The great climate backslide: How governments are regressing worldwide 

Posted: February 15, 2022 by oldbrew in climate, COP26, Energy, net zero, opinion
Tags: , ,

Wyoming coal trains [image credit:

A cold blast of reality is upsetting the fragile dreams of climate obsessives, who like to think humans can make the weather cooler by spending fortunes on expensive and often inefficient technologies. Renewables will never get anywhere near meeting global energy demand, which always rises.
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At the conclusion of the UN climate summit in November, COP26 President Alok Sharma praised the “heroic efforts” of nations showing that they could rise above their differences and unite to tackle climate change, an outcome that “the world had come to doubt.”

It turns out that the world was right to be skeptical, says the Taipei Times / Bloomberg.

Three months later, political intransigence, an energy crisis and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic have cast doubt on the progress made in Glasgow, Scotland.

If last year was marked by optimism that the biggest polluters were finally willing to set ambitious net-zero targets, this year threatens to be the year of global backsliding.

From the US to China — in Europe, India and Japan — fossil fuels are staging a comeback, clean energy stocks are taking a hammering and the prospects for speeding the transition to renewable sources of power are looking grim. This is even as renewable energy costs have rapidly fallen, investment in clean technologies is soaring and voters across the world are demanding greater action.

“We’re going to have a multiyear stress test of political will to impose costly transition policies,” said Bob McNally, president of Washington-based consultant Rapidan Energy Group and a former White House official.

He accused governments of showing “Potemkin support” for the necessary policy steps, a sham display of action that is being exposed by the energy crisis.

Emissions rose last year, when they needed to decline if the world is to stay on track to hit climate goals. National interest was always going to run up against the kind of painful measures scientists agree are needed to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels, but even this early in the year, the headwinds to aggressive climate action are ferocious.

Oil is on a roll as the world economy picks up from its pandemic-induced swoon, nearing US$100 per barrel just two years after the price collapsed. That is swelling the coffers — and influence — of fossil-fuel giants such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, while reinvigorating an industry that had been shifting its focus to clean energies. Exxon Mobil Corp was just given a vote of confidence in the US shale industry with plans to boost output by 25 percent this year in the Permian Basin.

With natural gas prices hitting records, utilities have been turning to coal instead, despite it producing about twice the carbon, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kit Konolige said.

Even the UK host of COP26 risks regressing, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the ropes and some members of his Conservative Party pushing back against his green agenda.

Little wonder that US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has seemed increasingly glum, repeatedly warning that the world is falling behind.

Full article here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    From the TT report:
    In several high-level meetings, Chinese officials have stressed energy security alongside efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

    As the People’s Daily said in an opinion piece: “The rice bowl of energy must be held in one’s own hand.”

  2. tallbloke says:

    “voters across the world are demanding greater action.”


  3. […] The great climate backslide: How governments are regressing worldwide  […]

  4. oldbrew says:

    renewable energy costs have rapidly fallen

    Subsidies can be scrapped soon then?

  5. Gamecock says:

    ‘He accused governments of showing “Potemkin support” for the necessary policy steps, a sham display of action that is being exposed by the energy crisis.’

    Whah! Whah!

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    The glummer Kerry gets, the happier I am.

    Climate change is the preoccupation of a disconnected, metropolitan elite who desire power simply to have power and who neither care about “the people” nor have any idea how to make their lives better anyway. They are those like Goldsmith, Prince Charles and Attenborough who care far more about their romanticised view of nature than about their fellow humans. It is an arrogant disdain for the desires of the plebs that drives them and an unspoken need to put them back in their place.

  7. pochas94 says:

    The policy makers seem to be out of touch with the decision makers.

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