FROM NET ZERO WATCH:
1) Canada’s environment minister exposed as China government adviser
Toronto Sun, 17 August 2023
The Globe & Mail, 18 August 20233) Why Canada’s Climate Minister is affiliated with a Chinese regime body
The Epoch Times, 17 August 2023
Toronto Sun, 17 August 2023
Reuters, 17 August 2023
Bloomberg, 17 August 20237) Renewable insecurity: How Europe is cashing in on Britain’s bad weather
The Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2023
The Daily Sceptic, 18 August 2023
Fox News, 16 August 2023
Argus News, 15 August 2023
Toronto Sun, 17 August 2023WATCH BELOW: Sun Editor-in-Chief Adrienne Batra and political columnists Brian Lilley and Warren Kinsella talk about how Justin Trudeau’s environment minister, Steven Guilbeault, is pulling double duty as an official adviser to the Chinese government. Turns out, he also wants to make Beijing an ally on the environmental issue and will head to coal-powered China at the end of the month after lecturing Canada’s premiers on using fossil fuels.Watch here
2) Canadian minister urged to quit Chinese government advisory body chaired by senior member of Politburo
The Globe & Mail, 18 August 2023
The federal Conservatives are calling on Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault to resign his position on an advisory group to the Chinese government – a body chaired by a former chief of staff to President Xi Jinping – and to end Canadian funding to this organization that instructs Beijing on green development…
The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development also promotes Beijing’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, a foreign-investment campaign that has been accused of ensnaring smaller nations in debt and then taking control of their infrastructure for China’s own strategic purposes.
He will be the first Canadian minister to visit the Asian country since 2019. The Conservatives say Canada’s approach here is wrong. “We need to engage with China. We need to indicate our point of view to them,” he said. “But a Canadian minister of the Crown should not be sitting as executive vice-chairperson and giving it the prestige of Canada’s good name on environmental issues while at the same time China is massively increasing construction of coal-fired plants.”
See also: Patricia Adams: The Red and the Green – China’s useful idiots (pdf)
3) Why Canada’s Climate Minister is affiliated with a Chinese regime body
The Epoch Times, 17 August 2023
With Steven Guilbeault set to be the first Canadian cabinet minister to visit China since 2018, questions have been raised about his role with a Chinese regime environmental body.
Mr. Guilbeault, in charge of Environment and Climate Change Canada, will go to China from Aug. 26 to 31 to participate in the annual general meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).
The CCICED was established with the help of the former Canadian International Development Agency in 1992 and with the approval of the Chinese regime.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China is responsible for “providing guidance for its operations, implementation, and daily management,” according to the CCICED’s charter.
A 2017 memorandum of understanding between Canada and China on the roles of both countries toward the CCICED, including its financing, says that Canada has been the lead international donor to the body.
The Chinese regime appoints most of the leadership of the CCICED, but the lead funding partner can appoint the international executive vice chairperson. Mr. Guilbeault’s presence on the executive committee is in accordance with this agreement. He was preceded in the role by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, who was then in charge of the environment portfolio.
Mr. Guilbeault is the only foreign government official on the committee and one of five non-Chinese members, with two being United Nations officials.
The top leadership is composed of senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, with Vice-Premier of the State Council and Politburo member Ding Xuexiang serving as chairperson. Chinese Environment Minister Huang Runqiu serves as executive vice chairperson.
The CCICED is not shy about working on behalf of the regime’s interests, and has praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping in its communications.
“In the report of the 20th National Congress, President Xi Jinping comprehensively and systematically summarized the world-renowned major achievements and major changes in the construction of ecological civilization in the new era,” says a January post on the organization’s website.
It adds that Mr. Xi “profoundly expounded that the harmonious coexistence of man and nature is an important feature of Chinese-style modernization, and made a major strategic deployment for promoting green development and promoting the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.”
The official WeChat account of CCICED this year published an article by the state-owned People’s Daily, which cited Chinese Premier Li Keqiang saying that when it comes to the issue of Taiwan, independence must be resolutely opposed, and instead reunification must be promoted. Beijing doesn’t recognize Taiwan’s independence, and often pressures other nations to refer to Taiwan as being rightfully under the authority of the regime.
The Chinese version of CCICED’s website also says it focuses on the regime’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a mega infrastructure push to install a Chinese presence in strategic locations.
