FROM THE MANHATTAN CONTRARY
It was only a few weeks ago that the UN International Energy Agency issued its Report on “CO2 Emissions in 2021”. (The Report does not have a precise date, but only “March 2022”). I covered the IEA Report in my previous post a few days ago. The Report details the obvious fact that global CO2 emissions, after a drop in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, have resumed their rapid rise, mainly attributable to the massive deployment of coal-based electricity generation resources. in developing countries with large populations. like China and India.
In any rational world, this Report would have to have shattered any remaining dreams of climate activists that global CO2 emissions in general would see anything but large continued increases for the foreseeable future. Climate-obsessed jurisdictions in the US and Europe already account for only a dwindling minority of global energy consumption, which is headed toward insignificance as the large-population countries of the developing world join the fray. fossil fuel era. For example, why would a small population jurisdiction like New York, with around 20 million people, compared to around 2.8 billion for China and India combined, and with existing fossil fuel electricity generation capacity from around 25 GW, it would struggle to reduce its electricity generation from fossil fuels by, say, a GW per year, when China alone is adding 38 GW of coal-fired power plants this year, and another 47 GW next year, with hundreds of gigawatts more of coal plants already in the works ?
The answer is that reality simply cannot penetrate the fantasy world of climate activists.
To prove my point, another UN agency, the IPCC, came out yesterday with its own Report titled “Climate Change 2022: Climate Change Mitigation”. This is the result of the so-called IPCC Working Group III, the part of the “AR6” assessment report that deals with “mitigation” strategies. Altogether, this new Report is about 3,000 pages long. For those who don’t have the tolerance to read that kind of volume, here is the Summary for Policymakers; and here is the press release; and here’s a Bloomberg article titled “Five takeaways from the UN’s latest 3,000-page climate report.”
Let’s start with the press release. the owner is “The evidence is clear: the time to act is now. We can cut emissions in half by 2030.” Some concise excerpts:
Without immediate and deep emission reductions in all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is out of reach. However, there is mounting evidence for climate action, scientists said in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released today. . . . “We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can ensure a livable future. We have the tools and knowledge to limit warming,” said IPCC Chairman Hoesung Lee. “I am heartened by the climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving to be effective. If these are scaled up and applied more broadly and equitably, they can support deep emission reductions and stimulate innovation.”
Okay guys, how exactly are you going to “halve emissions by 2030” with China doing its best to build new coal plants on a scale far beyond anything the world has ever seen, and India ( with a population almost as big as China) not far behind, and the rest of Asia and all of Africa waiting in the wings? You won’t find the answer. Check the press release and the SPM and all you’ll find is a careful avoidance of any mention of the development plans of places like China and India. Even the names “China” and “India” seem to be on some sort of taboo list. For example, here from the SPM is a graph of total global GHG emissions since 1990:
Eastern Asia? I wonder who it could be.
Unsurprisingly from these folks, there is the usual claim, based on completely misleading “levelized costs,” that wind and solar electricity generation is now as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuel generation. Four “renewable” technologies are considered: onshore wind, offshore wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar. From page 14 of the SPM:
By 2020, the levelized costs of energy (LCOE) of the four renewable energy technologies could compete with fossil fuels in many places. . . . LCOE. . . includes installation, capital, operation and maintenance costs per MWh of electricity produced. The literature uses LCOE because it allows consistent comparisons of cost trends across a diverse set of energy technologies.
The SPM mentions that the LCOE “does not include network integration costs,” but fails to note that they are almost certainly a large multiple of what is included in the LCOE measure.
So maybe you might think that this can’t be fooling anyone. If so, you are failing to understand the depths of ignorance and incompetence that permeate our ruling class here in New York. As I previously reported in December, our City Council had just passed a new local law that prohibits any new building from using natural gas for heating or cooking beginning in 2024 for smaller buildings and 2027 for larger buildings. That was just the City, but now the whole State wants in on the game. From Reuters yesterday:
New York Governor Kathy Hochul will soon release a budget that will likely include a plan to make New York the first state to ban natural gas and other fossil fuels in new construction, according to Food & Water Watch and other environmental groups. . . . In her State of the State address in January, Hochul committed to “zero greenhouse gas emissions from the site for new construction by 2027.”
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