Thursday, October 22, 2015

Green Obsession Leads to Financial Disaster - Or - How We Love A Great Scam!

Britain’s Foolish Leaders, Obsessed With Being Green,
Are Killing UK Steel Industry

The loss of so many jobs in the UK steel industry in such a short period of time is nothing short of a tragedy. British steelmakers pay nearly twice as much for their electricity as their German and French rivals. Dealing with this would require the UK government to row back on the green policies that slowly ratcheted up energy bills for British businesses. A couple of years ago, I asked the head of a large US fund management company for his opinion on the biggest risk Europe faced. I expected him to say Greece, or the euro, or something about our ageing populations. But he instantly alighted on European energy policy, labelling it “nuts”. Those workers in Scunthorpe and Redcar who have recently been laid off would likely agree. --Ben Wright, The Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2015

R.I.P. the British steel industry, once the mighty engine of this country’s industrial base. Over the past week, the blast furnaces and coke ovens at Redcar have been closed, with a loss of more than 2,000 jobs. Now Tata Steel is to cut almost half its workforce of 4,000 at its Scunthorpe plant, and there is similar bad news to come for its workforce in Scotland and Wales. The fact that this coincides with the state visit this week of the Chinese President Xi Jinping will lead many to say we should use the opportunity to complain to the leader of the world’s most populous nation about its saturation of the global market with ever-increasing volumes of steel. This would be futile. Worse, it would be missing the most important point. We have done this to ourselves: or, more precisely, it is British government which has been driving the final nail into the coffin of our own steel industry. --Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail, 19 October 2015

Energy costs alone represent up to 40% of the total costs of a steel plant in Europe, significantly more than in the USA, Russia, the Middle East or China. This is driving global steel investment outside the EU, where there are no such targets or green taxation to reduce CO2 emissions. The European steel industry employs 335,000 people. ArcelorMittal Europe estimates that their European steelmaking operations are at a $1 billion energy cost disadvantage compared with their counterparts in the USA. Aditya Mittal, its CEO, has recently warned that the cost of implementing the EU’s 2030 climate targets unilaterally would make European steelmaking unviable. He estimates that the additional costs for the steel sector between 2020 and 2030 would be around €58 billion ($73.76 bn) of which ArcelorMittal would have to bear €20 billion, or an average of €2 billion a year, far exceeding ArcelorMittal’s European profits. While global steel output is increasing, European steel production is in steep decline and continues to lose competitiveness. The EU's share of global steel production has more than halved in recent years, falling from 22% in 2001 to 10% in 2013. --Benny Peiser, Testimony to the US Senate, Washington DC, 2 December 2014

Another 2,000 lost jobs are collateral damage in the war on carbon dioxide. Pin the blame on David Cameron’s climate policy. Belatedly recognizing what an economy-killer the carbon-price floor is, Mr. Cameron’s government last year capped the additional amount emitters would have to pay at £18 per metric ton of emissions at least until 2020. That’s progress, but not nearly enough to save jobs. A better idea would be to scrap Britain’s war on carbon entirely. As the science surrounding climate change becomes ever more contentious—and as green industries chronically fall short of the job creation and growth they promise—the costs of anticarbon policies grow and grow, not least for those 2,000 workers at Redcar. --Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 6 October 2015

Karl-Ulrich Köhler, the European head of the Indian industry giants Tata Steel, predicts an exodus of the European steel industry if the EU emissions trade proposals are implement. “The proposals represent a risk for the steel production in Europe.” This model would be leading to a shrinking process in the industry. After all, all competitors in Asia and America would enjoy much better conditions. “When I talk about emissions trading in Europe before the Tata board in India, it is very difficult for the colleagues there to understand why Europe’s politicians undermine the competitiveness of their steelmakers”, says Köhler. --Carsten Dierig, Die Welt, 29 July 2015

The Global Warming Policy Forum is calling on the Government to scrap Britain’s unilateral Carbon Floor Price which is contributing to the crisis of UK steel and other energy intensive industries. The GWPF has been consistently warning about the rising policy cost of electricity prices which are expected to increase by 47% by 2020 for large industrial energy consumers. The UK’s extra large users of electricity are already paying nearly twice as much for power as the EU average. The Government should consider scrapping the Carbon Price Floor that is hitting UK manufacturers. They also need to bear down on the growing costs of renewable energy subsidies. --Global Warming Policy Forum

 
US Opposition To Climate Finance Stalls UN Climate Talks
Africa Cries Foul Over $100 Billion P.A. Climate Finance Promise
 
Negotiations on the Paris climate change agreement’s second draft slipped behind closed doors on Wednesday in Bonn, Germany. The US reiterated their long-standing position that public funds were expected to be a small portion of the $100 billion that the developed world is required to provide annually starting 2020. The US also asked all countries to contribute to the climate funds. This implied that emerging economies should also contribute to the climate funds, which under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) only developed countries are obliged to provide so far. This was opposed by negotiators from developing countries. --Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, 22 October 2015

Developing countries, led by Africa and China, nearly walked out of the UN’s climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, as the rift widened between the rich and poor nations over who should bear the larger financial responsibility to implement measures to curb climate change. A key concern was the wording on US$100 billion in finance that the developed world had promised to mobilise by 2020 to help poorer nations make the shift to less-polluting energy industries and adapt to the unavoidable effects of global warming, such as a rise in the sea level. --New Era News, 22 October 2015

Frustration ran high Wednesday at the snail’s pace of talks for a climate rescue pact, with three days left for diplomats to craft a blueprint for a year-end UN summit. With an eye firmly on the clock, diplomats in Bonn despaired at the mountain of work they face after an acrimonious start on Monday cost them more than a day of negotiating time. “I am, to be honest, very concerned,” said climate envoy Laurence Tubiana of France, which will host a November 30-December 11 UN summit tasked with inking a 195-nation pact to rein in global warming. “I don’t think this way of working is going to bring us where we need to be by the end of the week and to stand a chance of success in Paris.” --Mariette Le Roux, AFP, 21 October 2015

Joby Warrick of The Washington Post asks a strange question: If it’s President Obama’s mission to reduce carbon emissions, why is the federal government allowing coal to be mined on federal land and exported? The answer is obvious and hidden in plain sight in the graphics package that accompanies Warrick’s story: Increasing world demand for electricity. According to the World Coal Association, there are more than 2,300 coal fired power plants planned or under construction worldwide. They will provide electricity access to millions of people, greatly improving their lives. These plants will be built and burn coal no matter what coal opponents do. --Sean Hackbarth, US Chamber of Commerce, 16 October 2015

The Global Warming Policy Foundation welcomes the acknowledgement by Professor Colin Prentice, a leading UK climate scientist at the Grantham Institute, that the thrust of the GWPF’s latest report on CO2 is correct and a well-established scientific fact. Last week, the GWPF published a report by Dr Indur Goklany which highlights the many benefits of carbon dioxide for the environment and human health. Professor Prentice, AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts at the Grantham Institute, also confirms that the many benefits of CO2 documented in the GWPF report “are indeed ‘good news’.” --Global Warming Policy Foundation, 21 October 2015

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