In this newsletter:
3) Britain's car makers face a cost crisis with energy bills up 50% putting it at a 'competitive disadvantage' and jobs at risk
4) Gideon Rachman: Why the US could be the real winner in the energy wars
5) Andrew Roman: Russia’s war has started the Great U-Turn
Andrew Roman, 27 June 2022
6) Patricia Adams & Lawrence Solomon: When it comes to energy, Ottawa is committing suicide
The Epoch Times, 24 June 2022
7) Asian coal use wipes out US CO2 emissions cuts of the last 17 years
Daily Caller, 27 June 2022
Nature Climate Change, 27 June 2022
The Daily Telegraph, 27 June 2022
Coal and gas stations providing back-up supply in 2023 will not have to get reports on their emissions signed off by an independent expert under changes being proposed by Whitehall officials.
There is growing concern over energy security amid fears Russia will shut off gas supplies to Europe in retaliation for sanctions imposed in response to its war on Ukraine.
The gradual retirement of the UK’s nuclear fleet in coming years as well as problems with France’s nuclear stations are adding to the pressure in energy markets.
Coal-fired plants have already been asked to stay open this winter, while gas quality rules could also be relaxed to allow more from the North Sea into Britain’s pipes.
Under rules from 2019, fossil fuel facilities bidding to take part in National Grid ESO’s market for back-up power supply have to declare their carbon emissions in line with limits.
The Government wants to make it compulsory for these declarations to be independently verified — a service expected to be carried out mostly by niche consultants — but there have been delays in getting enough people accredited to do the verification.
Officials are concerned that if independent verification is compulsory, some plants will not be able qualify to provide back-up supply for the winter of 2023-2024.
Officials now plan to postpone for a year the requirement to have emissions figures verified, meaning plants should be able to take part in the auction for 2023.
It marks the second time the requirement has been delayed.
In consultation papers, officials warned that failure to act could lead to lower competition which could trigger increased prices and “risks to security of supply”.
They added: “We consider this proposal would be a reasonable precaution to take.” The Government believes there is only a “low” risk that plants would falsify their emissions claims.
National Grid’s target for the amount of capacity they need to procure for the 2023-2024 back-up market is likely to be “stretching”, the officials said.
Officials also plan to change criteria to make it easier for mothballed power plants to take part in the market.
Britain does not buy much gas directly from Russia but there are concerns about a significant knock-on impact if Russia cuts off supplies to Europe.
Worst-case scenarios modelled in Whitehall indicate 6m households could face black-outs if this winter if that were the case.
National Grid is now developing plans under which potentially millions of households will be paid if they choose to cut their electricity use at peak times, lessening the strain on the system.
Under plans first reported by The Times, National Grid has asked power suppliers to indicate how many of their customers might shift usage out of peak times if they were paid to do so.
It follows trials with Octopus Energy this year.
National Grid said: “Demand shifting has the potential to save consumers money, reduce carbon emissions and offer greater flexibility on the system.”
A spokesperson for the department for business, energy and industrial strategy said: “The Government is carefully considering respondents’ views and will publish a response setting out next steps in due course.
“The UK has no issues with either gas or electricity supply and the government is fully prepared for any scenario, even those that are extreme and very unlikely to occur.”
2) Nine out of 10 households plan to cut back on energy this winter
The Mirror, 28 June 2022
More than nine out of 10 households plan to cut back on energy this winter, despite the Government’s cost of living help package.
Nearly half said they expect to reduce their usage “a lot”, including heating their homes, a survey by consultants Retail Economics found.
Evidence that vast numbers of people are gearing up to make big changes this winter comes despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing £15billion of measures to lessen the pain of soaring energy bills.
The help, including £400 for every household, is being offered as experts warn average bills could leap another £1,000 to £3,000 a year from October.
Meanwhile, households could be paid to use less electricity at peak times this winter to reduce the risk of blackouts.
Proposals from National Grid’s electricity system operator would reward households with smart meters for shifting the time at which they use power-hungry devices such as washing machines.
