Thursday, 1 June 2017
PARIS FAILURE MEANS IT'S FINALLY TIME TO CHANGE TACK: LOMBORG
Would only have cut 1% of carbon needed for 2°C target
Rest of world can’t do it alone; Paris needs to be replaced with green energy R&D investments
With reports that President Trump is poised to pull the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, it is time to finally give up on the failed Kyoto-Paris approach to global warming, Copenhagen Consensus president and ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’ author Bjorn Lomborg said today.
“The carbon-cutting treaty approach has failed politically and economically for two decades.
“It is an incredibly expensive distraction from the green energy R&D investment that is needed to solve climate change,” Dr. Lomborg said.
“The Paris Treaty hinged on $100 billion a year “climate aid” from rich nations, and cuts in fossil fuel use that would have cost $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030,” Dr. Lomborg said.
“The actual promises in the Paris Treaty were never enough to get anywhere near the pledge to keep global temperature rises down below 2°C,” Dr. Lomborg said.
The UNFCCC’s own estimate showed that the Paris Treaty promises would only have cut CO2 emissions by 56 billion tons by 2030. Keeping temperature rises to 2°C –less stringent even than the Treaty promise of below 2°C – would require a reduction of around 6,000 billion tons of CO₂ emissions across the century.
“Even if President Trump had kept the US in the Paris Treaty and it had been perfectly implemented, it would have achieved less than one percent of what is needed to keep temperature rises under 2°C. Declaring victory over climate change based on the Paris Treaty would be like declaring you’ve successfully dieted, after eating the first salad.”
“It would be foolhardy for the rest of the world to continue the Paris Treaty without U.S. involvement, with costs still likely above one trillion dollars per year and even less of a miniscule effect on global temperatures,” Dr. Lomborg said.
“The Kyoto and Paris approach to climate change has failed. To solve global warming, we need to invest far more into making green energy competitive. If solar and wind generation and storage were cheaper than fossil fuels, it wouldn’t be necessary to force or subsidize anyone to stop burning coal and oil. This doesn’t require a global agreement to cut economic growth, and it doesn’t have the economic and political pitfalls of the Paris approach,” Dr. Lomborg said.