Europe’s Green Deal Could Increase CO2 Emissions In The Rest Of The World, New Study Warns


By: - Climate DepotMay 20, 2020 2:33 PM

https://mailchi.mp/9f1e37599ba4/lockdown-kills-californias-green-new-deal?e=f4e33fdd1e

Europe’s Green Deal Could Increase CO2 Emissions In The Rest Of The World, New Study Warns

3) Europe’s Green Deal Could Increase CO2 Emissions In The Rest Of The World, New Study Warns
University of Copenhagen, 18 May 2020

4) Oh Dear: Germany On Course To Widely Miss EU Emission Targets
Clean Energy Wire, 15 May 2020

5) New Driving Boom as Chinese Commuters Shun Public Transport

Bloomberg, 13 May 2020

6) Not Even The Global Covid-19 Disaster Will Make A Big Difference To Atmospheric CO2 Levels
Roy Spencer, 15 May 2020
7) Editorial: If You Like The Locked-Down US Economy, You’ll Love The Green New Deal
New York Post, 16 May 2020
8) Andrew Montford: Climate Change And A Pandemic Of Lies
The Conservative Woman, 18 May 2020
4) Germany On Course To Widely Miss EU Emission Targets
Clean Energy Wire, 15 May 2020

Germany is on track to widely miss its EU obligations to reduce CO2 emissions, even if the EU does not follow through plans to step up its ambitions in the fight against climate change, according to calculations by think tank Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut).

In sectors that are not covered by the Emissions Trading System (ETS) such as buildings, transport and agriculture, Germany is on course to lower emissions by 28 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 with existing legislation, falling short of its effort-sharing target of minus 38 percent. Germany’s effort-sharing emissions were above target for the fourth year in a row in 2019 despite a significant emissions drop. To reach the EU’s 2030 effort-sharing regulation targets, “considerable emissions reductions are needed in transport and buildings in particular,” the institute said.

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5) New Driving Boom as Chinese Commuters Shun Public Transport
Bloomberg, 13 May 2020

Peak-hour morning traffic in Beijing has surged as commuters shun public transport in favor of their cars amid continued concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

Despite lockdowns being lifted, it is no surprise that people are hesitant to board crowded commuter trains and are instead preferring to drive. Data for weekday subway passenger numbers on the Beijing network show a recovery to only 52% of the pre-virus average. This compares with morning peak-hour road congestion that is now 50% above normal levels.

The trends in Beijing and other Chinese cities provide a bellwether for how people are likely to behave as lockdowns are lifted around the world. The reluctance of commuters to use public transport may also be compounded by capacity restrictions and social distancing measures on trains and in stations.

Increased car use will provide a lift to gasoline demand that has been badly hit by the lockdowns, but gridlocked cities will create another problem for municipal governments struggling to get their cities back to work.

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6) Not Even The Global Covid-19 Disaster Will Make A Big Difference To Atmospheric CO2 Levels
Roy Spencer, 15 May 2020

Why the current economic slowdown won’t show up in the atmospheric CO2 record

Summary: Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to increase with no sign of the global economic slowdown in response to the spread of COVID-19. This is because the estimated reductions in CO2 emissions (around -11% globally during 2020) is too small a reduction to be noticed against a background of large natural variability. The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.

Changes in the atmospheric reservoir of CO2 occur when there is an imbalance between surface sources and sinks of CO2. While the global land and ocean areas emit approximately 30 times as much CO2 into the atmosphere as humans produce from burning of fossil fuels, they also absorb about an equal amount of CO2. This is the global carbon cycle, driven mostly by biological activity.

There are variations in the natural carbon cycle, such as during El Nino (more CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere) and La Nina (more CO2 removed from the atmosphere). Greater wildfire activity releases more CO2, while major volcanic eruptions (paradoxically) lead to greater photosynthesis from more diffuse sunlight and extra removal of CO2 from the air. The most dramatic variations are seasonal, as the land-dominated Northern Hemisphere experiences an annual cycle of vegetation growth (CO2 removal) and decay (CO2 release).

The increase in atmospheric CO2 observed since the 1950s is most likely dominated by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which are twice as large as that needed to explain the observed rise. As I have shown before, a simple CO2 budget model driven by (1) estimates of global yearly anthropogenic CO2 emissions, (2) El Nino and La Nina activity, and (3) a CO2 removal rate that is proportional to how much “extra” CO2 is in the atmosphere compared to a “preferred baseline” CO2 level, yields an excellent fit to yearly CO2 observations at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.


