Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

OPINION: Corporate welfare is costly, even when it’s green – by Mark Milke (Globe and Mail – December 14, 2018)

Multiple headlines in the past several weeks have highlighted how government subsidies to major corporations did nothing to stem factory closings and job losses. They include Bombardier Inc.’s announcement of 5,000 layoffs despite at least $5-billion in federal and Quebec subsidies.

Then General Motors Co. announced it was laying off 14,700 people across North America. That came despite tax dollars going to the automotive sector: $3.7-billion in Canada and US$16.6-billion in the United States, stemming from the 2008-09 government bailouts.

Now switch gears and look at favourable headlines for another industry – green energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that wind, solar and biomass will capture two-thirds of the new investment dollars in new power plants by 2040. But what exactly is meant by “investment dollars” when renewables receive massive taxpayer aid? Continue Reading →

Touting Coal But Negotiating Emissions Cuts – What Is Trump Up To In Poland? – by Dave Keating (Forbes Magazine – December 11, 2018)

Yesterday, when the U.S. delegation at UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland organised an event promoting fossil fuels, the reaction was fierce – and predictable.

It was the second year in a row the U.S. has staged such an event at the annual climate gathering setting the rules of the Paris Climate Agreement, staying true to the headline message coming from the White House that climate change is a hoax and the agreement will hinder economic growth.

But behind the scenes, delegates from the U.S. government are sounding a different tone. Speaking at a “innovation in coal and natural gas” event on the sidelines of the summit, Preston Wells Griffith, the deputy assistant secretary for international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, told the audience that “alarmism should not silence realism.” Continue Reading →

Adani: thousands protest across Australia against Carmichael mine – by Staff (The Guardian – December 8, 2018)

Thousands of protestors campaigning against Indian mining giant Adani’s controversial Queensland coalmine have taken to the streets in major cities across Australia to call on the government to stop it going ahead.

Protesters marched in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns on Saturday, just a week after 15,000 school students demonstrated against government inaction on climate change. It follows the announcement last month by Adani it would self-finance the controversial project after scaling back its size and scope.

The coal project is being downsized from a 60-million-tonnes a year, $16.5 billion mega-mine to a more manageable 10-to-15 million tonnes a year costing around $2 billion. In Brisbane, hundreds of protestors gathered outside Adani’s headquarters to voice their opposition to the project. Continue Reading →

Canada co-hosts ‘coal-free day’ at UN climate meeting in Poland – by Mia Rabson (The Canadian Press/Global News – December 8, 2018)

OTTAWA — Canada and the United Kingdom are hosting a “coal-free day” at the United Nations climate talks in Katowice, Poland, a city built on coal mining.

Poland relies on coal for almost 80 per cent of its electricity, more than double the global average, and Katowice is the heart of its industry. The city of about 300,000 people grew up around workshops and mills fuelled by the coal deposits abundant in the ground.

At the International Congress Centre in Katowice, where thousands of environment leaders and representatives from almost every country in the world are meeting for at least two weeks, you can see the smoke stacks and plumes of coal exhaust from nearby power plants. Continue Reading →

Poland celebrates coal as talks start in mining capital – by Jean Chemnick (E&E News – December 6, 2018)

The future of the Paris climate agreement is being charted now in a Polish city that proudly displays its coal-mining heritage. The U.N. climate talks that began Monday in Katowice, Poland, aim to finish the Paris “rulebook” — implementing guidelines for the 3-year-old pact.

Failure to strike a deal by the end of next week would undermine global trust in the climate deal in the wake of a U.N. report last year that showed only a swift decarbonization could avert disaster.

“Leaders of the world, you must lead,” British broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough said at the conference’s opening Monday. “The continuation of our civilizations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands.” U.N. chief António Guterres echoed that message, urging representatives of nearly 200 nations to work together. “Only global answers,” he said, “can solve global problems.” Continue Reading →

Miners’ Day celebrated in climate talks city in Poland – by Monika Scislowska (Associated Press/Washington Post – December 4, 2018)

KATOWICE, Poland — Miners’ brass bands led celebrations Tuesday honoring the patron saint of miners in the southern Polish city that’s hosting this year’s U.N. climate talks.

