions, not instead,” he insisted, saying the 55% target  “must be a real, absolute reduction,” not a net target that takes carbon removals into account.
Full story
4) Green Cheating: Beware Of Smoke And Mirrors in the EU’s Green Recovery Fund
Financial Times, 20 September 2020

Wolfgang Münchau 

Over the years the EU has developed a habit of overselling programmes and exaggerating headline numbers. 

This time, at least the headline number is for real. The so-called recovery and resilience facility that was agreed in July will indeed end up disbursing the €310bn earmarked for grants.

There has been a lot of talk about a historic agreement, even a Hamiltonian moment. Even if this characterisation were true, the agreement would still have been the easy part. It will be much harder to make it succeed on its own terms. Only then will this nascent financial facility have a chance to evolve into the real thing — a permanent source of funding for the EU.

The chances of that happening are not good. The big danger now is what the Americans call “pork-barrel” spending, a fiscal splurge crafted for the sole purpose of generating political support for those who spend it. This is exactly what I expect to happen in this case.

Last week, the European Commission produced an important document that set out guidelines to EU governments on how to spend the money and how to prevent it from ending up in a pork barrel. It is not a bad list, although I think the priorities are too diffuse. The bigger problem, though, is that member states will almost certainly not follow these guidelines. Germany, for example, plans to fold most of this money into its ordinary budget. I doubt that most of it will really go into new investments, by which I mean investments that would otherwise not have been made.

Once the European money goes into the same pot as all the rest, it will become exceedingly hard to distinguish the impact of old from new money. Prepare for smoke and mirrors — followed by exaggerated claims of the programme’s success.

As regular readers know, I have been advocating a eurobond for a long time. The €310bn grants component of the recovery fund is not really big enough to count as a discretionary fiscal stimulus. It will account for 0.7 per cent of the EU’s gross domestic product over a period of three years. Instead it is best to look at this as a pilot test. My worry is the test will come to be regarded in sceptical countries such as the Netherlands and Finland as having flopped. If a television pilot flops, the show never gets made.

A flop would be money wasted, or spent on pork-barrel projects, or a failure to generate growth. There are not many ways in which this programme can succeed or be seen as having succeeded. But there are many ways in which it can fail.

One already foreseeable problem was recently identified by the European Court of Auditors. It concluded that the commission had been exaggerating the amount of money spent on climate change. The commission uses a similar set of criteria for the forthcoming recovery fund. It wants 37 per cent of all investments to be green. This is a noble aspiration. But it is not a credible one.

What happens is that the commission categorises all investments into three classes — with a 0, 40 and 100 per cent green content. The system is also known as tagging. The way it works is that numbers are rounded up to the next highest threshold. So if a project has only the faintest connections with green investments, it would end up in the 40 per cent category.

There is no way that 37 per cent of the recovery fund money will be spent on green initiatives. It would be better to have a lower but more honest target for green spending and to allow for variations among countries. Italy, for example, has a much greater need for transport infrastructure spending. Guntram Wolff, director of Bruegel, the Brussels think-tank, was right to warn that the fund could fail without good governance and a clearly stated purpose. He is more constructive in his criticisms than I am, but the message is ultimately the same. This is a potentially dangerous moment for the EU.

Full story (£)
5) Niall Ferguson: California Burnin’ — A Warning Against One-Party Rule
Bloomberg, 20 September 2020

Fires, blackouts, high taxes, poverty, scarce housing, urban squalor, lousy schools — it’s a wonder anybody stays. 

Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was previously a professor of history at Harvard, New York University and Oxford. He is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a New York-based advisory firm.

“California, folks, is America fast forward.” Thus Governor Gavin Newsom, hoarsely, amid brown smoke at the North Complex Fire on Sept. 11. “What we’re experiencing right here is coming to a community all across the United States of America … unless we get our act together on climate change.”

I was with him all the way until he said the words “on climate change.”
As my Hoover Institution colleague Victor Davis Hanson put it last month, California is “the progressive model of the future: a once-innovative, rich state that is now a civilization in near ruins. The nation should watch us this election year and learn of its possible future.”
Let’s start with the fires. So far this year, they have torched more than five times as much land as the average of the previous 33 years, killing 25 people and forcing about 100,000 people from their homes. At one point, three of the largest fires in the state’s history were burning simultaneously in a ring around the San Francisco Bay Area. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or CAL FIRE, of the 10 largest fires since 1970, five broke out this year. Nine out of 10 have occurred since 2012.

No doubt high temperatures and unusual thunderstorms bear some of the responsibility for this year’s terrifying wildfires on the West Coast. It is deeply misleading to claim, as some diehard deniers still do, that temperatures aren’t rising and making wildfires more likely. But it is equally misleading to claim, as the New York Times did last week, that “scientists say” climate change “is the primary cause of the conflagration.”