Fig. 1. Yearly Mauna Loa, HI CO2 observations since 1959 (red) versus a simple CO2 budget model (blue).

But those are yearly measurements, and we are now interested in whether the recent global economic slowdown is showing up in the monthly Mauna Loa CO2 data. If we remove the large seasonal variations (driven by the seasonal growth and decay of Northern Hemisphere vegetation), we see no evidence of the economic slowdown through April, 2020.


Fig. 2. Monthly CO2 data since 2015 from Mauna Loa, HI after the average seasonal cycle is statistically removed.

As can be seen in Fig. 2, there are some pretty large month-to-month jumps and dips around the long-term increase (represented by the dotted line). These are probably natural variations due to fluctuations in the average seasonal variations in vegetation growth and decay, wildfire activity, and El Nino and La Nina activity (which are imperfectly removed in the solid blue line in Fig. 2). Variations in economic activity might also be involved in these fluctuations.

The point is that given the large month-to-month variations in natural CO2 sources and sinks seen in Fig. 2, it would be difficult to see a downturn in the anthropogenic source of CO2 unless it was very large (say, over 50%) and prolonged (say over a year or longer).

Instead, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the global economic slowdown this year due to the spread of the novel coronavirus will amount to only about an 11% reduction in global CO2 emissions. This is simply too small of a decrease in CO2 emissions to show up against a background of considerable monthly and yearly natural variability in the atmospheric CO2 budget.

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3) Europe’s Green Deal Could Increase CO2 Emissions In The Rest Of The World, New Study Warns
University of Copenhagen, 18 May 2020

The more the EU economy succeeds in dialing down greenhouse gas emissions, the more the rest of the world will turn them up – unless a similar level of green ambitions is shared by others.

Up to 61.5% of the saved EU emissions could end up as increased emissions elsewhere in the world. The outcome is described in a new policy brief prepared by economists at the University of Copenhagen.

The EU has an ambition of being climate neutral in 2050. It is hoped that this can be achieved through a green transition in the energy sector and CO2-intensive industries, as well as through altered consumer behavior such as food habits and travel demands among the EU population. However, should the EU implement its most ambitious decarbonization agenda, while the rest of the world continues with the status quo, non-EU nations will end up emitting more greenhouse gases, thereby significantly offsetting the reductions of EU emissions. This is the conclusion of a new policy brief prepared by economics experts at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics.

For every tonne of CO2 emissions avoided in the EU, around 61.5% of that tonne will then be emitted somewhere else in the world. This carbon leakage, as it is known, will result in a global CO2 savings of 385 kilos only. The policy brief is based on the conclusions of a purposely-built economic model. The model, part of the EU Horizon 2020 project EUCalc, seeks to describe various pathways to decarbonizing the EU economy.

“Obviously, the EU’s own climate footprint will be significantly reduced. But the EU’s economy is intertwined with the rest of the world through trade relations, which would change as we implement a green transition in our energy sector, industries and ways of life. Part of the emissions that Europe “saves” through an extensive green transition could possibly be ‘leaked’ to the rest of the world through, among other things, trade mechanisms, depending on the climate policy of other countries,“ according to economist and brief co-author Professor Wusheng Yu, of the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics.

Less exports, more imports     

In the most ambitious 2050 scenario as calculated by the EUCalc model, the EU pulls all of the green levers for production and consumption in various sectors, including the industrial and energy sectors.

In this scenario, a green transformation of CO2-intensive industries (e.g. concrete, steel and chemicals) will incur new costs for new green technologies, which in turn, will increase the price of products. This could impact the competitiveness of EU products on the global market and be advantageous to China and the United States, who would be continuing their production of similar, yet cheaper goods. The prediction is that fewer goods would then be manufactured in Europe, which would lead to an increase in new imports to satisfy consumer and commercial demand.

Similarly, a phase-out of fossil fuels by the EU would lower global demand, thus making them cheaper. In response, non-EU countries would be likely to import and consume larger quantities of fossil fuels.

