COP26 ends in humiliating failure
THE UN’s climate agenda finally hit the buffers in Glasgow.
It almost happened in Copenhagen 12 years ago, when developing nations refused to limit their economic growth to satisfy the West. It was only the promise of hundreds of billions of dollars that persuaded them to come along for the ride.
The can was kicked down the road again in 2015 at Paris, when developing countries were again given carte blanche to carry on increasing emissions.
Sooner or later, the time would come for action, not talk. And when it came to the crunch, the developing nations rebelled, led by India, China, South Africa and Iran. The touchpaper was the inclusion in the Draft Agreement of a clause calling upon Parties ‘to accelerate efforts to phase-out coal power’.
India and a host of like-minded countries knew that they could not run their economies without coal and other fossil fuels, never mind grow them and relieve poverty. Faced with the whole Agreement being lost, Alok Sharma and the UN organisers backed down, and replaced the words ‘phase-out’ with ‘phase-down’. Just one word changed, but its effect was devastating for the Agreement.
Given that there is no obligation to do any of this (hence the term ‘calls’), and no timescales are mentioned, India and the rest can interpret this clause any way they wish. In short, they will be able to carry on burning all the coal they want for as long as they want.
Although India and China led the rebellion, they were supported by many other developing countries, including Vietnam, Egypt and the Philippines, who make up the 20-strong group of Like-Minded Developing Countries. They published their own joint statement last month declaring they had no intention of cutting emissions just to suit the West.
The rest of the Agreement is pretty weak and ineffectual in any case. It is full of terms such as ‘urges’, ‘requests’ and ‘invites’, which mean there is no obligation on anybody to do anything.
All COP26 has really agreed on is to gather in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt, in November next year and discuss things again.
In terms of mitigation, ie reducing emissions, countries which have not yet submitted new plans are requested to do so next year. But if they have not done so yet, it is hardly likely they will come up with anything meaningful next year.
Parties are also requested to come back next year with strengthened targets. But again, are countries that have just submitted new targets this year going to propose anything significantly different next year? Indeed the US and Australia have already indicated that they won’t.
The Agreement inevitably ‘reaffirms’ the 1.5C target. It would have been politically impossible to do otherwise. However, 1.5C was never an option, and was effectively kicked into touch at Paris, when it was acknowledged that emissions would carry on rising till 2030. According to the science, emissions would need to be cut in half in this decade to hit 1.5C, something which is clearly not remotely possible now.
Even with the new plans submitted at Glasgow, emissions in 2030 are still projected to carry on rising.
It was always extremely naïve of the West to believe that the developing world would follow its lead and give up fossil fuels. Countries such as India need economic growth to improve the lives of their people, and they know that fossil fuels are essential for this. Unlike us, they know you cannot run a modern economy on intermittent renewable energy alone.
Moreover they refuse to be bullied by the West into giving up fossil fuels when we have already benefited mightily from them. They see this as a form of neo-colonialism, and who would blame them?
Led by the BBC and green groups, there is an attempt to keep the climate boondoggle alive. The BBC’s ‘Environment Correspondent’, the absurd Matt McGrath, called the outcome of COP26 ‘ambitious’ and ‘progressive’.
The reality is that the whole climate agenda is dead in the water. It will no doubt carry on limping along for many more COPs yet, a sort of climate zombie. But without the support of the developing countries, which produce two-thirds of the world’s emissions, it’s as dead as a Norwegian Blue.
Give us the money!
As an inducement to sign up to the Copenhagen Climate Agreement in 2009, developing countries were promised $100billion a year by 2020. So far the rich countries have struggled to find this sort of money, although at Glasgow they promised to do their best.
But already such amounts are trifling compared with what they are demanding now. India, for instance, wants $1trillion in the next ten years just for itself. Other estimates suggest the total bill for the third world could come to $1.3trillion a year.
You know what they say about blackmail!
Third world countries have already come up with another wheeze – ‘loss and damage’. In addition to aid payments, they want compensation for damage caused by storms, floods and other weather disasters. They say these are caused by global warming, and want to take legal action against the wicked West for having the temerity to bring the world unprecedented prosperity.
Sir Molwyn Joseph, environment minister of Antigua and Barbuda who was representing the Alliance of Small Island States at COP26, said that his islands faced worse hurricanes and were entitled to compensation, not charity.
If you tried that trick on your insurance company, you would be arrested for fraud!
Justin goes to Alaska
The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt was at it again last week, flying to Alaska to film the latest episode in his climate disinformation campaign. (Apparently BBC carbon emissions are ok.) He visited the Portage Glacier, where he gravely bemoaned its melting away. Naturally it was all our fault.
What he forgot to tell his audience is that glaciers in Alaska have been retreating since the early 19th century, long before the modern rise in carbon dioxide emissions, which began in earnest after the war. The ice in Alaska’s Glacier Bay began receding as early as 1760, and had nearly all gone by 1900:
Glaciologists have long known that glaciers in Alaska expanded enormously prior to around 1800 , during the period known as the Little Ice Age. The same phenomenon occurred worldwide, from the Alps to South America, and Greenland to New Zealand.
Going back further in time, glaciers in Alaska were less extensive than now in the Middle Ages. We know this because the remains of ancient forests are being uncovered as the ice recedes. According to carbon dating, these trees are about 1,300 years old, and some are older still.
Glaciers have been going through these cycles of advance and retreat for thousands of years now. To think that building a few windmills will stop glaciers doing what they have been doing for millennia is the height of idiocy.
Why does the BBC hate British people so much?
During COP26, the BBC has been running a Question & Answer session online. One of the questions from the public was about electric cars:
‘How is the average family going to find the extra £20,000 needed to buy an electric vehicle? Nicola Hippisley, London ‘
This is a matter of huge concern for ordinary working people. And the BBC’s answer?
‘You don’t necessarily need an extra £20,000 to buy an electric vehicle.
‘Overall, electric cars have been more expensive than petrol or diesel ones for some time, but the difference has been narrowing.
‘The average cost of an electric car in the UK is about £44,000, but you can buy a basic one for less than £20,000. That’s partly because the price of the batteries which electric cars use has fallen sharply in recent years.
‘At the moment, the price of raw materials is threatening to push battery prices up again, but the industry expects that as electric car sales increase, economies of scale will kick in.
‘Experts predict that new electric and petrol/diesel cars will cost the same within the next five years. It is also possible to lease an electric vehicle, and there’s a growing second-hand market as well, where vehicles are much cheaper. ‘
Sheer arrogance! Go and buy one for £20,000. All you can get for that price is a tiny box of a car which would be totally unsuitable for most families, with a range so short that you could realistically use it only around town.
If you don’t want that, you’ll have to make do with a second-hand one. In other words, settle for less. How dare you want to drive a nice car!
This response from the BBC is an insult to ordinary people.