Data from Retail Economics found the average household had faced a 10.6% fall in their discretionary income in the past year, leaving them with £127 less to spend per month on non-essential items.
Its chief executive, Richard Lim, said: “The cost of living continues to soar, hurting all households in Britain but particularly the most disadvantaged.
“After families have paid for all their essentials, the amount of spare cash left over to spend on days out, socialising and other treats is shrinking at an astonishing rate.”
It comes as a disabled woman has been left housebound as spiralling energy costs mean she can no longer afford to charge her electric wheelchair.
Daily Mail, 28 June 2022
Britain's automotive sector has today spoken out about facing a 50 per cent increase in energy costs this year, which is putting British businesses at a 'competitive disadvantage' against rivals in the EU.
The sector's annual energy bill – which is already £50million more than its European Union rivals – will rise by £90million in 2022, analysis by the trade body Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says.
It says the Government must act now to do all it can to protect the future of the motor sector, which is one of the nation's biggest employers.
The UK automotive industry has 156,400 workers directly employed in manufacturing roles and a broader 797,300 workers employed in total across the wider sector, including retail and finance, according to the latest figures.
However, the sector is at threat with energy bills soaring.
UK electricity prices are the most expensive of any European automotive manufacturing country and 59 per cent above the EU average, according to the SMMT.
The industry body said this means UK firms could have saved nearly £50million annually if they were buying energy in the EU even before this year's spike in prices.
The additional cost of producing vehicles and components in the UK is now risking the future of some businesses as operation costs in Europe are less expensive, the SMMT warned.
Speaking at the organisation's annual summit in central London, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic, parts shortages and trade uncertainty are 'immense', but addressing the UK's high energy costs is 'the industry's number one ask' as they are hitting manufacturers 'extraordinarily hard'.
The Government must do 'all it can to create stability and help keep us globally competitive', Hawes added.
Financial Times, 27 June 2022
Russia can squeeze the west in the short term but it is losing its position as an energy superpower
The great oil shocks of the 1970s taught western politicians a sobering lesson about the might of the world’s energy superpowers. Fifty years later, that lesson is being learnt all over again.
Russia is fighting back against western sanctions by restricting the supply of gas to Europe. The prospect of a total cut-off of Russian gas is causing near panic in Europe as Germany and other major economies contemplate energy rationing this winter. Meanwhile, Joe Biden — worried by soaring petrol prices ahead of the midterm elections — has had to forget his campaign rhetoric about treating Saudi Arabia as a pariah. The US president is off to Riyadh next month to appeal to the Saudis to pump more oil.
The lesson seems to be simple and dispiriting. In 2022 — as in 1973 — the world’s major oil producers can still make the world’s biggest political powers dance to their tune.
But look beyond the immediate headlines and the geopolitics of energy are much more complex. Russia has a strong hand in the short term but its position will dramatically worsen over the next three years. America has a big problem in the short term but is in a strong position over the long term.
It is the EU that has the biggest short- and medium-term problems. Despite brave talk of diversification and decarbonisation, the Europeans are still a long way from finding a viable new energy strategy.
Russia and the EU are locked in a race against time. The Russian goal is clearly to engineer an economic crisis in Europe this winter — so weakening the EU’s support for Ukraine. The government of Hungary, noted for its indulgent attitude to Putin, is already pressing for a quick ceasefire in Ukraine, citing the threat of economic catastrophe.
The Europeans have several months before winter to prepare for the coming Russian squeeze. But even if Moscow’s pressure tactics do work in the short term, over the long term Putin is destroying one of the main pillars of Russian power.
Europe has now learnt a bitter lesson about the dangers of energy-dependence on Russia and is determined never to be as vulnerable again. One senior German official says: “Before the war, Russia was looking at 30 more years of guaranteed oil and gas revenues. Now they are looking at three.”
Even in the short term, cutting off Europe’s gas exports is a dangerous game for Russia. Roughly €1bn a day is still flowing into Russia’s coffers, mainly from Europe. If Putin sacrifices those revenues, his ability to wage war would rapidly diminish.
