Guest essay by Eric Worrall
In my opinion the United Nations is not serious about climate change. The UN is continuing to try to conflate Covid-19 and climate change, in the apparent hope some of the Covid-19 recovery money sloshing around the world’s banks will spill over into UN climate programmes. But they are ignoring the only genuine, proven path to reducing CO2 emissions, in favour of fabulously expensive and ineffective non-solutions.
COVID-19 brought countries to a halt but climate change kept devastating the world, UN report says
By Luke Cooper • Producer
10:27pm Sep 9, 202
The United in Science Report shows the pandemic will still lead to a drop this year in the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide that is heating the Earth, but there are still drastic ongoing impacts that date from before the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This has been an unprecedented year for people and planet,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives worldwide. At the same time, the heating of our planet and climate disruption has continued apace.
“Never before has it been so clear that we need long-term, inclusive, clean transitions to tackle the climate crisis and achieve sustainable development.
“We must turn the recovery from the pandemic into a real opportunity to build a better future.”
What needs to be done?
The WMO’s suggested course of action to combat the climate change crisis is simple: all countries and all job sectors need to actively work to slash emissions.
The 2016 Paris Agreement, signed by 189 countries, promised to work towards reducing global warming to just 1.5C above temperatures seen in pre-industrial times.
For this to occur by 2030, worldwide emissions need to drop by seven per cent. That is now only possible through an embrace of policies such as renewable energy, low carbon transport and a phase out of coal, the report says.
The United in Science report is available here.
The following from the report is the UN’s plan for reducing CO2 emissions.
We have the solutions to get on track
Is it then possible to bridge the emissions gap? The short answer is yes, but time is running out. The Emissions Gap Reports have provided a detailed assessment of sectoral mitigation options in 2030, which shows that the economic and technical mitigation potential is sufficient to get on track to well below 2 °C and to 1.5 °C. A substantial part of the short-term potential can be realized through scaling up and replicating existing, well-proven policies that simultaneously contribute to other Sustainable Development Goals.
One example is how renewables and energy efficiency, in combination with electrification of end uses (including transport) and a phase out of coal, are key to a successful transition of the global energy sector and to driving down energy-related CO2 emissions. Technological and economic developments offer opportunities to decarbonize the energy sector at a cost that is lower than ever. A key example is the cost declines of renewable energy, which continue to outpace projections. Renewables are by now the cheapest source of new power generation in most parts of the world, with the global weighted average purchase or auction price for new solar power photovoltaic systems and onshore wind turbines now competitive with the marginal operating cost of existing coal plants by 2020 (Figure 3)
Why do I claim the UN is ignoring the only genuine path to emissions reduction?
The reason is, as far as I can tell the report does not even mention nuclear power. Dispatchable, scalable nuclear power is the only system which has even been demonstrated to be a viable zero carbon replacement for fossil fuel. France still derives over 70% of their electricity from nuclear power.
The claim renewables are the cheapest form of power is total fiction, because it fails to consider the cost of backup power. In the absence of affordable, near 100% efficient energy storage, renewables are just an additional cost on top of the cost of the dispatchable energy system, which must still be maintained to cover periods when renewables fail to deliver.
So long as those dispatchable energy systems are required, all renewable systems do is drive up power prices. Customers of renewable heavy power grids are stuck with paying for two parallel energy systems, the reliable dispatchable system, and the unreliable virtue signalling renewable system.
If the UN was serious about reducing emissions, they would put nuclear power at the top of their agenda, because nuclear power is the only demonstrably viable zero carbon path to replacing other forms of dispatchable power.
via Watts Up With That?
September 9, 2020 at 08:32PM