The futility of the Paris global warming agreement
...High cost and little reward make little sense in a rational world. But, the true believers of global warming do not want to hear any doubts about the efficacy of their projects.
The Paris Agreement will cost a fortune but do little to reduce global warming. In a peer-reviewed article published in Global Policy this year, I looked at the widely hailed major policies that Paris Agreement signatories pledged to undertake and found that they will have a negligible temperature impact. I used the same climate-prediction model that the United Nations uses.
First, consider the Obama administration’s signature climate policy, the Clean Power Plan. The U.N.’s model shows that it will accomplish almost nothing. Even if the policy withstands current legal challenges and its cuts are totally implemented—not for the 14 years that the Paris agreement lasts, but for the rest of the century—the Clean Power Plan would reduce temperatures by 0.023 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
President Obama has made grander promises of future carbon cuts, beyond the plan’s sweeping restrictions on the power industry, but these are only vaguely outlined now. In the unlikely event that all of these extra cuts also happen, and are adhered to throughout the rest of the century, the combined reduction in temperatures would be 0.057 degrees. In other words, if the U.S. delivers for the whole century on the very ambitious Obama rhetoric, it would postpone global warming by about eight months at the end of the century.
Or consider the Paris Agreement promises from the entire world using the reduction estimate from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the organization responsible for the Paris summit. The U.N.’s model reveals a temperature reduction by the end of the century of only 0.08 degrees Fahrenheit. If we generously assume that the promised cuts for 2030 are not only met (which itself would be a U.N. first), but sustained throughout the rest of the century, temperatures in 2100 would drop by 0.3 degrees—the equivalent of postponing warming by less than four years at the end of the century. A cut of 0.3 degrees matches the finding of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis of the Paris Agreement last year.
The costs of the Paris climate pact are likely to run to $1 trillion to $2 trillion annually throughout the rest of the century, using the best estimates from the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum and the Asia Modeling Exercise. Spending more than $100 trillion for such a feeble temperature reduction by the end of the century does not make sense.