Russia can find alternative markets for its oil relatively easily — witness the eagerness with which India and China are increasing imports of its discounted oil. But its gas is exported by pipeline and the major pipelines head towards Europe. Constructing new ones to China will take years, so Russia could soon be faced with a stranded asset.
The earnestness of European efforts to free themselves from dependence on Russian energy can be seen in the travel schedules of its leaders. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has just been in Israel and Egypt, signing a new gas deal. Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, recently visited Senegal and threw his weight behind the development of a new gasfield there.
There remains a big question, however, about how quickly and smoothly Europe can replace Russian energy. Some senior figures in the energy industry are privately sceptical. The situation over the next five years is likely to leave Europe in an uncomfortable position — with the need for Russian energy reduced, but not eliminated, while consumers face persistently higher prices and industry faces insecure supplies.
America, by contrast, is in a much more comfortable long-term position. According to Dan Yergin, a leading energy analyst, America has displaced Russia as the world’s leading exporter of energy.
Higher energy prices are a pain for American consumers, but they are a boon to the US shale gas industry. One lesson of the Ukraine war is that it is dangerous for a country to rely on a geopolitical adversary for its energy. America is now a big net exporter of energy, while China remains heavily dependent on imports.
But American production alone cannot protect US consumers from rising global oil prices. America’s desire to isolate not just Russia but also Iran and Venezuela has strengthened the position of Saudi Arabia. It is impossible, even for the US, to treat all the world’s major oil-producers as pariahs at the same time. And unlike Russia or Iran, Saudi Arabia is a longstanding American ally.
The real threat to the Saudi position is not geopolitical but environmental. Decarbonisation may eventually mean that the world is no longer buying what the Saudis are selling.
In the short term, however, the global energy crunch caused by the war in Ukraine is increasing demand for non-Russian fossil fuels — including coal, the dirtiest of the lot. Germany is reopening mothballed coal plants. And China is clinging even tighter to its most reliable form of domestic energy production — coal.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is bad news for the world. It may be even worse news for the planet.
5) Andrew Roman: Russia’s war has started the Great U-Turn
Andrew Roman, 27 June 2022
The West’s net zero policies, pursued too rapidly, with the wrong technologies, and without regard to energy security, has financed Russia’s war on Ukraine. The Great U-Turn back to fossil fuels has already begun in Europe.
Europe has been financing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine because of its unrealistic net zero energy policies. The target of net zero in under 28 years requires global emissions to be cut in half by 2030, just 7½ years from now. That is not going to happen.
Europe cannot replace fossil fuels with weather-dependent renewables, but the mistaken belief that it can has created heavy dependency on Russian oil and gas. The European Union countries have paid with their wallets; the Ukrainians have paid with their lives.
Russia is fighting back against EU sanctions, apparently with success. It has greatly increased its fossil fuel supply to India and China. The EU is still dependent on Russian oil and gas, but Russia is no longer dependent on EU energy revenue. The EU is complaining about Russia’s cutbacks of energy, and rightly fears a total Russian stoppage this winter, in response to EU countries sending more weapons to Ukraine.
That is why the EU and the UK have now accelerated what I call “The Great U-Turn”: to delay, indefinitely, reaching the unrealistic net zero target, and return to a more realistic reliance on fossil fuels. This is being justified as ‘temporary, to facilitate the transition’. That ‘temporary’ may be many decades, until affordable energy security can be achieved with the right technology, which doesn’t yet exist.
[This is my second post on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In my first post I provided my detailed analysis of several of the causes of the invasion, and the public messaging by Russia and the West.]
EU Sanctions Against Russia are Schizophrenic
UnHerd writer Peter Franklin has explained that europe-is-still-bankrolling-russia:
“It’s not that the sanctions announced so far are meaningless. Many of them are already having an impact. Yet Europe finds itself in a position where it is trying to bankrupt the Kremlin while simultaneously bankrolling Putin’s regime.”
