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Germany's Murder of Europe - by Drieu Godefridi for the Gatestone Institute -21.03.24

Climate, of course, is a global issue: if Europe reduces its emissions to zero, while the rest of the world continues to increase them, the effect on the climate will be zero. As a result, the German plan will not save a single euro in terms of the damage caused by global warming and extreme events.


So, the investment needed each year would not be €1.5 trillion invested to save 0.03% of GDP per year. It would be €30 trillion — €1.5 trillion per year for 20 years — invested to change absolutely nothing in the climate of Europe.


There are no serious analysts left who still maintain that the objective of the Paris Agreement will be achieved; the Paris Agreement is obsolete and to pretend otherwise, as the European Commission is doing, is misleading, irresponsible, and not even scientific.


In practical terms, whole swathes of our populations have entered into a pattern that is the ultimate dream of environmentalists: degrowth. In other words, their impoverishment.


Ironically, if the IPCC's projections are to be believed, global warming may occur, and we will adapt to it through innovation. All the resources that Europe is burning up in a phantasmatic "energy transition", which has failed and will fail -- will just burn through money that we will then not have for innovation. What will Europe do when these misguided ideologies have permanently broken the back of its economy?


Climate is a global issue. If Europe reduces its emissions to zero, while the rest of the world continues to increase them, the effect on the climate will be zero. As a result, the German plan will not save a single euro in terms of the damage caused by global warming and extreme events.


In a preparatory impact report, a copy of which has been obtained by the Financial Times before official release, the European Commission estimates that to achieve the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2040 then 100% in 2050 — the main objective of the "European Green Deal" — Europe will need to invest €1.5 trillion a year from 2031 to 2050.

1.5 trillion euros a year. That is equivalent to 10% of the Europe Union's entire GDP for 2022 -- every year! Apart from a war effort, there is no objective of any kind that has ever required the diversion of 10% of a continent's GDP by political decree.


The new German utopia


This number shows us that, while Germany has had to give up imposing its hatred of nuclear power on its European partners, it is determined to inflict on Europe the rest of the environmental utopia, i.e. total decarbonization, even at the cost of economic collapse and freedoms.


You may say that the European Commission is not Germany, but anyone who has worked in the Commission will tell you that there are two insurmountable lobbies at this level: Germany, by far is the most powerful country in Europe, followed by the environmental NGOs, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, which have permanent offices in the Berlaymont, the headquarters building of the European Commission. The fact that the current president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is German is just the icing on the apfelstrudel.


All the same, everything in this delirious report by the German Commission is wrong.


The Commission's pseudo-savvy calculations


The report states that the cost of inaction would be much higher than €1.5 trillion a year. In fact, explains the report, the European plan will save up to 1% of GDP per year. It should be noted, however, that this figure runs counter to all the IPCC's projections on the cost of global warming — which is 0.03 % of GDP per year, not 1%.


Annex 8 of the impact report just published by the Commission states:


"The IPCC AR6 Working Group II report (2022) confirms that global aggregate economic impacts generally increase with higher degree of global warming. However, due to the wide range of damage estimates and lack of comparability between methodologies, the report does not provide a robust range of estimates but recognizes that global aggregate economic impacts could be higher than estimated in the previous report."


In short, the IPCC's sixth report states that the cost of global warming could actually be greater than that stated in the fifth report.


Unfortunately (for lack of time? space? ink?) the Commission does not bother to reiterate what was said in the fifth report, which was voluble and precise on the question of the cost of global warming. Let us make up for this shortcoming: according to the fifth IPCC report AR5, chapter 10:


"For most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers... Changes in population, age, income, technology, relative prices... and many other aspects of socioeconomic development will have an impact on the supply and demand of economic goods and services that is large relative to the impact of climate change."


Above all, the Paris Agreement, of which the Commission claims to be part, aimed to limit global warming to only 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100. Achieving this objective presupposed a drastic global reduction in human greenhouse global gas emissions, not just Europe. However, since 2015, these global emissions have continued to rise, and there is no realistic scenario in which global emissions will decrease. China, which still builds roughly two new coal-power plants a week, and India continue to lay waste to these projections.


Climate, of course, is a global issue: if Europe reduces its emissions to zero, while the rest of the world continues to increase them, the effect on the climate will be zero. As a result, the German plan will not save a single euro in terms of the damage caused by global warming and extreme events.


