Irony At Its Best

Remember the uproar when President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord? Do you also remember that after that withdrawal America was successful in lowering its greenhouse gas emissions (part of that was due to the pandemic, and part of that was due to an increased reliance on natural gas)? Well, President Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. So how is that working out?

On Monday, Just the News reported:

A new report finds U.S. carbon emissions increased at a faster rate than the overall U.S. economy in 2021 largely due to a jump in coal use.

Analysts anticipated a significant rebound in emissions in 2021, following the anomalous pandemic year that was 2020. However, according to the report from nonpartisan climate consulting firm the Rhodium Group, growth still managed to outpace expectations, which presents a challenge to the Biden administration’s oft-stated goal of cutting fossil fuel emissions, from 2005, in half by 2030.

Despite significant rebounds, U.S. emission rates in 2021 were still 5% below what they were during the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The report indicates that the single largest source of emissions was from the transportation sector, spurred primarily by an increase in demand for consumer goods that keep freight trucks on the roads.

The second leading cause of emissions, the electric power sector, saw a “sharp rise” in coal generation – the first annual increase since 2014.

The Rhodium Group explains that, in part, coal mounted a comeback because of market conditions. Natural gas prices doubled their 2020 rate because of lower production levels brought about by the pandemic. However, according to the report, for the first time, renewable energy sources comprised 20% of U.S. electricity generation in 2021.

Even the European Union is waking up to the fact that green energy is not the total solution to carbon emissions (see article here). Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel and its increased use will definitely reduce carbon emissions. Nuclear energy with the proper safety precautions is also useful in lowering America’s carbon footprint.

It is ironic that the President who withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord was more successful in curbing America’s carbon emissions than the President who rejoined the Accord.

China And The Paris

On April 2nd, The New York Post reported:

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed in the 2016 Paris accords to bring his country’s climate-warming greenhouse-gas emissions to a peak before 2030 and make China “carbon-neutral” by 2060, but reality tells the opposite story.

A new study shows that the People’s Republic generated over half of the world’s coal-fired power in 2020, up nine points (to 53 percent) from 2015 — the year before Xi made his pledge.

And China actually opened more coal plants in 2020 than it had in the prior three years combined — three times as many new coal plants as the entire rest of the world.

On February 19th, CBS News reported:

When the U.S. signed the agreement in 2016, its first NDC target was to get “in the range” of an economy-wide 17% drop below 2005 greenhouse gas levels by 2020. It also aimed to achieve a subsequent decrease of 9-11% of 2005 levels by 2025, meaning the U.S. would reduce greenhouse emissions by 26%-28% in the first ten years of the Paris Agreement.

So China gets to increase greenhouse gases until 2030 while we have to drop our greenhouse gas levels by 2025. Has anyone thought through the economic implications of this for each country?

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail reported that China released a greater volume of greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere in 2019 than all of the world’s developed nations put together.

The article reports:

The analysis considered six greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride. 

Global emissions have risen 11.4 per cent in the last decade to reach 52 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, with China responsible for 27 per cent of this.

The second-worst emitter was the US — accounting for 11 per cent of the total — with India edging out the EU for the first time to come in third at 6.6 per cent.

The article at the U.K. Daily Mail paints a sympathetic picture of China’s increase in greenhouse emissions, stating that since greenhouse gases linger, other civilized nations have been contributing to the total for many more years than China. That still does not change the fact that the Paris climate accord ties the hands of the United States economy while giving China a free ride.

Why The Paris Climate Accord Won’t Make A Difference

On February 3, 2021, The Voice of America reported the following:

China put 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity into operation in 2020, according to new international research, more than three times the amount built elsewhere around the world and potentially undermining its short-term climate goals.

The country won praise last year after President Xi Jinping pledged to make the country “carbon neutral” by 2060. But regulators have since come under fire for failing to properly control the coal power sector, a major source of climate-warming greenhouse gas.

Including decommissions, China’s coal-fired fleet capacity rose by a net 29.8 GW in 2020, even as the rest of the world made cuts of 17.2 GW, according to research released on Wednesday by Global Energy Monitor (GEM), a U.S. think tank, and the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

“The runaway expansion of coal-fired power is driven by electricity companies’ and local governments’ interest in maximizing investment spending, more than a real need for new capacity,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, CREA lead analyst.

Politifact posted an article on January 20, 2021, explaining China’s part of the Paris Climate accord:

For example, in its 2016 plan, China said that by 2030, it would lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60% to 65% compared with 2005 releases. So, while its emissions would rise as its economy grew, they wouldn’t rise as much as they would have if everything worked the way it did in 2005. China said it would aim for carbon dioxide emissions to peak in about 2030.

Meanwhile, America is required to cripple its economy unnecessarily. America has reduced his carbon emissions in recent years. The Paris Accord will not have an impact of worldwide carbon emissions in the immediate future, and is simply a ploy to redistribute wealth. Please note that redistribute wealth means take money from Americans and give to dictators around the world. This is not something we should be part of.