As Franklin notes, at January 1, 2020 the EU was paying Russia 190 million EUR (around $US 200 million) daily for natural gas alone. By March 3, 2022 that had increased to 660 million EUR (around $US 694 million) daily, in just over 2 years.
If Russia cuts off supply much of Europe will face a deadly cold winter, even with increasing use of coal (which emits twice as much CO2 as gas, taking Europe even further from its net zero aspirations).
How Did This Dependency Happen?
Being the proud leader of net zero, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, aggressively closed most of is reliable gas (low CO2 emissions) and nuclear (zero CO2 emissions) electricity generation plants. It replaced them with intermittent, unreliable and massively subsidized solar and wind generation. This caused painful increases in electricity prices. Also, the EU and the UK prohibited fracking (a process for extracting natural gas underground, widely used in the US). But, they all still needed fossil fuels as generation backup when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, as well as for heating, transportation, etc., so the EU, particularly Germany, contracted to buy a large share of its oil and gas from Russia.
In response to European sanctions, Russia now requires payment in rubles, not US dollars. This has increased the exchange rate of the ruble, despite the sanctions. Russia’s ruble hit 52.3 to the dollar on June 22, its strongest level since May 2015. The ruble has actually gotten so strong that Russia’s central bank is actively taking measures to try to weaken it, fearing this will make the country’s exports less competitive.
Geopolitical realism requires realism about a country’s energy security. Blocking fossil fuel development at home won’t keep fossil fuel “in the ground”, it merely requires us to buy fossil fuels from others.
The European Lesson in Energy Masochism
As early as March 1, 2022, the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal headlined:
“A Lesson in Energy Masochism - Here’s how Europe made itself vulnerable to Putin’s gas blackmail.”
The editorial describes how Russian gas imports increased in tandem with declining domestic production:
“A mere 15 years ago, countries in the European Union produced more gas than Russia exported. Yet European production has plunged by more than half over the last decade. ….
In 2020 Russia exported nearly three times more gas than Europe produced.”
In modern, energy-dependent countries a lack of energy means poverty and even death. By threatening or actually reducing supply, Russia can escalate gas prices, earning around the same income while selling less volume. That’s why the recent EU and US sanctions imposed on Russia excluded sanctions on Russian oil and gas sold to Europe (sanctions on oil are supposed to start at year end). It will be a slow and costly process for Europe to replace its energy dependency on Russia, with a decline in living standards while this is happening.
The longer the ship of state has been going in the wrong direction the longer making The Great U-Turn will take.
Germany Has Started The Great U-Turn from Net-Zero by 2050.
Germany had led the EU’s race to net-zero, by depending on Russia for approximately 55 percent of its gas, 45 percent of its coal and 34 percent of its oil. It has now been awakened to its peril and has started its Great U-Turn. Germany is restarting coal-fired plants and will be auctioning what gas it gets, to reduce consumption.
In a June 19, 2022 Wall Street Journal article, William Boston explained:
“Berlin unveiled the measures Sunday (June 19) after Russia cut gas supplies to Europe last week as it punched back against European sanctions and military support for Ukraine…..
In a U-turn for a leader of the environmentalist Green Party, which has campaigned to reduce fossil-fuel use, Mr. Habeck [Germany’s economy minister] said the government would empower utility companies to extend the use of coal-fired power plants.
“This is bitter,” Mr. Habeck said of the need to rely on coal. “But in this situation, it is necessary to reduce gas consumption. Gas stores must be full by winter. That has to be the highest priority.””
The UK is also in serious energy trouble, with rapidly rising energy poverty and rising inflation (9.0 percent in the 12 months to April 2022). This despite the UK having enough extractable gas to keep it entirely self-sufficient for at least 50 years, because the UK banned fracking.
Canada’s Energy Masochism
Canada is several years behind the energy crisis in Europe, having greater energy self-sufficiency (more hydro and nuclear generation). But, as all of our energy prices escalate and add to our overall inflation, we, too, will have to make our own Great U-Turn.
