Paris came to New York this week, with leaders of countries signing the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement coming to the United Nations to chide, nudge or beseech Donald Trump in hopes he would reverse his decision to scrap the agreement.
The U.K.’s Theresa May, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau, among others, could have saved their breath. Since his pullout in June, Trump has repeatedly reaffirmed the wisdom of pulling out of the “bad deal” for the U.S. that was Paris. All the evidence that has since come down only bolsters his case.
Shortly after Trump announced the pullout, stats from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal confirmed that coal is on a tear, with 1600 plants planned or under construction in 62 countries. The champion of this coal-building binge is China, which boasts 11 of the world’s 20 largest coal-plant developers, and which is building 700 of the 1600 new plants, many in foreign countries, including high-population countries such as Egypt and Pakistan that until now have burned little or no coal.
All told, the plants underway represent a phenomenal 43 per cent increase in coal-fired power capacity, making Trump’s case that China and other Third World countries are eating the West’s lunch, using climate change as a club to kneecap us with expensive power while enriching themselves.
At the same time that growth in coal is soaring, that of renewables is sagging. As reported by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, renewables investment fell in 2016 by 18 per cent over the peak year of 2015, and nine per cent over 2014. In the first two quarters of 2017, the trend continued downward, with double-digit year-over-year declines in each of the first two quarters.
For the rest of this column: http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/lawrence-solomon-paris-is-dead-the-global-warming-deniers-have-won