If there ever was a confirmation that the UN climate conferences have been a total failure, then this is it.
According to the German Press Agency (dpa), Germany is now looking for partners in order to found a “coalition of the willing” for implementing the transition to renewable energies. Apparently, the creation of green jobs and green prosperity doesn’t work if you do it by yourself, and only works if everyone around you does it too. About 10 countries will be attending an energy conference in Abu Dhabi today to forge a new renewable energy alliance. Greenpeace is angered by the new German path of voluntary participation.
German Minister of Environment Peter Altmaier said about 10 other countries will launch the coalition. The objective of the conference will be to lay down the groundworks for a close cooperation between willing countries for expanding the use of renewable energies. They’re starting again from scratch.
The DPA writes that the objective of expanding renewable energies is to “strengthen global climate protection in times of rapid global warming.” Obviously someone forgot to tell the DPA and Minister Altmaier that the globe stopped warming 15 years ago. That’s what the IPCC’s main data supplier UEA MetOffice announced recently. There’s no warming at all, let alone rapid warming. The DPA even indirectly admits that global warming is no longer a compelling enough reason to switch over the green energies, adding:
Moreover, fossil fuel availability is not unlimited and will get more expensive in the future.”
The DPA quotes Altmaier:
In a world where we will soon have 8 billion inhabitants, there will be no alternative but to decouple economic growth from the consumption of natural resources if we wish not to jeopardise the elementary basis of life on this planet.”
Altmaier is not an economist, and it shows. He’s a lawyer. Altmaier does not know that it is the decoupling of the use of fossil fuels from the global economy that will jeopardise human life on this planet – mainly the most vulnerable among us.
The DPA writes that large developing countries like China are expanding their use of renewable energies. So that means we should follow them? What the DPA does not mention is that these same developing countries are building fossil fuel plants faster than ever today. China, for example, puts one coal-fired power plant on-line every week, and will do so for the next 40 years. Now that’s something we ought to follow!
So why is Germany now embarking on the new path of renewable energy by a coalition of the willing? It’s because the UN process has failed. The DPA writes (my emphasis):
In light of the minimal progress made by the UN climate conferences, Altmaier views this as an important supplement to new alliances for leading countries. […] He emphasized that especially in emerging and developing countries green electricity must be supported even more.”
Green energies for poor developing countries? Renewable energy is not even affordable in rich Europe. Last year 600,000 German households had their power cut off because they were unable to pay their electricity bills. How are poor countries going to afford it? The DPA report says that 1.4 billion people have no power at all. These dirt poor citizens are supposed to start out with electricity from the highest price class? Starving Africans can trade up their wheelbarrows for BMWs that run only 20% of the time.
Greenpeace is angered by the new German initiative: “We certainly do not need another decade of energy transition conferences,” said Sven Teske of Greenpeace International. What’s needed, Teske says, is to “increase the pressure to end the support for more more coal and nuclear power plants once and for all.” In other words, the very power that the poor could afford. Well Mr. Teske, go tell China and India to stop building coal plants. Of course you won’t because you know they’ll just tell you to take a flying leap.
We should applaud Germany’s new approach on this. If countries want to go ahead, voluntarily, on the path to renewable energy, then they should do so. If it’s so wonderful, then they don’t need the rest of the world to go along. If it’s such a great idea, then just do it! What are you waiting for? Nobody is stopping you.