Canada will not come anywhere close to its supposedly legislated target of net zero by 2050 (for reasons I have explained) with our increasing reliance on unreliable, weather-dependent wind and solar electricity generation, which require large-scale backup to keep the lights on. And electricity is only some 20 percent of our total energy consumption, while most of the remaining 80 percent requires fossil fuels.
Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction plan is Canada’s gift to Putin, explains prominent energy economist Ross McKitrick in the Financial Post:
“Ottawa has just released a 271-page Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) that calls on our oil and gas sector to cut emissions by 31 percent below 2005 levels in the next eight years, which is 42 percent below current levels….
Given the current technological limits of carbon capture and other buzzwords, that means either ceasing operations altogether or using production methods that will price producers out of the world market — thus leaving a clear field for Russia, among others, to expand its dominance in world energy markets in the years ahead. Global emissions won’t decline mind you; people will just get their energy from dictators while democracies such as Canada exit the market.”
Ottawa’s Emissions Reduction Plan is short on details of how all this will be accomplished, and what it will cost, to whom. Thus, it is just a plan to have a plan. The cost indifference of the ERP, together with its manifestly unrealistic targets, sends another signal to international investors to avoid investments in build-nothing-anywhere Canada.
Canada, like other Western countries, has a stark choice: either inflationary price gouging from Russia and others, caused by our impossibly short net zero targets, or make The Great U-Turn to energy security, with abundant, low cost fossil fuels found right here in Canada.
Canada will have to increase investment in the extraction of more of our oil and natural gas, and to construct pipelines to transport gas, plants to liquefy it, and ports to ship it to Europe and elsewhere to replace Russian gas. But that will take several years.
Why the Great U-Turn Away From Net Zero?
Western net zero policies create energy poverty and higher inflation, while doing nothing for the planet. These policies are both socially and environmentally unjust. Such a high level of injustice is politically unsustainable in a democracy.
Canada’s net zero policies have contributed significantly to escalating, probably long lasting inflation (7.7%, in year ending May 2022 versus May 2021).
But the average rate of inflation for all goods and services is only part of the story. The rapid, extreme price escalation of essential commodities like food, gasoline (up 48 % in Canada in one year) and natural gas far outpace wage increases.
As reported by the CBC on May 25:
“Last week, Statistics Canada reported that Canadians paid 9.7 per cent more for food in April 2022 than a year prior, while average hourly wages rose by about 3.3 per cent year-over-year.
Basic foods like fresh fruit have jumped by 10 per cent, while pasta prices have spiked by nearly 20 per cent.
Statistics Canada places the blame on the Russian invasion of Ukraine mingled with rising fuel costs.”
The impact in Europe is far worse. These headlines tell the story:
Millions warned of power cuts and energy rationing this winter (The Times, 29 May 2022)
Britain’s National Grid told to prepare for coal this winter (The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2022)
Vulnerable pensioners ‘spend a fifth of their income on energy bills’ (Energy Live News, 27 May 2022)
Energy crisis threatens to topple UN climate agenda (The Wall Street Journal, 16 June 2022)
In energy-strapped Europe, coal makes a comeback (The Independent, 16 June 2022)
European gas surges 24% as Russian cuts escalate energy crisis (Bloomberg, 16 June 2022)
Gas drilling projects resurrected around Europe (EurActiv, 23 June 2022)
Europe warned to prepare for total shutdown of Russian gas exports (Financial Times, 22 June 2022
Germany triggers gas alarm stage, accuses Russia of ‘economic attack’ (Reuters, 23 June 2022)
The Great U-Turn from net zero by 2050 has already started in the EU and the UK. As I noted in a previous blog post, the EU, through a change in “taxonomy”, recently decided to treat nuclear and gas as “green” for investment purposes.
Although Canada and the US are not nearly as dependent as Europe on imported fossil fuels, our oil and gas prices are also subject to our inflationary energy policies, on top of the post-Covid resurgence in demand not being met by sufficient increases in supply.
Today, US gas pump prices of $5+ per gallon are not only an economic problem, they are a US political problem. And Canada’s gas pump prices, traditionally higher than the US, are also shocking, at $8.50 per gallon on June 20, 2022 (approximately US $6.55). As the farming and transportation of food requires energy, rising energy prices cause rising food prices. And the same escalation affects almost everything else in our economy that requires energy.
