Deconstructing Facts vs Agitprop on the “Just Transition”
“THE JUST TRANSITION” – WHAT IS IT?
The concept of a ‘just transition’ is founded in the Paris Agreement on climate change of 2015 “Conference of the Parties” COP21 meeting. The assumption of the climate community is that the world will transition from the use of oil, natural gas, and coal to alleged low-carbon energy forms such as electricity generated by wind and solar, geothermal or the use of hydrogen. The assumption is that by doing so, climate change will stabilize, and there will be a cessation of human-influenced global warming, said to be caused by greenhouse gas emissions (principally carbon dioxide) from human industry. Many people further claim there will be a reduction or prevention of extreme weather events, wildfires, floods, and droughts.
This ‘decarbonization’ process intends to use less or no carbon dioxide intensive forms of energy. ‘Net Zero’ emissions means that industrial emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere are balanced by removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through methods like Carbon Capture and Underground Storage (CCUS), Direct Air Carbon Capture (DACC), Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), planting of trees and in some permitted cases, carbon trading on existing carbon ‘sinks’ (such as old growth forest projects like Darkwoods or Great Bear Rainforest).
‘Net Zero’ 2050, (and in some cases/sectors NetZero by 2030) is understood to mean the complete upheaval of existing energy systems that power modern society in just a few years or a couple of decades. Thus, people working in conventional energy industries might be ‘left behind’ as oil, natural gas and coal are ‘phased-out’. The ‘just transition’ philosophy is intended to minimize the impacts on affected workers and communities while being more inclusive of all sections of society.
Natural Resources Canada calls it a “people-centred transition to our net-zero future”.
REALITY CHECK – THERE’S JUST NO TRANSITION
• In the 1970’s, Amory Lovins projected that renewables would supply 30% of U.S. energy consumption by 2000.
• In the 1970’s the Carter Administration predicted that solar energy would supply 20% of U.S. energy consumption by 2000.
• In the 1990’s, the Clinton Presidential Advisory Panel predicted that renewables would supply 50% of U.S. energy consumption by 2020.
• In the 1990’s, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that renewables would supply 30% of U.S. energy consumption by 2020.
• In the 1990’s the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory projected that renewables would supply 25% of U.S. energy consumption by 2030.
• In 2020, Mark Jacobson of Stanford University projected that renewables would supply 80% of U.S. energy consumption by 2030.
• In 2019, renewables actually supplied only 6.0% of U.S. energy consumption and 3.5% of Canadian energy consumption.
• In 2019, wind plus solar supplied only 0.92% of Canadian energy consumption.