Western political leaders will indulge in the usual orgy of mutual backslapping as the Paris climate summit winds to a close next week. They’ll bask in their success and make lofty promises of further carbon emission reductions as part of a new climate deal and return to the day jobs feeling ever more noble and virtuous, having pulled off yet another colossal con trick.
Here’s an interesting coincidence. The apparently impressive level of CO2 reductions boasted by the European Union exactly matches the increase in emission imports from China. Funny that. Behind all the smugness and bravado, the fact is that EU countries simply ‘export’ their emissions by importing energy-intensive products (like steel and cement) from China (and India, Vietnam and a host of other developing countries that are free from obligations to cut carbon emissions) instead of manufacturing the products themselves.
It’s all smoke and mirrors and no one should be fooled into believing real progress is being made to address the global problems of pollution and exhaustion of resources. There is nowhere near enough investment in green energy research and development, because governments are too fixated on the renewable solar and wind energy sector. According to the International Energy Agency, we get an estimated 0.4 per cent of our global energy needs from wind and solar sources. Yes, that’s 0.4 per cent! Nevertheless, western governments continue to levy economically destructive energy taxes to pay for the fantasy of a solar-panel and windmill-powered economy.
Is it any wonder some of us see red when we see green?