As Ted Nordhaus has written in the June 5, 2022 issue of Foreign Policy:
“Russia’s war is the end of climate policy as we know it…..
Virtually overnight, the war in Ukraine has brought the post-Cold War era to a close, not just by ending Europe’s long era of peace, but by bringing basic questions of energy access back to the fore. A new era, marked by geopolitically driven energy insecurity and resource competition, is moving climate concerns down on the list of priorities.”
For now, the US and Canada have continued to double down on fighting climate change with renewables, while ignoring the post-lockdown social problems that creates with rapidly rising energy prices. Indeed, we now hear the argument that the fastest way to stop depending on foreign fossil fuels is even more unreliable solar and wind generation, as if the source of the problem is its solution.
The faster we run towards the brick wall at the end of the net zero tunnel, and the longer it takes us to make the Great U-Turn, the more costly it will be. Time to stop our energy masochism.
The Epoch Times, 24 June 2022
We may soon need to lay Ottawa to rest, following its decision to deny itself the necessities of life.
The fateful die was cast last month after the Enbridge energy company made what it believed to be an urgent and uncontroversial application to the Ontario Energy Board to replace a corroded 65-year-old natural gas pipeline—which is at high risk of failing—in the city of Ottawa with a modern pipeline able to reliably meet the city’s needs into the future.
To Enbridge’s surprise, the natural gas pipeline emergency it warned about was trumped at the Energy Board by a different emergency—the “climate emergency” that city planners, in league with environmentalists and others, declared in 2019 “for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our eco systems, and our community from climate change.”
After hearing financial arguments from a multitude of climate-change-fearing intervenors, the Energy Board denied Enbridge’s application to replace the St. Laurent Pipeline, despite Enbridge’s view that it has but three years to secure the integrity of the pipeline and prevent a later “catastrophic failure [that] could have severe consequences for its customers by virtue of their location in a densely populated urban area.”
The City of Ottawa and other intervenors argued that Enbridge’s proposed pipeline, which would be paid for over a period of 40 years, amounted to a foolish and unnecessary expense because of Ottawa’s official Energy Evolution plan. Under Energy Evolution, Ottawa would evolve away from its dependence on non-renewable natural gas, which currently meets 50 percent of its community’s needs, and evolve into a Net Zero, 100-percent greenhouse-gas-free community by 2050. To lead by example, the city’s own emissions in its buildings and vehicles would be eliminated 10 years earlier, in 2040. In that light, Enbridge’s proposal to replace the existing natural gas pipeline with another natural gas pipeline costing $124 million would be imprudent.
Instead, the City of Ottawa would be adopting a prudent Energy Evolution plan costing “an estimated $52.6 billion on top of planned investments over the next 30 years.” This plan would adopt renewable technologies, including the equivalent of 700 million square feet of solar arrays, mostly on rooftops, and 710 industrial wind turbines, each at least as tall as the Peace Tower at the centre of the Parliament Buildings.
The added $50-billion-plus cost of meeting the city’s plan should deter no one, the city planners explained, since within a decade the city would begin to recoup its shortfall and ultimately achieve “a projected net return of $87.7 billion for investments made by 2050.” In the interim, Ottawa would simply balance its budget by increasing property taxes, land transfer taxes, parking rates, electricity prices and by imposing tolls and congestion charges on roads. This Energy Evolution plan was so obviously a winner that Ottawa City Council unanimously approved it.
At the Energy Board, the merits of the plan were likewise embraced. When Energy Probe, an intervenor, attempted to file material showing that a 100 percent reliance on renewables would disable public transit, lead to blackouts, soaring energy costs, poverty, bankruptcies, and fuel shortages in one of the coldest cities in one of the coldest countries on earth, other intervenors objected to allowing the material to be filed as evidence. As a result, the evidence the board weighed exuded confidence that Ottawa would easily reach Net Zero, in the process creating jobs, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. (Full disclosure: Patricia Adams is Energy Probe’s president and Lawrence Solomon is its executive director.)
