COP 21: All Pain, No Gain

For the upcoming Paris COP 21, every nation was asked to make known an Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) of their reduction of CO2 emissions by the year 2030. The Paris meeting is intended to begin a process that will keep the global temperature rise less than 2C. It is also intended to provide 3rd world nations reparations for the “damage” done by the industrialized nations.

As of November 5, most of the nations having a significant level of CO2 emissions had submitted their INDC. The major sources of the CO2 emissions are from the US, China and the EU. Using  the forecast CO2 reduction commitments, computer runs find that the calculated global temperature reduction by 2100 as result of their INDCs will  only be 0.132C. Adding the temperature reduction from the other nations’ INDCs, the new total global temperature reduction change is 0.168C. These temperature reductions are probably too small to even be measured. And they are certainly nearly that of measurement error.

This minuscule effect on the global temperature will be accompanied by skyrocketing prices for energy, disruption of many nations economies and more hardships for the really poor peoples of this world. No gain but lots of Pain

To arrive at this number, Bjorn Lomborg used the INDCs, each nation’s plan to achieve the reductions, the best CO2 emissions forecasts and the MAGICC climate model. This favored climate model projected a global temperature rise of about 3.1C from 2030 to 2100. But it only projected the 0.168C reduction of that overall temperature rise resulting from the implementation of the INDCs.

Readers of this blog are aware of my disbelief in climate model predictions. But the warmers are joined at the hip with these machines.   So if you like them when they give you the answers you want, then you have to stay with them when the results are not what you wanted.

The methodology could be contentious but Lomborg used data from the IPCC and peer reviewed papers as well as the warmers analytical climate model. He ran both pessimistic and optimistic cases. The 0.168C is the optimistic case. The pessimistic case shows less reduction at 0.048C— even less likely to be measurable.

He assumed that all nations would achieve their INDCs with no “carbon leakage”. The previous climate CO2 reduction agreement, the Kyoto Protocol” was studied and found that leakage was something near 40%. Using Lomborg’s definition of leakage, goes like this: “….that some industries responsible for significant emissions in the EU or the US shift to non-Kyoto countries like China”.   Businesses driven out of the US, for example to China, because of high-energy costs.

He has this to say about INDCs after 2030:

For the following analyses we need to make assumptions about the longer-term promises. When for instance the EU promises to cut its emissions by 40 per cent in 2030, this is already very far away. Promises of what will happen in 2050 (80 per cent reduction in both the EU and the US) or promises for the G7 to entirely decarbonize by 2100 are not as much actual policies but more political hand waving. Thus, for this paper, I will investigate policies that have practical political implications soon and have a verifiable outcome by 2030, but not policies that promise actions only or mostly starting after 2030. Of course, policies that can be evaluated by 2030 will still impact emissions long after 2030, and hence affect the temperature trajectory all the way to the end of the century.”

Lomborg’s posting “Impact of Current Climate Proposals” published on Wiley Online Library can be viewed here in it entirety by clicking here.  The posting is some 16 pages long and contains a wealth of information including studies of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The following charts are from Lomborg’s posting:



The reduction of historic CO2 emissions (black) is the result of converting coal to natural gas in utility plants. The USINDC is the US commitment (green) path to achieve 28% by 2025.   The optimistic CO2 emissions (blue) assume the US keeps the reductions in place even after 2030. The Pessimistic emissions (orange) are Business as Usual after the 2030 commitment expires.


lomborgChinaCO2gpol12295-fig-0009China’s INDC does not start until 2030. They have committed to reducing CO2 intensity compared to 2005 level in the present, but that is not necessarily comparable.

If these forecasts of CO2 emissions are close to correct, by 2030 the Chinese will be emitting about 15 giga tonnes of CO2 and the US emissions would be 5 or less gigatonnes of CO2. That is the 3 x 1 I had forecast in an earlier posting.

Lomborg used a climate sensitivity of 3 to 1 in the MAGICC climate model. That sensitivity has been part of the IPCC since the beginning . The 19-year global temperature pause has shown the folly of that number. Recent research indicates it is closer to 1.5 to 1.   Without the 3 to 1 sensitivity, their forecast temperatures would not be so frightening. So it is hard for IPCC to give it up.

Bjorn Lomborg is a committed warmer.   However, he deviates from the fold because he believes that poor of the world need help now and corrections to CO2 emissions can wait.






One response to “COP 21: All Pain, No Gain

  1. Pingback: Fireworks At Senate Subcommittee Testimony On Global Warming | Climate Change Sanity

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