Finally, more climate-friendly consumer behaviour in the EU could end up pushing part of the saved CO2 out into the rest of the world as well. For example, while a decrease in red meat consumption by Europeans may reduce imported feed grains such as soybean, it may also result in increased imports of food grains and other plant-based foods the latter of which would increase CO2 emissions in the rest of the world.

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see also

* Ruth Lea: Carbon Futility

* Rupert Darwall:  The Climate Noose: Business, Net Zero and the IPCC’s Anti-capitalism

8) Andrew Montford: Climate Change And A Pandemic Of Lies
The Conservative Woman, 18 May 2020

The health establishment was looking away when the coronavirus struck; it had other priorities.

If you look at the World Health Organisation’s list of health threats, number one is climate change. Pandemics were down in third place, behind ‘non-communicable diseases’ such as diabetes and obesity.

Wherever you look, you will find some of the biggest names in the public health establishment declaiming on the risks of climate change to world health. On the eve of the outbreak, the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene declared that we would be seeing ‘mass migration, emerging infectious diseases such as dengue and a shortage of food’. As the first people fell ill in Wuhan, the WHO announced that in ten years we would be seeing 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress as a result of global warming. Epidemiologist Professor Andy Haines told readers of the Telegraph that ‘climate change is a threat to global and national security that is costing lives and livelihoods right now’.

Haines has made a career out of promoting the idea that global warming is going to bring about a public health disaster. As part of this effort, he was instrumental in setting up the Lancet Countdown, a coalition of 35 universities and UN agencies that produces a report to keep these ideas in the public eye.  In 2018 it said unequivocally that climate change ‘the biggest global health threat of the 21st century’. In current circumstances, this claim looks rather foolish, but a new forensic review of the Countdown suggests that it is actually worse than that. You cannot come away from reading Indur Goklany’s The Lancet Countdown on Climate Change: The need for context, published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, without concluding that the Countdown’s authors didn’t set out to tell the whole story. 

For example, Goklany observes that the Countdown’s Executive Summary makes a lot of vague insinuations that climate is causing serious public health problems. It says there are ‘downward trends in global yield potential for all major crops’ and that ‘trends in climate suitability for disease transmission are particularly concerning’. Apparently ‘the number of days suitable for Vibrio (a pathogen responsible for part of the burden of diarrhoeal disease) has doubled’ and ‘families and livelihoods are put at risk from increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions’. If that weren’t bad enough, ‘77 per cent of countries experienced an increase in daily population exposure to wildfires’.

But when you look at the dataset used by the Countdown, you uncover a very different story, and one that is unequivocal: climate-related mortality has collapsed, and is now less than half the level it was in 1990, when the dataset starts. This is nothing less than a public-health triumph.

The improvement is seen pretty much across the board, but diseases of the gut (‘enteric infections’ in the jargon) are a good example. The data shows that mortality from these conditions has more than halved over the last 30 years. But the only mention in the Countdown’s executive summary is that dark warning about the ‘number of days suitable for Vibrio’ noted above.

And what do they mean by ‘number of days suitable for’ anyway? This is a trick that is employed repeatedly in the report, namely the use of ‘proxy’ measures, when perfectly good real measures are available. So when considering hunger, the Countdown ignores crop yields, preferring to talk about falls in ‘global yield potential’. In other words, we are being told a tale about what a mathematical model tells us about food availability. But why would anyone use a mathematical model when there is hard real-world data available? Suffice it to say that food is plentiful, yields continue to rise, and hunger is almost a thing of the past outside war zones and egalitarian paradises such as North Korea and Venezuela.

We are not just winning the battle against enteric diseases and hunger. Another good example is tropical diseases, where mortality has fallen dramatically too. So once again, the Countdown resorts to a proxy measure, ‘suitability for disease transmission’, as well as adopting a Nelsonian focus on dengue, a relatively rare disease which has worsened. The executive summary fails to mention malaria at all, despite the fact that it is a much bigger killer than dengue, and despite the fact this is another healthcare war we are winning, with mortality down between 30 per cent and 67 per cent in various regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s a sorry tale, and an indication of how far the vast sums of money that are available for climate change research are distorting public health research priorities, just as they are in so many fields. As we look at the destruction wrought by the pandemic, it’s hard not to wonder if people in the field should have spent less time poring over dubious unvalidated mathematical models about the spread of malaria and more about whether we had the wherewithal to respond to a major pandemic.

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