Big Green's climate goals inconsistent with economic growth
The world is waking up to the fact the climate-policy goal of achieving “net-zero” CO2 emissions brings crippling economic pain.
Fossil-fuel prices shot up 26% across industrialized economies last year and will rise globally by another 50% this year. Politicians blame Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the long-term trend stems mostly from governments demonizing fossil fuels while their societies remain dependent on them. Since the 2015 Paris climate agreement, global fossil-fuel investment has halved, inevitably driving up prices.
As fossil-fuel prices climb, activists believe people will shift painlessly to renewable energy sources. But they’ve made a major miscalculation: Renewables are far from ready to power the world.
Solar and wind can only work with massive amounts of backup power, mostly fossil fuels, to keep the world running when the wind dies down, the sky clouds over or night falls. And renewables mostly generate electricity, which is just one-fifth of our total energy use — the vast majority is non-electric like transport, industrial processes and heat.
That’s why the world still gets 80% of its energy from fossil fuels, and renewables deliver just 15%. This won’t change any time soon — even the Biden administration expects the world in 2050 to be dependent on fossil fuels for 70% of energy.
But most net-zero policies try to force much greater reductions in fossil fuels, driving down investment and making them extremely expensive before alternatives can take over. That leads to worldwide pain, like the northern hemisphere winter we’re entering with Europe preparing for brownouts and two-thirds of the UK population predicted to enter energy poverty.
Rich countries are showcasing the policies to avoid. Germany is on track to spend more than half a trillion dollars on climate policies by 2025 yet has only managed to reduce fossil-fuel dependency from 84% percent in 2000 to 77% today.
McKinsey estimates getting to net-zero will cost Europe 5.3% of its GDP in low-emission assets every year, or more than $200 billion annually just for Germany. That’s more than it spends annually on education and police, courts and prisons combined.
The United States has gone all-in on its own net-zero ambition with the most expensive climate-change policy in its history. With the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden administration plans to spend $369 billion promoting low-carbon energy and electric vehicles. This vast expenditure will have a negligible impact on climate change, reducing the global temperature rise unmeasurably, possibly as low as 0.0009°F.
Little wonder emerging economies are balking at the expectation they emulate these terrible policies. How they tackle climate change is vital because about three-quarters of all emissions in the rest of the 21st century will come from today’s developing countries — India, China and countries across Africa and Asia.
The goals of Big Green are totally unrealistic and also unnecessary. The projections of global warming have been consistently wrong. The poles have not melted and the seas have not risen as predicted. The world is wsting a lot of money on "climate change" and getting immeasurable results.