So, the investment needed each year would not be €1.5 trillion invested to save 0.03% of GDP per year. It would be €30 trillion — €1.5 trillion per year for 20 years — invested to change absolutely nothing in the climate of Europe.


There are no serious analysts left who still maintain that the objective of the Paris Agreement will be achieved; the Paris Agreement is obsolete and to pretend otherwise, as the European Commission is doing, is misleading, irresponsible, and not even scientific.


In addition, the report goes on to say that reducing European imports of fossil fuels would result in savings of up to €2.8 trillion between 2031 and 2050. At present there is no technical or scientific way of overcoming the intermittent nature of renewable energies such as wind, solar. As a result, Europe's energy mix will have to continue to rely on fossil fuels in addition to nuclear power, as demonstrated by Germany, the champion of lignite coal and CO2 emissions – and releasing ten times more CO2 than France, per unit of energy produced -- in 2024. What is more, this pseudo-savvy calculation presupposes that we know the prices of oil and gas in advance, and that we persist in banning the exploitation of the shale gas that lies beneath Europe's soil.


The report by the European Commission shows a frightening headlong rush. The situation in Europe is already dramatic. Since 2008, American GDP has doubled, meaning that Americans earn twice as much as they did in 2008. Since 2008, Europe's GDP has stagnated. This means that Europeans are increasingly taxed and harassed, and forbidden to move, build, undertake, innovate and start a family as they see fit, while their incomes are not increasing.


The shale revolution means that America now could be the world's largest producer of oil and gas, if President Joe Biden had not hobbled domestic energy production on his first day in office. The beneficiaries of his move were Russia, Iran -- and China, which can now more easily sell its cheap coal, thereby polluting the climate even more.


"Meanwhile," according to Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs commentator of the Financial Times, "energy prices in Europe have soared."


"The Ukraine war and the loss of cheap Russian gas mean that European industry typically pays three or four times as much for energy as their American competitors. Gloomy European bosses say this is already leading to factory closures in Europe".


In practical terms, whole swathes of our populations have entered into a pattern that is the ultimate dream of environmentalists: degrowth. In other words, their impoverishment. Giorgos Kallis, a prominent figure in the field of environmental economics, asserted recently the necessity of adopting a "degrowth" paradigm over the conventional GDP-based model. He contends that economies can and must thrive while simultaneously diminishing inequality and enhancing overall well-being.


Scenarios


Three possible scenarios emerge.


In the first scenario, the EU will persist in its German ecological utopia, which will throw the whole of Europe even more deeply into the recession in which Germany is already languishing. In the context of its current economic stagnation, Europe cannot afford to divert 10% of its GDP per year to unaffordable, unreliable and intermittent energy sources. Popular revolts will multiply, making the current farmers' revolt look like "Pat the Bunny." It should be obvious that our democracies will not be able to withstand the impoverishment deliberately organized by "elites" who have gone mad trying to promote an insufficiently substantiated green ideology.


In the second scenario, the EU would not undo the "European Green Deal," but its entry into force would simply be rescheduled (meaning postponed). This scenario condemns Europe to what economists Lawrence Summers and Henri Lepage name "secular stagnation," a condition when there is negligible or no economic growth in a market-based economy, on the model of Japan.


A third scenario would see a new majority come to power through the European elections in June -- after all, what is the point of democratic elections if not to allow a change of course? -- and deconstruct (repeal) every piece of legislation in a European Green Deal that has become irrelevant or economically harmful to the most destitute among us in the current global context.


Ironically, if the IPCC's projections are to be believed, global warming may occur, and we will adapt to it through innovation. All the resources that Europe is burning up in a phantasmatic "energy transition", which has failed and will fail -- will just burn through money that we will then not have for innovation. What will Europe do when these misguided ideologies have permanently broken the back of its economy?



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Germany's Murder of Europe - by Drieu Godefridi for the Gatestone Institute - 21.03.24
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Drieu Godefridi is a jurist (University Saint-Louis, University of Louvain), philosopher (University Saint-Louis, University of Louvain) and PhD in legal theory (Paris IV-Sorbonne). He is an entrepreneur, CEO of a European private education group and director of PAN Medias Group. He is the author of The Green Reich (2020).


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Ken Worthy
Ken Worthy
24 mar

An excellent demolition of net zero.

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