UN: Hey, to reach our climate goals by 2030, we only need to cut world GDP by four percent! Sweet, right?
posted at 7:01 pm on January 18, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
That UN chief climate commissar wasn’t kidding the other day when she professed to admire communism as the ostensibly cleanest and greenest of economic infrastructures; if only these esteemed bureaucrats could yield the same sort of totalitarian influence the world over, that most assuredly imminent climate-change catastrophe would be reversed in no time!
The cost of holding rising temperatures to safe levels may reach 4 percent of economic output by 2030, according to a draft United Nations report designed to influence efforts to draft a global-warming treaty.
Most scenarios that meet the 2-degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) cap on global warming endorsed by world leaders require a 40 percent to 70 percent reduction in heat-trapping gases by 2050 from 2010 levels, according to the third installment of the UN’s biggest-ever study of climate change. The world would need to triple the share of renewables, nuclear power and carbon-capture and storage to meet that goal. …
The research is important because it’s intended to influence the direction of UN negotiations involving more than 190 countries on how to combat global warming. The discussions have been beset by wrangles between developing and industrialized nations over who should bear the cost of tackling climate change.
As I mentioned earlier this week, the UN is hoping that a big hunk of these emissions-reduction goals will be achieved by global financial institutions ‘doing the right thing’ by quadrupling their investments in wind, solar, and etcetera to reach an arbitrary $1 trillion annual total that the UN has determined is the optimal amount. Most unfortunately, global investment in renewables just fell for the second year in a row in the face of all of the uncertainty and steep energy prices that these technologies are producing, and if trying to appeal to world bankers’ irrationality by “investing” in mutual impoverishment and foregoing investment in fossil fuels just because it feels good is one of the UN’s best ideas, they seriously need to reevaluate.
“It’s really about cars and coal,” said Marilyn Brown, professor of public policy at Georgia Institute of Technology, who was one of the review editors of the report. “We need to reduce our reliance on coal power and find a way to transport ourselves and all of the goods we consume more economically, more efficiently.” …
Coal use for generating electricity is a big part of why carbon dioxide emissions have nearly doubled their rate of growth worldwide, the report said. The growth rate was 1.3% per year from 1970 to 2000, and 2.2% per year from 2000 to 2010.
Yes, except Germany — the prime model of a government-mandated renewables-based energy transition — is now increasingly turning to more coal to make up for the renewables’ inefficiencies and higher prices. Didn’t really think that one through, did they?
This is supposed to be another piece of that grandiose report with which the UN is going to try to convince world leaders (for the umpteenth time) to sign on the ever-elusive Global Climate Treaty in Paris in 2015. Good luck with that.