Saturday, 18 January 2014

Hopefully this German media report is true: "European Union is seriously jeopardizing its global climate leadership role"

German Der Spiegel reports that the European Union "is seriously jeopardizing its global leadership role":

The EU's reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking -- jeopardizing Germany's touted energy revolution in the process.

The climate between Brussels and Berlin is polluted, something European Commission officials attribute, among other things, to the "reckless" way German Chancellor Angela Merkel blocked stricter exhaust emissions during her re-election campaign to placate domestic automotive manufacturers like Daimler and BMW. This kind of blatant self-interest, officials complained at the time, is poisoning the climate.

But now it seems that the climate is no longer of much importance to the European Commission, the EU's executive branch, either. Commission sources have long been hinting that the body intends to move away from ambitious climate protection goals. On Tuesday, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported as much.

At the request of Commission President José Manuel Barroso, EU member states are no longer to receive specific guidelines for the development of renewable energy. The stated aim of increasing the share of green energy across the EU to up to 27 percent will hold. But how seriously countries tackle this project will no longer be regulated within the plan. As of 2020 at the latest -- when the current commitment to further increase the share of green energy expires -- climate protection in the EU will apparently be pursued on a voluntary basis.--

In addition, the authority wants to pave the way in the EU for the controversial practice of fracking, according to the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The report says the Commission does not intend to establish strict rules for the extraction of shale gas, but only minimum health and environmental standards.

One can only hope that what the German media report turns out to be true. In that case the European Union could be on its way to real economic - and even environmental - leadership.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Merkel's European anti-espionagy treaty will end up where it belongs - the trashcan

The BND is conducting confidential negotiations on a European anti-espionage treaty.

One wonders what the professionals at the German foreign intelligence service BND in private say about chancellor Angela Merkel, who has ordered them to negotiate a hopeless no-spying treaty:

In the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, Germany "is negotiating with the EU member states a European anti-espionage agreement," the Süddeutsche and public broadcaster NDR reported.
Such a pact had been discussed confidentially for months in Berlin and would commit the countries of the 28-nation bloc "to refrain from mutual espionage", both political and economic, the daily said.
The envisioned agreement "would allow surveillance only for previously agreed purposes such as combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said excerpts of the Thursday report.
"In addition, the services of the 28 member states would commit not to ask other intelligence agencies for data on their own citizens if this is not also permitted under national law," it added.
Germany's foreign intelligence service the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) was leading the talks at the request of Merkel, who wanted to reach a pact on EU "common intelligence standards," it said.
BND vice president Guido Mueller had led at least three rounds of talks so far.
While the foreign intelligence services of member states broadly agreed on the goals, several countries, led by Britain, opposed a formal agreement, said the report citing unnamed delegation sources.

Another useless UN report on the cost of "containing rising temperatures to safe levels"

Bloomberg/Businessweek has got a copy of another useless UN global warming "report":

The cost of containing rising temperatures to safe levels may reach 4 percent of economic output by 2030, according to a draft United Nations report designed to influence talks for a global-warming treaty.
Most scenarios that meet the 2-degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) cap on global warming that world leaders endorse 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.
“This report shows that 2 degrees is still technically possible and ought to remain the primary policy target” for climate negotiations that intend to produce a global agreement in 2015, said Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics


The good thing is of course, that this enormous waste of (taxpayers') money will never happen. By 2030 people (including climate scientists) will laugh at this pseudo-scientific UN nonsense. Unfortunately, before that, more than enough money will most likely be wasted on senseless global warming "projects".

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Inspector Clouseau's message to David Cameron

UK membership of the EU: Clouseau is on the case

Finland's inspector Clouseau - Europe minister Alexander Stubb - is offering his advise to David Cameron:

“You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to understand that it is in the interest of the United Kingdom to remain a steadfast member of the European Union,” Stubb said. For the U.K. even to contemplate leaving would be “simply silly,” he said.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Reality overtakes hype: "Green" Germany returns to coal - "wind and solar power production effectively stopped in early December"

Reality has overtaken hype in Germany, which has been marketing itself as a world leader in "green energy":

IT'S been a black Christmas for green thinkers as Germany, the world leader in rooftop solar and pride of the renewable energy revolution has confirmed its rapid return to coal. --    

Countries such as Germany that have been most outspoken about climate change mitigation are reporting increasing carbon emissions and rising energy costs.
The US - derided by environmental campaigners as too slow to respond to the climate change challenge - has reduced its carbon emissions significantly while simultaneously lowering energy prices, fuelling a much needed resurgence in manufacturing.
The divergence has come about largely because while Europe has pushed headlong into renewables with generous public subsidies, the US has harnessed new technology to unlock vast resources of unconventional oil and gas.
This meant in 2012 the US spent about one-third as much as the EU on renewable energy subsidies, $21 billion against $57bn, according to IEA figures.
It all adds an ironic twist to the campaign mounted against the US by European nations for its refusal to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

While the German wind and solar energy lobbies have been busy peddling the "success" of their subsidized production facilities, the reality on the ground looked somewhat different in early December:

The scale of the "intermittency" problem for renewables - and the problem it presents for policymakers and energy consumers - was outlined in Die Welt, which reported that Germany's wind and solar power production effectively stopped in early December.
"More than 23,000 wind turbines stood still," it said. "One million photovoltaic systems stopped work completely.
"For a whole week, coal, nuclear and gas power plants had to generate an estimated 95 per cent of Germany's electricity supply."
The doldrums are the flip side to the triumphant statements from renewable energy companies when production figures spike in times of favourable weather.
This is a primary reason why political support for renewables is starting to wear thin. Indications are a Europe-wide squeeze is on, with the European Commission reportedly preparing to order an end to price subsidies for wind and solar by the end of the decade.
According to Britain's The Telegraph, the commission, which oversees the European single market, is preparing to argue that the onshore wind and solar power industries are mature and should be allowed to operate without support from taxpayers.
Frustration is also increasing at the costly failure of several multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farm developments which had once been widely touted as the future of renewable power.

Read the entire article here