To its credit, the Ontario Energy Board in its final report did not endorse the view that Ottawa’s Energy Evolution plan was feasible. It merely accepted the preponderance of evidence before it, that a replacement natural gas pipeline would be ill-advised. It offered no comment on the collapse of the Ottawa economy that could occur should Energy Evolution prove pie-in-the sky.
If Ottawa remains true to its Net Zero goal and pulls the plug on its fossil-fuelled life-support system, it would be the world’s first capital city to die a woke death.
Daily Caller, 27 June 2022
China and India are driving the increase in coal emissions, according to RealClear Energy. European countries, including Germany and The Netherlands, have also moved to produce more coal as other energy sources become scarce.
China announced that it will increase coal output by 300 million tons this year in April. Last month, India also said it was looking to grow its domestic coal production by more than 400 million tons by the end of 2023, according to Phys.org.
China’s and India’s combined 700 million tons of coal output will result in an additional 1.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions, as burning one ton of coal releases roughly two tons of carbon dioxide, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The same volume of emission reductions that were achieved in the U.S. between 2005 and 2020 was nearly equal to this figure, according to statistics from BP.
Labourers filter coal out of cinder at a dump site of the Xilutian coal mine on the outskirts of Fushun, Liaoning province July 15, 2009. Some of China’s small coal mines are returning to production as the country enters the hottest time of the year, releasing some of the tightness in the market caused by efforts to tighten safety by shutting small mines, industry officials and analysts said on Tuesday.
Coal-based emissions are only likely to exponentially increase, as a sudden climb in coal use has swept across Europe following the significantly reduced supply of natural gas via the Russian Nord Stream Pipeline. As a response, Germany has brought back coal to sate its demand for fuel, the country’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck announced last week.
Italy, The Netherlands and Austria are also stepping up coal production to lower energy costs before the start of winter and lessen their reliance on Russian natural gas.
The added European coal emissions combined with the massive increases in China and India will exacerbate global emission totals and likely nullify any improvements made by the U.S. over the past 17 years.
Daily Mail, 27 June 2022
Annual number of such storms decreased by 13 per cent during 20th century
They found that the annual number of such storms decreased by about 13 per cent during the 20th century, compared with the period between 1850 and 1900.
For most tropical cyclone basins, this decline has accelerated since the 1950s, which the authors of the new study suggest is mainly because of a weakening of tropical atmospheric circulation.
It supports the theory that climate change leads to a decrease in the number of tropical cyclones, they said.
However, the University of Melbourne-led experts warned that frequency is just one factor in the dangers tropical cyclones pose.
They did not study changes in intensity or location.
The researchers said it was also not clear how cyclones change under human emissions because a warming ocean is expected to intensify storms, while some changes in atmospheric circulation are thought to prevent storm formation.
As their name suggests, tropical cyclones have long been characterised by the fact that they form almost exclusively over seas located at low-latitudes...
Savin Chand and colleagues at the Federation University Australia discovered declining trends in the annual number of tropical cyclones since 1850 at both global and regional scales.
Savin S Chand et al. (2022) Declining tropical cyclone frequency under global warming
Nature Climate Change, 27 June 2022
Assessing the role of anthropogenic warming from temporally inhomogeneous historical data in the presence of large natural variability is difficult and has caused conflicting conclusions on detection and attribution of tropical cyclone (TC) trends. Here, using a reconstructed long-term proxy of annual TC numbers together with high-resolution climate model experiments, we show robust declining trends in the annual number of TCs at global and regional scales during the twentieth century. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis (20CR) dataset is used for reconstruction because, compared with other reanalyses, it assimilates only sea-level pressure fields rather than utilize all available observations in the troposphere, making it less sensitive to temporal inhomogeneities in the observations. It can also capture TC signatures from the pre-satellite era reasonably well. The declining trends found are consistent with the twentieth century weakening of the Hadley and Walker circulations, which make conditions for TC formation less favourable.