A briefing note prepared for the Canadian minister of international development in 2022 says there are “widespread concerns” that “have been raised as to whether the BRI conforms to established principles, rules and norms for international development surrounding human rights, financial sustainability and environmental protection.”
The Epoch Times asked Mr. Guilbeault’s office if his role as a senior executive of the organization means he has a part in such declarations by the organization. His office didn’t respond to the question directly, but said the previous Conservative government “contributed roughly the same amount to this forum.”
His office also claimed that the organization is “an independent international forum, similar to forums established by the U.S. and the E.U.,” but didn’t reconcile how it’s under the leadership of senior CCP officials and promotes the regime’s messaging and official policy.
Mr. Guilbeault’s continued membership in the organization and upcoming trip come at a time when Beijing maintains a hostile stance toward Canada.
This week, the regime dropped Canada from its list of approved travel destinations for tour groups. Chinese planes have also buzzed Canadian planes and naval ships in the Asia-Pacific region on multiple occasions in recent years.
In 2018, China imprisoned Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor for over 1,000 days in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition request, and blocked Canadian agricultural imports.
Additionally, recent intelligence leaks have shown Beijing’s extensive efforts to interfere in Canadian elections and other aspects of Canadian society.
Canada provides $1.6 million a year to the CCICED with funding allocated until 2027, according to the 2022 briefing note to the minister of international development. The note says Canada and China provide approximately two-thirds of its funding, with the remaining being provided by other partners including the European Union, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway.
Toronto Sun, 17 August 2023It seems Justin Trudeau is just fine with Steven Guilbeault serving Canada and China at the same time. Trudeau’s office refused to comment on a story broken by the Toronto Sun that Guilbeault was advising the Chinese and Canadian governments at the same time.Guilbeault’s office also didn’t comment on the appropriateness of the dual roles despite more than 24 hours to do so.In an exclusive interview with activist media outlet the National Observer, Guilbeault bragged earlier this week about going to China and seeking to make them an ally on climate change. It’s a bit of an odd stance given China’s record on climate change, their soaring greenhouse gas emissions and Guilbeault’s antagonistic attitude towards Canada’s premiers who all have better track records.
“Maybe some (political opponents) will try and attack me” for traveling to China amid tensions between the two countries, Guilbeault told the National Observer. “I am clearly a lightning rod for some of them, but I think Canadians, in general, will understand how important it is. We can’t solve climate change, you can’t solve the international biodiversity issue, without working with countries like China.”
Except, Guilbeault isn’t just traveling to China to take part in talks, he is also the Executive Vice Chairperson of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. The chair of that group, fully controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, is Ding Xuexiang, a man just behind China’s President, Xi Jingping, in the pecking order of the authoritarian regime.
Charles Burton, senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and former Canadian diplomat to China, said this arrangement should not sit well with Canadians. Burton said that China will use offer Guilbeault promises of action on climate change in exchange for concessions on Canadian policy towards China.
“These concessions would include Canada taking no effective action on a foreign influence registry, or launching a thorough public inquiry into Chinese interference in Canada’s democratic institutions, or implementation of any Indo-Pacific Strategy that would constrain China’s geostrategic ambitions,” Burton said.
Given China’s kidnapping of the two Michaels, the economic warfare China has launched against Canada’s farmers over the past several years, the intimidation of Chinese-Canadians with illegal police stations and the interference in our democracy, it is unconscionable that Guilbeault would hold such a position.
“We think it’s time for Guilbeault to resign as Executive Vice chairperson and for the Trudeau Government to cancel generous funding they have given this organization,” Conservative Foreign Affairs Critic Michael Chong said in an interview Thursday.
The Conservatives estimate that the Trudeau Liberals are giving $16 million over the last several years to this “think tank” that is fully controlled — including who gets appointed — by China’s Ministry of the Environment and Ecology. Trudeau supporters are quick to point out that Peter Kent held the same position while serving as environment minister in Stephen Harper’s government.
As your mother might have told you, two wrongs don’t make a right. Also, China and the global dynamics have changed dramatically since then.
China wasn’t interfering in our elections or kidnapping our citizens 10 years ago and they were promising to clean up their act environmentally.
“We took Beijing at its word that it was going to work in good faith to reduce emissions, but the last several years have demonstrated that Beijing is doing the opposite. Beijing is hell-bent on increasing emissions till 2030,” Chong said.
Instead, as Chong points out, backed up by the New York Times, NPR and left-wing think tanks, China has increased its coal use, especially over the last few years. China’s carbon emissions rise by roughly 2 billion tonnes per year, almost three times Canada’s total emissions in a given year.
