Wednesday, June 29, 2016

EU Climate Plans Stall As Brexit Talks Take Over

British Solar Industry In Total Free Fall After Subsidy Cuts

(Pic: Pixabay)
UK’s probable departure from the EU throws carbon cutting agenda into confusion just as countries were preparing to approve Paris climate agreement. EU envoys will meet in Berlin next week for informal talks on saving the bloc’s reputation as a climate leader. The bloc’s low carbon legislation is in limbo while the UK works out when and how far to disentangle itself. Britain voted last Thursday for a so-called ‘Brexit’, but is in no hurry to invoke Article 50, which starts formal exit negotiations. The uncertainty is expected to further delay Brussels’ ratification of the Paris climate agreement and plans to put its targets into practice. --Megan Darby, Climate Home, 27 June 2016
Solar power in the U.K. is collapsing after the government cut its subsidies, according to industry reports published Sunday. The British solar industry estimates that it lost 18,000 jobs since the subsidy cuts. The U.K. subsidy cutbacks are part of the collapse of Europe’s green energy industry. The amount of money flowing into European green energy from governments collapsed from $132 billion in 2011 to $58 billion last year. --Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller, 27 June 2016

Siemens is putting new wind power investment plans in the UK on hold due to uncertainty caused by last week’s Brexit vote, the German energy company has told the Guardian. Siemens, one of the few firms to openly back a Remain vote, will not be making new investments until the future of the UK’s relationship with Europe becomes clearer. --Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 28 June 2016

  Fossil fuel-producing companies have been thrown onto the defensive over the last two years by the argument that many of their reserves will be "stranded" as the world transitions to cleaner forms of energy. Climate campaigners claim a large percentage of already known oil, gas and coal reserves must remain unburned if the rise in global temperatures is to remain below two degrees Celsius. But the problem with the concept of "unburnable carbon" is that it confuses what campaigners would like to happen in an ideal world with what is actually likely to happen in the real one. Energy consumption in developing countries is forecast to grow three times faster than in the advanced economies over the next two decades. The resulting INCREASE in energy demand from developing countries will be very nearly equal to the TOTAL energy consumption of the advanced economies in 2012. --John Kemp, Reuters, 28 June 2016
It will be interesting to see if the La Nina decline counterbalances the El Nino rise and we return to a similar gradient sometime in the future. There are many who expect it won’t because they maintain the background rise in global temperature is continuing as will be apparent when the expected La Nina has run its course. This expectation is strong among those who played down the effect of the 2015/6 El Nino. If the 2015 El Nino’s influence was small then perhaps one can expect the forthcoming La Nino to lack the strength to re-establish the pause. We will have to wait and see. --David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Forum, 27 June 2016
It only took four days after U.K. voters chose to leave the European Union for a liberal climate scientist and eco-activist to blame the whole event on — you guessed it — global warming. Joe Romm, a climate scientist (sic) and writer for the liberal blog ThinkProgress, wrote an article Monday arguing the so-called “Brexit” and the rise of GOP candidate Donald Trump are driven by global warming. “We’ve known for a while that there are scientific tipping points beyond which certain climate impacts — like the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet or the thawing of the carbon-rich permafrost — become unstoppable,” Romm wrote. “But it appears there may also be political tipping points, where certain climate impacts cause so much widespread harm simultaneously that they simply fragment the world.” --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 28 June 2016

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