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Highlighted Article: Greenhouse Gas Emissions - The Global Picture

Posted On:
Sep 10, 2020 at 3:00 AM
Climate Change


From: The Global Warming Policy Foundation

By: Martin Livermore

Date: September, 2020


Greenhouse Gas Emissions - The Global Picture


The current round of international action on climate change mitigation is achieving little. Under pressure from a powerful environmental lobby, politicians pay lip service to the need for drastic decarbonisation of developed-world economies and commit to increasingly unrealistic targets. Meanwhile, global emissions continue to rise. Even with the major economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is estimated that global emissions of carbon dioxide in 2020 will be only 5.5% lower than the previous year.

Leaving aside any consideration of the actual effectiveness of decarbonisation – if it could be achieved – it behoves the scientific and political establishment to revise their analysis of what can be done and how to achieve it, and focus efforts on developing realistic and affordable solutions. Fossil
fuels will inevitably be replaced by other sources of energy, but only when credible, economic alternatives are available.

Whatever efforts European states make to reduce emissions, the outcome could simply be to cripple their economies, while China, India and the rest of the less-developed world continues to fuel growth with coal and oil. These countries will never follow the lead of the EU or others until the solutions provided are economic.

Despite this, politicians are reluctant to criticise activists such as Extinction Rebellion, despite their naïve demands for rapid and complete decarbonisation in single countries, which ignore the bigger picture.

In these circumstances, it is far better to focus resources on developing energy generation and storage technologies (plus, potentially, carbon capture technologies) that industry and domestic consumers would choose without compulsion or subsidies. The industrialised world would still be taking a lead, but in a much more rational way.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions - The Global Picture