The dictators in Beijing who control the group Guilbeault is a part of aren’t interested in lowering emissions, they just want to use Canada’s name to greenwash their actions while extracting concessions from Guilbeault.
Reuters, 17 August 2023By John KempChina’s top energy official has called for more secrecy in the country’s energy sector to protect national security in an increasingly hostile international environment.Strategic rivalry between China and the United States is intensifying and both governments now perceive a system-wide conflict embracing all elements of the economy and society.
U.S. officials are keen to play down analogies between the intensifying strategic rivalry between China and the United States and the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
They still talk about the potential for cooperation as well as competition and deny U.S. policy is intended to contain China’s development.
But it is clear both governments increasingly view each other as an existential threat to national security and are marshalling their respective countries for a whole-of-economy and whole-of-society conflict.
Both governments are trying to indigenise supply chains, control exports of sensitive technologies and information, and limit investment in sensitive sectors – all of which are being increasingly broadly defined.
The space for cooperation, including information sharing, is narrowing while the surface for confrontation, including energy policy, is broadening.
The result is likely to be a more suspicious and cautious approach to cooperation on energy issues including emissions reductions.
“We must … actively cultivate a confidentiality culture that keeps secrets and is cautious,” Zhang Jianhua, the director of the National Energy Administration, said in remarks published on the administration’s website on Aug. 16.
Zhang called for strengthened education and training to prevent negligent leaks and handing over confidential information in the nuclear energy, oil and gas, and other energy sectors.
He warned about the increasing information security risks posed by smart phones, social media and hacking.
But there was also a warning that “foreign hostile forces” are exploiting tensions exposed by the country’s energy transition to step up collection of data and information.
These foreign hostile forces are distorting and slandering the country’s strategic planning, transformation and development to the detriment of security and stability, he said.
Zhang did not name them but appeared to be referring to businesses gathering market intelligence and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on energy and climate as well as traditional intelligence services.
The speech is part of a broader economy-wide crackdown on sharing of sensitive information that has intensified in 2023.
The comments are by far the most hawkish from an energy official and suggest the era of relative openness and international cooperation on energy and environment issues is drawing to a close.
Energy and emissions policy is increasingly being framed primarily in national security terms and as part of a struggle with the United States and its allies.
It is likely to lead to much more restricted collection and sharing of information on the country’s energy production, infrastructure, planning and emissions reduction efforts.
It will also squeeze the political space available for foreign-affiliated NGOs and think tanks to operate in the energy and emissions field.
Zhang noted energy was the “lifeblood of the national economy” and closely related to economic prosperity and long-term social stability.
But he added the international environment has become more complex and hostile and “energy security has become the strategic focus of major power games and political decision-making.”
That environment has undergone profound and complex changes which has increased the complexity and difficulty of national security issues significantly.
Zhang mentioned the conflict in Ukraine; fluctuating energy prices; and “black swan” (high impact, low frequency) and “grey rhino” (obvious but ignored) risks.
None of these warnings about the deteriorating external environment and threats to national security were new and they have all been raised before, including by President Xi Jinping.
Bloomberg, 17 August 2023The UK’s annual renewable energy auction may not include offshore wind for the first time since the system for awarding subsidies began almost a decade ago, posing another potential setback to the government’s net zero targets.Offshore wind has flourished under the auctions that have channeled state financing into vast wind farms along the UK coastline. But the process has encouraged companies to submit increasingly lower bids in order to compete, pushing down the maximum price they can offer. With supply bottlenecks and inflation increasing the cost of materials, the funding on offer this year may be too little to attract any bidders. The results will be announced next month.
An auction flop would pose a major setback for the government’s climate targets and slow progress on a plan to increase offshore wind capacity more than three-fold to 50 gigawatts by 2030. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has already faced criticism in recent weeks for backtracking on green policies to appease voters concerned that net zero targets will add to rising living costs.
“If we see a situation with no offshore wind clearing this year, that’s a very serious signal for the government to act and redesign the auction for next year,” said Faisal Wahid, a senior consultant at LCP Delta, a clean energy consultancy. “If the government doesn’t change it, that’s a signal of a shift in green policies.”
The last five prime ministers have thrown their weight behind the industry, allowing the island nation’s long coastlines to be used as a testing ground for turbines at sea and turning Britain into the biggest market for the technology in Europe and the second in the world after China.
