Friday, April 03, 2009

G20 and The Green Agenda

As predicted here, the G20 basically ignored the climate change issue - putting this off until Copenhagen meeting of the UN members in December.

There are two paragraphs in the G20 communique which commit to reaching agreement at Copenhagen and to leverage stimulus resources in support of a low carbon economy. Many climate alarmists are pessimistic as a result of this and the rent-seeking and grant-farmers are especially upset that no clear emission reduction targets set and no specific green allocations from the stimulus funds - they were hoping for 20-25% of global stimulus resources to be earmarked. They were also hoping to ensure that none of the available stimulus would be spent in a way that may lead to increased emissions - e.g. bailouts of the car industry, new coal fired power plants etc.

We can expect to see a lot more of this rhetoric as we head towards the Battle of Copenhagen in December. The alarmists are concerned that the economic conditions will inhibit the rush to "green|. The rent-seekers are worried that funds will not be allocated to subsidize industries which are otheriwse not vailable - wind and solar. The grant farmers are worried that their work may be reduced if the green agenda fades away. There is a lot at stake.

What the alarmists do not recognize is that green jobs cost jobs in other sectors of the economy. The Spanish study of this suggests that for each green job created, 2.5 - 3 jobs are lost elsewhere in the economy. When energy prices increase to pay for the subsidies and when government price guarantees and subsidy are fully costed, each green jobs costs over one half a billion euro's. A staggering number.

The alarmists also do not fully understand the true costs of reducing emissions on the oil industry, To achieve targets, it is likely that carbon will need to be taxed at app., $100 - $125 per tonne - having a major impact on oil supply, food supplies and social infrastructure. The low carbon economy will be very damaging to communities.

So Copenhagen will be a battle and it will be faught not on evidence or data but on the post-modern politics of the narrative - the compelling story which, whether true or not, will attract emotional support. The fact that the planet is cooling at the same time that CO2 emissions are increasing will go unmentioned, Also, just as the G20 failed to name and shame their own 17 members who had enacted protectionist measures, so too will Copenhagen ignore the inconvenient truth that the Kyoto agreement is a science fiction - CO2 emissions increase despite commitments to reduce them. It will be an interesting few months.

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