Musicians began Miner’s Day, dedicated to Catholic Saint Barbara, with a traditional sunrise concert in the streets of a historic district in Katowice.

The performers, dressed in black uniforms with red plumed hats, marched to church for a Mass in honor of the patron saint, who they believe watches over the miners as they toil underground.

Katowice has been a center of coal mining for more than a century and its culture is closely intertwined with the industry that is largely blamed for global warming. Many mines have closed in the Silesia region in recent years due to financial pressure and the drive for climate protection.

President Andrzej Duda vowed to miners that he would protect their jobs, saying coal mining is “one of the foundations of Poland’s economy.” “Don’t worry. As long as I’m Poland’s president I will not allow anyone to murder Poland’s mining,” Duda said.

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The most important country for the global climate no one is talking about – by Nithin Coca ( – December 5, 2018)

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, but manages to fly well below the radar.

World leaders are gathered this month in Katowice, Poland, for COP24, the most important global meeting on climate change since the 2015 UN Climate Conference in Paris. At the top of agenda: getting countries to agree on rules to implement the Paris climate accords for 2020, when the pact goes into effect.

The meeting serves as a reminder of troubling facts — President Donald Trump still intends to withdraw the United States from the accord, and the most recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s warns that we have just 12 years to limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But flying well below the radar in all of this is Indonesia, currently the world’s fifth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, which come mainly from land use, land use change, and forestry. Today Indonesia stands out for how little it has done to implement policies that would enable it to meet its commitment under the Paris agreement: cutting emissions from deforestation by 29 percent below business-as-usual projections by 2030. Continue Reading →

For Poland’s mining region, coal remains a way of life (France – December 2, 2018)

KNURÓW (POLAND) (AFP) – “It’s a family thing. My father, my grandfather were miners, so I am,” says Arkadiusz Wojcik at a coal mine in the southern Polish town of Knurow. Defying the danger to life and limb of descending into the mine on a daily basis, Poland’s coal miners still pass down the job from father to son.

The occupation may be on its way out in much of the West, but in Poland’s Silesian coal country it is thriving thanks to high wages and support from a government that refuses to decarbonise the economy. In Brussels, Berlin and Paris, coal is the enemy. It produces the carbon dioxide blamed for the planet’s rising temperatures.

In Poland however, coal is a way of life, with no signs of changing. “Here in Silesia, it’s a tradition,” says Wojcik, 36, after working a night shift 650 metres (2,100 feet) underground. The Knurow mine is operational day and night, with the schedule divided into four shifts. But one thing is constant: the risk. Continue Reading →

A Climate Summit in the Heart of Coal Country – by Meciej Martewicz and Jeremy Hodges (Bloomberg News – December 2, 2018)

As government officials, scientists, and green activists gather for the United Nations climate conference in Poland, Adam Pietron has a few words of advice: Try to avoid the air. Pietron lives in Katowice, a coal-mining and steel-making stronghold for centuries that’s host to the conclave, and he says the pollution is so bad that this year he installed an air purifier.

“Sometimes the smog is terrible,” Pietron says, consulting an app on his phone that measures air quality. “A few days back, it was tough to breathe.” More than 22,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries are coming to a city as closely tied to the carbon economy as almost anywhere on earth.

Katowice is the capital of Silesia, the heart of the coal industry in the country with Europe’s worst air–mostly due to its continued reliance on the fuel for everything from massive power plants to basement furnaces. Continue Reading →

‘Impossible task’? World leaders meeting for high-stakes climate talks – by Frank Jordans and Monika Scislowska (The Associated Press/CTV News – November 28, 2018)

KATOWICE, Poland — Three years after sealing a landmark global climate deal in Paris, world leaders are gathering again to agree on the fine print.

The euphoria of 2015 has given way to sober realization that getting an agreement among almost 200 countries, each with their own political and economic demands, will be challenging — as evidenced by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris accord, citing his “America First” mantra.

“Looking from the outside perspective, it’s an impossible task,” Poland’s deputy environment minister, Michal Kurtyka, said of the talks he will preside over in Katowice from Dec. 2-14. Top of the agenda will be finalizing the so-called Paris rulebook, which determines how countries have to count their greenhouse gas emissions, transparently report them to the rest of the world and reveal what they are doing to reduce them. Continue Reading →

The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard? – by Somini Sengupta (New York Times – November 24, 2018)

HANOI, Vietnam — Coal, the fuel that powered the industrial age, has led the planet to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

Scientists have repeatedly warned of its looming dangers, most recently on Friday, when a major scientific report issued by 13 United States government agencies warned that the damage from climate change could knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end if significant steps aren’t taken to rein in warming.