A spokesperson for the UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said that the auction process is designed to protect generators against price fluctuations, and compares favorably to other international schemes. “However, we understand there are supply chain pressures for the sector globally, not just in the UK, and we are listening to the sector’s concerns,” the person said, without specifying any concrete actions.
Vattenfall AB, the winner of last year’s auction, last month shelved a 1.4-gigawatt UK wind farm, which would have provided power for 1.5 million UK homes, saying the development is no longer viable after costs for the technology soared 40%.
“Conditions are extremely challenging across the whole industry right now,” said Rob Anderson, project director of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Zone, adding that “it’s vital” that auctions reflect current market realities.
SSE Plc said in May that it won’t bid in this year’s auction for its 500 megawatt Seagreen 1A wind farm, because the price cap set by the government is too low. Orsted AS CEO Mads Nipper warned during the Danish company’s earnings call earlier this month that inflation remains a challenge for the industry.
In total, about 4 gigawatts of offshore wind power projects pre-qualified to bid in the auction. Scottish Power Renewables qualified to enter for phases one and two of its East Anglia project and Vatenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard was also eligible. Ana Musat, head of policy at the trade group RenewableUK, said there’s “no chance” that all of that would clear. “It could happen that there’s no offshore wind in this auction,” she said.
Earlier this month the government increased its budget for offshore wind contracts by £22 million to a total of £227 million to try to offset some of the rising costs faced by developers. But firms say that won’t be enough to compensate them if the maximum price they can bid at during the auction is too low. The maximum price for the upcoming allocation round currently stands at £44 ($55) per megawatt-hour, which is lower in real terms than the £37.35 per megawatt-hour offered at the previous round.
7) Renewable insecurity: How Europe is cashing in on Britain’s bad weather
The Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2023
Renewable energy shortfalls have left the UK relying on its neighbours to keep the lights on
Britain’s unpredictable weather forced it to buy record amounts of electricity from Europe in 2023, generating import bills of £2bn for the first half of the year, government figures have revealed.
A combination of low winds and increased cloud cover dampened output from turbines and solar farms, while UK power generation was also hit by outages across an ageing fleet of nuclear power stations.
This meant that from January to July, the UK was forced to rely on the kindness of its EU neighbours, plus Norway, to secure 13pc of its power needs.
Crucially, it also sparked an electricity bill averaging £245m a month.
France has been the main beneficiary of Britain’s soaring demand, to which it sold £900m of power during the seven-month period.
A spokesman for National Grid ESO, the electricity system operator for Britain, said the same pattern had persisted through the summer so far. “Across our interconnector cables we’ve seen a general increase in imports compared to last year.”
They confirmed that electricity imports amounted to 13pc from January to July, which was well above the 6pc comparison from the same period last year.
An energy trends report published by the Government for the first three months of 2023 also revealed the scale of the UK’s reliance on its European neighbours, especially in winter.
It found that not only total imports reached a record in the first quarter, but Britain also relied more heavily on Norway electricity than ever before.
The report said “renewable generation [in the UK] was down 2.4pc” due to less favourable weather conditions, while nuclear generation also dipped to a record low because of plant closures and outages.
The Daily Sceptic, 18 August 2023Almost everyone who has ever commented on climate change policy issues from a skeptical perspective has experienced being attacked personally as a ‘climate denier’.The insult is intended as a way to immediately shut down discussion by portraying the skeptic as not only wrong but beneath contempt because he or she has done something that can be compared in its evil and despicability with denying the Nazi holocaust. Far too often, the insult works, even in discussions before regulatory bodies where the level of debate should be based on facts, credible arguments, and mutual respect.
Rarely does anyone stop to analyse why the insult is completely misplaced as well as misinformed.
Let’s start at the beginning. The advocates of government action to virtually eliminate human-related greenhouse gas emissions generally believe that such emissions are harmful and, unless sharply reduced, will cause catastrophic global warming sometime over the next century and beyond. They further claim that this emissions reduction can be achieved by all the countries of the world given current and likely-to-be-available technologies at a moderate cost. Within OECD countries that represent a 32% (and declining) share of global GHG emissions, a further claim is that citizens should take extraordinarily expensive measures to reduce their emissions even if the rest of the world does not.
To believe this, one would have to accept a long series of related arguments.
I will divide the arguments, posed as questions, broadly into two parts: the ‘science’ series (and sub-series) and the economics/technology series.
