COP26, the climate jamboree coming your way next week, is rapidly turning into FLOP26!
An analysis by Climate Action Tracker, set up to monitor progress towards the climate goals agreed in Paris, suggests that the updated plans submitted for COP26 are little different to those submitted in 2015, and will not lead to any cut in emissions by 2030.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Climate Action Tracker
The plans agreed at Paris, and now updated, do not include any targets for beyond 2030. Although some countries have made vague promises to get to net zero by 2050 or 2060, such promises are meaningless, as Climate Action Tracker point out, if robust cuts have not already been made by 2030.
Many developing countries have in any case already rejected net zero. One grouping of 24 countries, the Like-Minded Developing Countries, issued a joint statement last week dismissing western pressure for them to cut emissions, and demanded that developed countries should fully decarbonise within a decade instead.The group includes China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Which brings us to China’s promise to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
This pledge by President Xi is worthless, as it is no more than his personal promise. When he is eventually ousted, as happens to all Chinese leaders, his policies will accompany him into the wilderness.
New leaders will dissociate themselves from his failed agenda, and all the country’s problems will be blamed on Xi personally. Whatever pledges he may have made to world leaders will mean nothing to his successors.
There is only one thing that matters to the Chinese Communist Party, and that is its survival. And that means maintaining economic growth and improving standards of living, both incompatible with Net Zero.
Indeed, there already appears to be a power struggle looming, with Premier Li Keqiang backtracking from Xi’s previous policies. In a statement after a meeting of Beijing’s National Energy Commission two weeks ago, Li stressed the importance of regular energy supply, after swathes of the country were plunged into darkness by rolling blackouts.
The statement said: ‘Energy security should be the premise on which a modern energy system is built and and the capacity for energy self-supply should be enhanced.
‘Given the predominant place of coal in the country’s energy and resource endowment, it is important to optimise the layout for the coal production capacity, build advanced coal-fired power plants as appropriate in line with development needs, and continue to phase out outdated coal plants in an orderly fashion. Domestic oil and gas exploration will be intensified.’
Chinese leaders are always very careful about what they say, and this statement is a clear sign that Li is putting energy security above emissions in his priorities. It is also a challenge to Xi’s leadership, which is already under threat because of his autocratic style.
The bottom line is that we cannot trust anything China promises at COP26. We will need to see emissions falling first.
Heat pumps – exposing the lies
With the government’s Net Zero Strategy now published, the Green Blob has launched a barrage of propaganda designed to persuade the public of the merits of replacing gas boilers with heat pumps.
One recent puff piece in the Telegraph made it sound as if heat pumps were the best thing since sliced bread, repeating the oft quoted claim that they will reduce household energy costs. Sadly, if you currently have gas central heating, this is an outright lie.
Even proponents are forced to admit that installing an air sourced heat pump (ASHP) will cost a typical homeowner between £10,000 and £20,000, depending on the size of house. Ground source heat pumps work out much dearer still. This does not include the cost of extra insulation which most homes will need for heat pumps to work properly, which could easily run into several thousand pounds.
Because heat pumps, which run on electricity, essentially capture heat from the outside air via refrigerants, they are more energy efficient than conventional electric or gas heating. Think of an air conditioner or fridge in reverse. Over the year as a whole, ASHPs use about a third of the energy used in a gas boiler to produce the same amount of heat.
However, despite recent energy price hikes, electricity remains five times the price of gas. Consequently energy costs won’t fall, but will instead rise by about 60 per cent. This equates to roughly £300 pa for the average household. Approximately 20million homes have gas central heating, and for the vast majority costs will be much higher.
This is, of course, why the government is proposing to increase taxes on gas, via green taxes and the carbon tax, so that it ends up being dearer than the ridiculously expensive heat pump technology.
‘Where did all the green jobs go? Long time passing!’
‘We are on the edge of a low carbon industrial revolution. Everything is going to change. How you manufacture and the services you provide. A new strategy that aims to help the UK move towards a low-carbon economy, and could potentially create 400,000 new jobs in the environmental sector over the next decade.’
Boris Johnson? No, Peter Mandelson in 2009!
Promises of hundreds of thousands of green jobs have of course come thick and fast over the years. In 2013 Ed Davey, for instance, promised 250,000 by 2020. Last week the government’s new Net Zero Strategy promised it would secure 440,000 well-paid jobs.
It won’t surprise you to learn that the reality is rather different. A report by the employment agency Indeed has found that only about 2,000 green jobs a year have been created since 2016, based on job vacancies posted. Many of these may have been to replace leavers, so the real figure is likely to be fewer still.
Amusingly, a third of the vacancies have been for assorted managers, consultants and the like. The usual army of hangers–on! Naturally these are the highest paid.
Another 19 per cent are ‘recycling workers’, who we used to call ‘bin men’.
Manufacturing and technology jobs are few and far between. Most of these have been exported to China and elsewhere, no doubt.
Still, the Gummers, Huhnes, Daveys and their cronies in the Green Blob are doing all right out of the climate scam. Guys like Hugh McNeal, who was Director General at the Department of Energy and Climate Change between 2014 and 2015. After leaving he landed the top job at Renewable UK, the lobby group for renewable energy. His mission? Lobbying the government to hand out ever greater subsidies to the wind power industry.
Nice work, if you can get it!
Birthplace of Climate Change
According to Greta Thunberg, Britain has a particular responsibility for climate change because we had the temerity to kickstart the Industrial Revolution. We are used to this sort of idiocy from her, but it seems that others who you might think were reasonably sane think the same.
Take the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. Ironbridge in Shropshire can justifiably lay claim to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. But now its trustees are seriously thinking of adopting the slogan ‘Birthplace of Climate Change’. According to Nick Ralls, chief executive officer at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, ‘the iron smelting experiments happening in the gorge really signalled the beginning of pollution. It was those early beginnings that lead to pollution that’s still happening today.’
The museums in the trust are updating their displays to include descriptions of how the innovations pioneered in the area led not only to the modern economy but to climate change. That includes considering making use of the phrase ‘birthplace of climate change’.
Where on earth do they get these cretins from?
The Industrial Revolution ushered in the unprecedented prosperity which we all enjoy today, not just here but throughout the whole of the world.
In those days, you we lucky to live till you were thirty. Millions died every year from famine, and you had only a 50/50 chance of making it to five years old.
This is something this country should be proud of. We should be shouting it from the rooftops, not apologising.
Sea level rise at New York
Due to gremlins in the works, early editions of last week’s column omitted one of the sea level graphs. As it is an important one, I’m reposting it.
You will recall that sea levels in New York have been steadily rising at 2.88mm/year, about a third of which is due to the landmass sinking:
We can compare this with the utterly absurd projections made of future sea level rise, ranging from low to extreme:
Even the intermediate scenario, which forecasts more than a one metre rise, is hopelessly out of line with reality.
So much for the ‘science’!