Contributed by Robert Lyman © 2019
Robert Lyman is an Ottawa energy policy consultant. He was formerly a public servant for 27 years and prior to that, a diplomat for 10 years.
All major political parties in Canada publicly accept the thesis that humans are causing potentially catastrophic global warming and that Canada must “take action” to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, even if that imposes large costs on the Canadian economy. They implicitly accept the claims of proven science, low costs of mitigation and high environmental benefits.
LINK to full report: Futile Folly FINAL
This paper challenges one of those claims; that is, that emissions reductions by Canada will have a beneficial effect on global emissions trends or, assuming one accepts the thesis that humans are the primary influence on climate, global temperatures.
With verifiable facts and data, it demonstrates that:
- Global greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, not declining.
- The source of those increases is primarily the economic growth occurring in the developing countries.
- The growth of emissions in the developing countries far exceeds the reduction in emissions in the OECD countries.
- That growth is likely to continue.
- Many, if not most, developing countries will not honour their commitments at COP21, the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in 2015, to reduce emissions; these commitments were political, not legal.
- The developing country commitments were partly contingent on massive funding by the OECD countries, which will not be provided.
- Canadian emissions constitute a tiny percentage of global emissions; and
- The emissions reductions that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims are necessary to avoid calamity are so large as to be impossible to meet in political, economic and technological terms.
In short, the policies now being followed by federal and provincial governments in Canada amount to extraordinarily expensive and dangerous political grandstanding that will have no offsetting global environmental benefit.