The Science Series
Is it true that current global trends indicate global warming and other related environmental changes?
How much have ‘average global temperatures’ changed during the period since the industrial revolution?
* Is there such a thing as ‘average global temperatures’?
* How does one measure global temperatures in history and are these accurate?
* How does one measure average global temperatures today, by surface instruments on land and sea, or by satellites, or some combination of the two?
Do the changes in global temperatures show any strong connection/causation with increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?
* Have the changes in temperatures observed to date preceded or followed the changes in GHG concentrations?
* Historically, when GHG concentrations were higher than today, were temperatures higher or lower?
* Is there any clear connection in physics and chemistry between increased carbon dioxide concentrations and higher temperatures?
* Is there any way clearly to distinguish between the effects of increased GHG concentrations and other global factors including solar trends, ocean cycles, and cloud chemistry?
Do other global environmental trends show a connection/causation relationship with increased GHG concentrations?
* Are sea levels rising faster than they have over the last few centuries?
* Is the amount of polar ice declining?
* Are the glaciers melting faster than they have for several centuries?
* Is the ocean PH level (degree of acidity or baseness) changing at a level that should cause concern?
* Are extreme weather events increasing in number and intensity?
Is there any way, with respect to any of these questions, clearly to distinguish between the effects of increased GHG concentrations and other global factors such as solar trends, ocean cycles, and retreat from the last Ice Age?
Can we predict with any confidence what will be the effect of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations over the long term?
How good are the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models that attempt to predict future climate changes?
9) America’s schools are becoming training grounds for climate change activists
Fox News, 16 August 2023
Students are being trained to serve as climate activists for Big Government power grabs
Just when you thought we had made progress by exposing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT)-infused curricula throughout our education system, we now have a new distraction: the climate change agenda.
States like New Jersey, California, Connecticut, New York, and others, are advancing legislation to require climate change lessons in every K-12 subject – including foreign languages, math and physical education.
This blatant attempt to cultivate an entire generation of Greta Thunbergs at a time when proficiency levels are abysmal should incite outrage among parents, teachers, and students.
Just 29% of eighth graders are proficient in reading, 26% are proficient in math, 22% are proficient in civics, and a measly 13% are proficient in American history, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
While climate change deserves attention in science classes, other important subjects should not be used as a vehicle to push a political agenda.
As the first state to integrate climate change standards across all subjects, New Jersey provides a glimpse into the climate curricula. According to the New Jersey Department of Education, all curricula must “approach climate change and climate solutions from a climate justice perspective.” What this looks like in practice is an unabashed indoctrination effort.
In foreign language courses, students will learn about “global citizenry” and the “impact of climate change.” In math, teachers must actively incorporate climate change into word problems, charts and graphs. In social studies, students will learn about climate change, “all for the purpose of planning/proposing advocacy projects to inform others about the impact of climate change.”
New Jersey’s physical education standards reference climate change eight times, but never mention the danger of obesity. There are four standards related to climate change and only two regarding the importance of healthy eating habits. The indoctrination is evident in these new learning standards.
Manipulating young minds inhibits academic growth and stifles skills such as critical analysis and problem-solving. Indoctrination restrains independent thought and pushes a one-sided perspective – but that is the point.
Argus News, 15 August 2023Germany is currently examining reactivating its 1.9GW lignite supply reserve over the 2023-24 heating period, economic affairs and climate action ministry BMWK told Argus.A renewed activation of the supply reserve is “conceivable” according to BMWK, and would be possible if certain prerequisites are met. This is currently being examined, it said.
Utility RWE, which operates the 295MW Niederaussem Block E, 299MW Niederaussem Block F and 292MW Neurath C units, told Argus it would be technically feasible to return these units to the market if requested by the government. The decommissioning of the three units is planned for the end of the first quarter of 2024.
The return of other units in the grid reserve, particularly coal-fired units, is permitted until the end of March next year under Germany’s replacement power plant availability act, providing the country’s gas alert level remains unchanged or steps up. Gas stocks rose above 90pc last week, and as of Monday morning were only a few percentage points below the country’s 95pc storage target for 1 November.
But gas storage sites could be empty by the end of January if the coming winter is as cold as 2009-10, according to modelling by German gas storage operators’ association Ines, while in a winter with near-average temperatures, storage sites would reach a minimum of 21pc full by the end of March. A mild winter could mean that storage sites never go below 70pc.