When President Trump walked away from the Paris Agreement in 2017, Democrats, principally, around the US, were enraged. They decided they would show the world that even without the support of the Trump Administration they were “woke” and would do the job without him. Mayors, Governors and Corporate Executives rallied one another and began setting carbon dioxide reductions goals. Most of these goals contained the CO2 amounts and timelines. I am reasonably confident that most of this crowd does not understand the real-world consequences of their actions. I think they were motivated by politics.
The Brookings Institute, a liberal think tank, surveyed the top 100 cites to see how they were doing. On 22 October 2020, E&E News posted their take on the Brookings Institute survey titled “U.S. cities struggling to meet lofty climate goals”. They began by saying:
“Most major U.S. cities that have signed on to the climate fight with pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions are failing to meet their goals or haven’t even started to track local progress, according to a survey by the Brookings Institution.
The report, “Pledges and Progress,” looked for climate policy and actions in the nation’s 100 most populous cities, finding that two-thirds have made commitments to address citywide emissions.”
The E&E News continues:
But the Brookings analysis found that actions taken by cities aren’t matching up with their pledges to address climate change.
Among the 100 largest cities, only 45 set specific targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions during the past decade and inventoried emissions levels within city boundaries as baselines for measuring progress.
Twenty-two more cities have made general pledges to address emissions. But the Brookings analysis found they haven’t set emissions targets or inventoried current emissions levels.
“Half the cities aren’t doing anything,” said David Victor, co-chair of the Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate.
Ok, you may be thinking that the corona virus is the reason. E&E reports that Brookings does not think that is the major reason:
“But roadblocks facing mayors in the climate campaign were obvious even before the coronavirus pushed the nation’s economy into a dramatic downturn.
The Brookings results point to the challenges faced by cities whose climate commitments diverge from policies at the state level. Another challenge for cities is the limits within which they operate. City governments can’t control everything that happens within their borders.
For example, when Pittsburgh inventoried greenhouse gas emissions in 2013, it estimated an annual citywide total of 4.8 million metric tons. Emissions from operations directly under City Hall control came to just 115,069 metric tons. The city government plans more reductions in part by buying refuse trucks that run on lower emission compressed natural gas. Its Parking Authority is teaming with Duquesne Light Co. to bring 16 new electric vehicle chargers to city parking lots.
These are marginal changes in a city and county with nearly 694,000 registered passenger vehicles. Most of them run on gasoline engines that pump out carbon emissions.”
The Paris Agreement is the Green’s framework for reducing CO2 and the timeline for reaching their goal of preventing the global temperature from ever rising more than 0.5C over the current global temperature, I sure you have heard that the world is all in step with this goal, except for the US, of course. Well they are not. First of all, the nation that leads in emissions of CO2 is China. And by agreement with then President Obama, they do not need to start to reduce their emissions before 2030. By then they will probably be emitting twice as much CO2 as the US. Further, India, the number 3 CO2 emitter has no plans to stop increasing their emissions.
China has a political move going called the Belt and Road Initiative. The less developed nations in south east Asia, for example want to improve their citizens lives by providing electricity. The World Bank bans making loans to these countries as the Bank, taking guidance from the UN does not want them to put in coal plants. But China is loaning them the money. This raises China’s political standing in these nations. More than 1,600 coal plants are scheduled to be built by Chinese corporations in over 62 countries and that will make China the world’s primary provider of high-efficiency, low-emission technology.
And quoting from a posting by the Global Warming Policy Forum, titled “New Coal War: China and Japan Compete For Hundreds Of New Coal Plants in Southeast Asia” we get this:
But Japan is not exactly twiddling its thumbs, either. Since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Tokyo has ramped up coal use and has raced ahead in clean coal technology development. Japan now boasts the world’s most efficient coal-fired plant, which uses less coal to produce more electricity. Seizing on this competitive advantage, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has tried to capitalize on these capabilities in a bid to increase Japan’s reach across Southeast Asia – and in China’s backyard. Through the Japan-led Asian Development Bank, Tokyo has pledged US$6.1 billion for projects throughout the Mekong as well as for various other projects from Vietnam to Myanmar, providing an alternative to China’s regional designs.
A coal plant can be made more efficient, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that this makes them close to the much lower CO2 emissions created by a natural gas-based facility.
And do not think the European Nations are still on board with the Paris Agreement. The EU leadership in Brussels are deeply into this the Paris Agreement, but most of the Nations have not even met their meager 2020 commitments. Each year the required commitments become much greater, too. And the nominal leader of the EU, German politicos are not getting much support from their industries. They see themselves becoming non-competitive with China and all these developing nations. Their auto industry sees themselves even becoming non-competitive in the US market.
Former President Obama also committed to be the big sugar-daddy for the Paris Agreement fund to give money to the underdeveloped nations to hold down production of CO2 Each year the developed nations are to pay $100 billion to the fund. This as I have noted is not a once and done fund, it is to be refunded each year. So, assuming that the Trump administration are not playing nice with the Paris Agreement, those Mayors and Governors and Corporate Exes are going to have pay at least $5 billion every year. And get this, China is not obligation to put money into this fund because they are said to be a developing nation. Meaning China can draw money from the fund for their own use.