Thursday, November 02, 2017

Q: What nation on Earth has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other?

Inconvenient Answer: According to climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels, it’s “the good old USA, and that’s because we’ve been substituting natural gas for coal for power generation”. CO2 emissions from electric power generation in the US last year were the lowest in 28 years, going all the way back to 1988. How often is that reported in the media?

Dr. Patrick Michaels explains how the free market is allowing natural gas to be substituted for coal  worldwide at a rate that will achieve a lower level of global warming than would occur with strict adherence to the regulations of the Paris Accords.


Warmist admits it is all political

Ten free-market groups advise Trump to reject solar tariffs

A group of 10 conservative groups are lobbying the White House to make sure President Trump rejects a proposal to place tariffs on solar panel imports.

"If trade restrictions are imposed, the cost of solar products in the United States could double, endangering tens of thousands of good-paying domestic jobs within the solar industry," the conservative groups said in a letter sent to the president Thursday night.

The tariffs "would amount to nothing more than a crony capitalist giveaway to failing foreign-owned companies," the letter said. "They would be paid for by crippling an otherwise growing domestic solar industry (one whose preferential federal tax treatment has been correspondingly phasing down) and higher prices for energy consumers."

The International Trade Commission had unanimously decided last month that the solar industry is being hurt by cheap solar panel imports, which set the stage for Trump to impose tariffs that falls under the the president's authority. Trump could make a decision soon.

The coalition, including the R Street Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council, Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, National Taxpayers Union, and others, point out to the president why approving tariffs would be an inappropriate move.

They also pointed out that there is precedent for not taking action, saying tariffs to help the steel industry that were put in place under former Republican President George W. Bush were harmful.

"The last time the United States imposed import restrictions under its safeguard power was in 2002, when then-President George W. Bush tried to implement stiffer tariffs on imported steel," the letter said. "The tariffs sparked a threat of retaliation by the European Union, caused up to 200,000 domestic job losses and nearly $4 billion in lost wages, and eventually were withdrawn after a successful challenge at the [World Trade Organization]."

The two companies that want the tariffs imposed, majority Chinese-owned Suniva and Germany's SolarWorld, are "both bankrupt, foreign-owned solar firms" that filed a petition under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, "claiming that an increase in solar imports has seriously injured them."

The conservative groups said the "rarely used but powerful statute" under Section 201, if approved, would apply to otherwise “fairly traded” products from all countries and companies that export to the U.S.

"In short, it’s an extreme remedy with a troubling recent history," the letter stated.

"While granting these companies import relief may preserve a minimal amount of jobs in their companies, tariffs or other trade restrictions would no doubt jeopardize far more domestic jobs than could possibly be saved," the coalition stated.

"In fact, it is questionable whether the petitioners’ requested relief would revive their companies at all."


British Industry Faces Green Energy Cost Crisis – And That Is Set To Grow

Behind the political battles over household bills lurks a far greater energy cost crisis. It risks damaging British industry and undermining attempts to boost productivity after Brexit.

Households are paying more for clean power than they should, but official data shows UK bills are still below average compared to the EU.

The picture is more worrying for industrial and commercial customers. In this league table UK businesses pay well above the average. The cost burden they bear is second only to Denmark.

The issue is under discussion at the Treasury. Officials are clear that for the UK to attract inward investment the country needs to be competitive on energy costs, even while taking action to reduce carbon emissions.

“This is why the Government has commissioned an independent review into the cost of energy led by Prof Dieter Helm … to deliver the Government’s carbon targets and ensure security of supply at minimum cost to both industry and domestic consumers,” the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said earlier this year.

The Helm review concluded that bungled policymaking and Governmental tinkering has meant the UK is paying “significantly” more than it should.

Andrew Buckley, a director at the Major Energy Users Council (MEUC), agrees. “The report refers to decarbonisation and social policies making up 20pc of bills,” he says.

“For our members we calculate that these costs will reach over 40pc by 2020 and this is the main reason why our industrial power bills are the amongst the most expensive in Europe.”

The Government has already been forced to provide an 85pc rebate on green energy taxes for UK steel makers. The £5m a month refund is meant to help avoid another crisis for the embattled industry. Energy costs remain a threat to other high-energy industries, however. Water companies are some of the highest energy users in the country, alongside factories and the data centres run by some of the biggest tech and telecoms giants

“Some energy intensive businesses receive some relief from these charges but the great majority of commercial and industrial companies amongst MEUC membership do not,” Buckley says. It comes at a time of paramount importance for the economy as Britain prepares to leave the European Union. At the same time the cost of importing parts is rising and attracting skilled labour is becoming more difficult.

Today, an annual electricity bill for one of Britain’s top 10 highest energy users stands at around £120m a year, but within a few years this will rise to £170m.

If Helm had his way, all the costs of subsidising Britain’s low carbon power projects – such as wind, solar and new nuclear plants – would be scrapped from industrial bills altogether.


Australian CO2 emissions to 'far exceed' 2030 Paris pledge

Good news for Australians

National pledges to cut carbon emissions fall well short of what's needed to avoid dangerous climate change, with Australia likely to miss its 2030 commitment by a wide margin, a United Nations body said.

The UN Environment Program's Emissions Gap 2017 report found pledges to cut pollution made at the Paris climate summit two years ago are only about one-third of what's needed to be on a "least-cost pathway" to stopping the worst effects of climate change.

The target is to stop global average temperatures from rising 2 degrees or more above pre-industrial levels. Change on that scale is expected to cause major droughts, food shortages and damaging sea level rise.

The emissions gap to keep with a 1.5-degree goal is 16-19 gigatonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent, while the 2-degree target would need an extra 11.13.5 gigatonnes of CO₂-e of cuts by 2030 to be attained, the report said.

Sea levels could rise 1.3 metres by 2100 if coal use continues
"There is an urgent need for accelerated short-term action and enhanced longer-term national ambition, if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to remain achievable," the report said.

The positive news is that global emissions have largely flatlined for the past three years, thanks in large part to a plateauing in China. Still, other potent greenhouse gases such as methane are rising, and carbon dioxide emissions could accelerate if global economic growth picks up.

Frank Jotzo, a professor at the Australian National University's Crawford School and a contributor to the report, said tumbling costs of renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies suggest nations could increase their emissions cuts "and it won't be terribly hard".




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


No comments: