Sunday, June 7, 2015

What Do You Expect?

The next and 21st Climate Summit Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris won't take place in Paris until November but already now columnists are writing articles about the meeting.

So far these summits that started in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 uniting hundreds heads of states and of governments as well as environmental and energy ministers have produced many statements on climatic goals but no positive results. On the contrary, since 1992 global COemissions have increased by 56% and Red Baron is convinced that COP21 will not turn the tide.

Change of COemissions for various countries and the globe
 between 1990 and 2013 (©Die Welt)
While between 1990 and 2013 the European Union and Russia* decreased their CO2 output all the other countries in particular those in development increased their greenhouse gas emissions considerably. The European Union has already invested billions of euros in renewable energies but all those efforts compensate for the increase of greenhouse gases in China alone by only 8%.
*It was easy for the Russians to increase their energy efficiency. Red Baron had experienced the wasting of energy under the Communist regime. Overheating badly insulated buildings by using cheap coal-generated energy seemed to be the only luxury for the people in those times.

There are new ideas about how to invest in the limitation of COemissions more intelligently than up to now. It will indeed be more cost-effective to re-afforest regions in Africa or Asia than to insulate buildings in industrialized countries further; but do you really think that the West will spend its money on such measures?

CO2-output for the most important "emitters" between 1990 and 2013 (©Die Welt)
Another proposal is to make China not looking so bad. So why not redefine the reference year taking the year 2013 as the basis instead of 1990 for the upcoming negotiations on a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions? We may indeed hope that the Middle Kingdom due to badly felt air pollution and its limited reserves of coal will not continue to increase its COoutput.

World reserves of fossil fuels and coal reserves of selected countries (©BP)
For me these proposals are just eyewash. While our first chancellor after the war, Konrad Adenauer, always warned in his Rhenish accent about the Soffjetunion (the Soviet Union) one of his successors Kurt Georg Kiesinger later had a vision when he shouted while hammering his knuckles on the lectern: Ich sage nur China, China, China (I only say China, China, China). Indeed, who will predict China's line of approach to global warming?

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