In reality, as Stanford’s Rebecca Miller, Christopher Field and Katharine J. Mach argue in a recent article in Nature Sustainability, this crisis has at least as much to do with disastrous land mismanagement as with climate change, and perhaps more. Anyone who thinks solar panels, Teslas and a $3.3 billion white elephant of a high-speed rail line will avoid comparable or worse fires next year (and the year after and the year after) doesn’t understand what the scientists are really saying.

Most measures proposed by environmentalists to reduce carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gas” emissions will pay off over 50 to 100 years, as the International (sic) Panel on Climate Change has long made clear. Even a best-case scenario of “stringent mitigation” (what the IPCC calls Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6) would not bring carbon dioxide emissions down to 1950 levels until around 2050. Nor would it lower global average temperatures; it would merely stop them rising.

And that’s only if the whole world — including China and India — takes action. California’s wildfire problem cannot be solved by the state’s citizens “getting their act together on climate change,” in Newsom’s words. The problem needs immediately effective action — and that means a return to sane forest management, if such a return is still possible. For decades, Democratic leaders in California have presided over a policy of leaving dead trees to rot, instead of the old and rational system of prescribed or controlled burns, not least because environmental and clear air regulations, as well as problems of legal liability, made controlled burns harder and harder to do.
In prehistoric California, according to a recent analysis in ProPublica, between 4.4 million and 11.8 million acres burned each year. California’s land managers burned about 30,000 acres a year on average between 1982 and 1998. Over the next 18 years, that number dropped to an annual 13,000 acres. The result has been a huge accumulation of highly flammable kindling.  

Miller, Field and Mach concluded that a total area of around 20 million acres — roughly one-fifth of the state’s territory — was in urgent need of “fuel treatment,” meaning prescribed burns, mechanical thinning and managed wildfire. It is hard to imagine anything remotely close to that happening under the current political dispensation. (The authors politely called for “fundamental shifts in prescribed-burn policies, beyond those currently under consideration.”) Or rather, it is going to happen, but at a time of Nature’s choosing, with catastrophic consequences.

Full post
6) Francis Menton: Climate Change Apocalypse --“Permanently Immunized From Falsification”
Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, 17 September 2020

With the grand foretellings of doom, it is nearly impossible to pin the seers down to anything you might try to falsify.

In last Saturday’s post, I provided a quote from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy that encapsulated the gist of the scientific method: “[T]heories that are permanently immunized from falsification . . . can no longer be classified as scientific.” That seems simple enough. Surely we ought to be able to keep track of that one basic precept to distinguish the science from the non-science.

In practice, it turns out to be not so simple at all. To illustrate, let’s consider the latest from the climate apocalypse movement. For today I’ll put aside the grand foretellings of planet-wide climate doom, and focus instead on just one little question: whether the current wave of wildfires in the West has been caused by human-induced global warming, in turn resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.

There’s an important difference between these two questions that relates to the potential for falsification. With the grand foretellings of doom, it is nearly impossible to pin the seers down to anything you might try to falsify. Think about some of the phrasings you have likely encountered. “The world has a temperature and we are the cause.”
“Unless drastic measures are taken to reduce greenhouse gases, we face a point of no return.” What is the potential evidence that might emerge that all could agree had falsified these predictions? You will never get a climate alarmist to give you an answer to that question.
But you would think that the question of the causation of the wildfires would be different. There ought to be evidence out there that would bear directly on this question. For example, what is the trend of wildfires worldwide during the past 20 or so years, when greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have accelerated? Or, can we get evidence on the extent of wildfires in the West from the time period before either European settlement or any significant human greenhouse gas emissions?

Meanwhile, or course, the question of the causation of the wildfires has gotten caught up in the maelstrom of our presidential election campaign, and therefore is the subject of intense daily discussion from the media, as well as from the Biden campaign. Seemingly definitive statements are everywhere, attributing the wildfires to warming caused by human burning of fossil fuels, generally phrased in terms to vilify or ridicule anyone who might question that inference in any way.
Full post
7) Fact Check: Atlantic Hurricane Season 2020
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 18 September 2020

While the season has not quite ended yet, it seems unlikely that the total number of Atlantic hurricanes will be unusually high, while the number of major hurricanes looks like being relatively low.

Atlantic Hurricane & Tropical Storm Tracks 2020
There has been a load of nonsense written about how busy this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been, with Greek letters having to be used if we run out of normal ones.

In reality, the vast majority have been weak Tropical Storms, spinning around  aimlessly in the middle of the ocean. Very few of these would even have been spotted in the pre-satellite era.
To date, there have just been eight Atlantic hurricanes, including two major ones, Laura and Teddy. While the season has not quite ended yet, it seems unlikely that the total number will be unusually high, while the number of major hurricanes looks like being relatively low.

While the Accumulated Cyclone Energy is running 28% above average in the Atlantic, globally it is well below, at 64%.

Global hurricane numbers are also lower this year, as are the number of major hurricanes. There is no evidence of increasing hurricane frequency or intensity, despite the BBC’s attempts to mislead otherwise.
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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