World leaders are converging on Glasgow for a climate summit this weekend, and don’t laugh. This may be the summit with the worst moment in history, but delegates can still cause substantial damage to the global economy, although none of this will matter to the climate.
It is incongruous next to the strange to organize a summit like this while Europe is fighting a winter fuel crisis, President Biden calls on OPEC to produce more oil, China is starting its coal-fired power plants in the middle of the electricity shortage and climate. -Change plans will be extinguished as soon as they are exposed to the sunlight of democratic politics.
Do not care. This summit is called COP26 because there have already been 25. No more and no less than the United Nations admitted this week that nations have made little progress on their previous climate commitments.
But instead of adjusting to this political reality, delegates will make even more unrealistic promises.
The two top priorities of the summit are the promise to reach “zero net” greenhouse gas emissions at a future date, perhaps 2050, and to convince developed countries to pay poor countries to target more CO2 reductions. Neither will mean much.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, plans to make a big promise of emissions for his country: he has no choice since he is the host of this summit. Mr. Biden will state that the US is also committed to zero net.
But keep in mind how Mr. Biden’s climate agenda has been destroyed as he has moved on to a Congress led by his own party. Implementing measures have disappeared, leaving only a ray of subsidies for green energy.
The commitments of developing countries are even more fragile and depend on the bribes of the rich.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has this week called for more international aid to finance emissions reductions: a “ground” of $ 100 billion a year should do so, with $ 367 billion during the next five years for ASEAN, thank you.
Of the 75% reduction in carbon emissions that the Philippines plans to achieve by 2030, 72% depends on foreign aid, Nikkei reported this week.
Rich countries made the $ 100 billion pledge for the first time in 2009, but the money has yet to show up. Taxpayers in rich economies will be even less willing to sacrifice their own money for the climate when they realize who will not come to COP26: Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China.
Mr. Xi promised in 2020 to reduce climate emissions, but only after 2030. In the here and now, China is building more coal-fired power plants because growing the economy is a much higher priority.
The Kremlin’s budget floats in oil and gas production, and Mr. Putin will not care if Western Europe reaches zero. Then you will have more energy strength.
The leaders of other major CO2 emitters, such as India, number three in the world, will be in Glasgow, but it may not be either. The Delhi Environment Minister suggested this week that his government will not sign up to net-zero.
With several hundred million Indians still living in poverty, India needs more energy from fossil fuels, just like all of Africa.
Climate conspiracy could still hurt with what will be a new focus on private business. A special obsession is regulations to coerce banks and other financial institutions into imposing a green agenda through their lending and investment decisions.
COP26 will dedicate an entire day to this issue on Wednesday, and the world’s central banks are already moving to make the climate part of their monetary and regulatory decisions.
This has the potential to mislead scarce investment in escape schemes and business welfare. In this sense, COP26 comes through your pension fund and employer even if it does not claim your tax money.
The summit underscores the disconnect between climate rhetoric and what the world’s public is willing to do about it.
Climatics adopt the rhetoric of the Apocalypse even while consuming fossil fuels as before because they know that modern society and development require it.
The climate has warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius since the 19th century, but the amount of future warming is uncertain. So is the potential damage, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said this summer.
The world’s climates could do everyone a favor, including themselves, if they stopped pretending that they can alter the climate and think more about energy adaptation and innovation. Unfortunately, it is easier to make false promises and demand income redistribution.
More information at WSJ ($)
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