FOREIGN AFFAIRS by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
Why G7 endorsed UN climate-change agenda
, July 4, 2015
The world’s leading industrial nations, the G7, endorsed the climate-change agenda of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at a recent meeting in Germany.
G7 leaders meeting in Germany
The G7 meeting, hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also included leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the UK. Representatives from the European Union were also present.
The G7 meeting concluded with a resolution which reaffirmed the goal of limiting global warming in the 21st century to two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, first agreed to at a 2009 United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen.
“Urgent and concrete action is needed to address climate change,” the leaders said in a final statement after the two-day summit. “We emphasise that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required, with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century.”
The outcome of the meeting is intended to put pressure on other nations to make equivalent commitments before the next IPCC summit in Paris in December 2015.
The paradox is that since 1998 there has been almost no discernible increase in global temperatures, according to best global authorities on measuring the earth’s temperature from space, Dr John Christy and Dr Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama.
The IPCC claims that the average temperature at the earth’s surface has already risen one degree since the world’s industrialisation got under way in the 19th century, and is currently rising at a rate of two degrees per century.
(A great problem with the claimed historical data is that there were no reliable global temperature records until late in the 20th century, because most of the world’s surface is covered by oceans, and much of the land mass is inaccessible, in deserts and jungles.)
Contrary to the IPCC’s claims, the American satellite data shows far smaller temperature increases since satellite data became available in 1979. The satellite temperature data is important because for large parts of the earth’s surface no temperature records are maintained (over 70 per cent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, for example).
Sites on land are often located in towns or cities, where they are subject to the effects of urbanisation and other factors (the “heat-island effect”).
The satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer records of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant thermometers calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch. They show negligible heating averaged over the earth during the past 30 years.
Why then did the G7 endorse a program that says the opposite? Part of the explanation lies in the fact that Western Europe, influenced by the environmental movement for decades, has already adopted the IPCC’s agenda.
In Britain, for example, Margaret Thatcher shut down the country’s government-run coalmines after the great Miners’ Strike of 1984–85 because the coalminers’ union attempted to bring the government to its knees in pursuit of a 30 per cent wage claim. However, Mrs Thatcher said publicly that it was because coal was polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases.
Since then Britain has relied on natural gas from the North Sea and imported coal from Germany.
France already generates 80 per cent of its electricity at nuclear or hydro plants, so it has no difficulty meeting greenhouse gas targets that its competitors cannot match.
Germany uses 1990 as the base year for its greenhouse gas reduction targets. At that time, the polluting power stations of communist East Germany were included in Germany’s total. These have now been closed down and replaced by cleaner power stations.
As for the United States, President Obama’s commitment to big cuts to the US’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to “decarbonise” the US economy by the end of the century, is utterly worthless.
Mr Obama knows that any new treaty must be endorsed by either a two-thirds majority of the Senate or by a majority vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. But Republicans control both houses.
Obama’s “commitment” is nothing short of grandstanding. He is endorsing a proposition which he knows will never be accepted by the US Congress, just as his predecessor, Bill Clinton, did with the Kyoto Protocol, which he signed on behalf of the US but never put before Congress.
Meanwhile, there has been almost complete silence from the world’s largest carbon-dioxide emitter, China, or from India. However, it is well to remember that China signed an agreement with the US – which Obama applauded – under which China will continue to increase CO2 emissions until 2030.
The proposed international climate agreement is a sham.
Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.