Peter Foster: G7 Kicks The Climate Can Off The Planet

  • Date: 10/06/15
  • Peter Foster, Financial Post

The G7 this week committed to deal with greenhouse gas emissions on a similar timetable to the colonization of Mars. The group of leading developed countries solemnly pledged to “decarbonize” the world by 2100, thus kicking the can not so much down the road as off the planet. This represents a clear victory for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s refusal to inflict pointless economic damage.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gives his closing remarks at a news conference following the G7 Summit in Garmisch, Germany.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gives his closing remarks at a news conference following the G7 Summit in Garmisch, Germany.

Inevitably, in their desire to get at the Great Secret Climate Denier, the mainstream media and radical NGOs came at Harper from all sides. Either his participation in the G7 pledge was a major climb down, condemning his beloved oil sands to extinction (albeit after spending 85 years on death row), or it represented culpable procrastination, with an assist from that other Great Power bully, Japan.

Gullible/crusading reporters eagerly regurgitated the line – peddled by anonymous G7 flaks – that Canada and Japan had selfishly ganged up to prevent the stronger commitment that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had so desperately wanted to make. That is, the same kind of commitment that has left the EU’s energy policies a dysfunctional mess, and using more coal. The woman once dubbed “climate chancellor” is looking more and more like the queen of the lemmings.

The G7 did agree to an intermediate goal, emitting 70% less GHGs by 2050, and is still committed to keeping global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius (which should be a lot easier if the current hiatus and temperatures persist in not rising). Then there are all those other shorter-term commitments — “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” — that are due to be served up at the twenty first Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris in December, including Canada’s to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 relative to 2005.

In fact, this week the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers came up with some good news for climate masochists: low oil prices and a drop in investment mean that Canadian oil output in 2030 is projected to be down more than a million barrels a day compared with last year’s forecast. The bad news – for both warmists and policy credibility — is that output of 5.3 million barrels a day will still be up 43%. Also, those lower prices are rendering alternatives even less viable.

In reality (a condition that rarely crops up in climate world), the G7’s firm commitment to our great great great grandchildren is a clear signal – if any more signals are needed — that December’s COP meeting  is doomed to failure: that is, failure to agree to crippling and likely pointless policies. Such failure was also adumbrated by yet another pre-COP draft text-writing bash in Bonn this week, where the G77 and the Alliance of Small Island States bemoaned the lack of progress in shipping them more cash.

The G7 statement represents a clear victory for Harper’s sensible approach. “Nobody’s going to start to shut down their industries or turn off the lights,” he said, adding that decarbonization would only happen via technologies that haven’t been discovered yet. “We’ve simply got to find a way to create lower-carbon emitting sources of energy — and that work is ongoing.”

He did not labour the point that Canada’s emissions are less than 2% of the man-made total, so whatever the country does is climatically pointless. To claim that action is a moral imperative is nonsensical. How is damaging your own economy without helping anybody else (except rent-seeking alternative energy producers and climate bureaucrats) anything but suicidal?

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