An October report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on global warming found that avoiding the worst devastation would require a radical transformation of the world economy in just a few years. Central to that transformation: Getting out of coal, and fast. Continue Reading →

What’s in a name? With ‘Climate Change,’ a lot of reckless misuse – by Rex Murphy (National Post – November 17, 2018)

If a rebrand will help the activist cause, who really cares about rigour in the scientific discipline?

One of the more distinguishing aspects of the global warming frenzy is the playful manner in which its adherents approach language. Whenever they feel the need to rearrange the terms of debate, counter the emergence of “inconvenient” facts, or simply put a whole new banner on the crusade, neither shame nor consistency offers any brake to their innovations.

Should the world, the weather, their most central projections “present” in any manner that doesn’t accord with their most pious predispositions, then they simply rename the whole thing. In the beginning it was always the fight against Global Warming — capital G, capital W.

But Global Warming proved an unaccommodating brand. When snow in all its abundant white purity continued to fall where snow was no longer meant to fall, when glaciers failed to move and melt at the speeds Global Warming had promised they would, when temperatures dropped to chilling Antarctic levels in places where Global Warming prophets had projected the growth of palm trees, even the sages of the IPCC realized it was time to change the window display, and put a new face on the failing campaign. Continue Reading →

Another report reluctantly admits that ‘green’ energy is a disastrous flop – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – November 22, 2018)

This report should be profoundly embarrassing to the government of Justin Trudeau

Amid hundreds of graphs, charts and tables in the latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) released last week by the International Energy Agency, there is one fundamental piece of information that you have to work out for yourself: the percentage of total global primary energy demand provided by wind and solar. The answer is 1.1 per cent. The policy mountains have laboured and brought forth not just a mouse, but — as the report reluctantly acknowledges — an enormously disruptive mouse.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has in recent years become an increasingly schizophrenic organization. As both a source of energy information and a shill for the UN’s climate-focused sustainable development agenda, it has to talk up the “transition to a low-carbon future” while simultaneously reporting that it’s not happening. But it will!

This report should be profoundly embarrassing to the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau, which has virtue-signalled itself to the front of a parade that is going nowhere, although it can certainly claim genuine leadership in the more forceful route to transition: killing the fossil fuel industry by edict. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: At U.N. climate talks, Trump team plans sideshow on coal – by Timothy Gardner (Reuters U.S. – November 15, 2018)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration plans to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual U.N. climate talks next month, repeating a strategy that infuriated global-warming activists during last year’s talks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

As with the 2017 gathering in Bonn, Germany, the administration plans to highlight the benefits of technologies that more efficiently burn fuels including coal, the sources said.

This year’s talks in Katowice, Poland – located in a mining region that is among the most polluted in Europe – are intended to hammer out a rule book to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which set a sweeping goal of ending the fossil-fuel era this century by spurring a trillion-dollar transition to cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind power. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Top scientists, writers and academics sign open letter backing nuclear to tackle climate change

OTTAWA, Nov. 5, 2018 /CNW/ – A distinguished and prominent group of Canadians and international men and women today released the text of an Open Letter to Canadians they will publish later this week in support of urgent action to reduce carbon emissions, including the need for next-generation nuclear technology to be part of the mix.

“Despite a vocal but dwindling ‘anti-nuke’ contingent stuck in last century’s political battles,” said David Schumacher, a signatory of the letter and organizer of the initiative, “these innovative nuclear power efforts deserve the support of government, industry, and all Canadians. Without nuclear it is going to be impossible to tackle climate change, so everyone has a stake in the success of these efforts.”

Mr. Schumacher is an Emmy-winning Canadian filmmaker, whose documentary, “The New Fire,” makes the case for next-generation nuclear to battle climate change.

The Open Letter is signed by 25 influential individuals, including prominent Canadians, Frank McKenna, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. and former premier of New Brunswick; Continue Reading →