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Discussion > The Paris Accords and INDCs

Jun 11, 2017 at 8:06 PM | Mark Hodgson

Rwanda, interesting! Wikipedia supplies this:

"Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 genocide, with widespread loss of life, failure to maintain infrastructure, looting, and neglect of important cash crops. This caused a large drop in GDP and destroyed the country's ability to attract private and external investment.[58] The economy has since strengthened, with per-capita GDP (PPP) estimated at $2,090 in 2017,[3] compared with $416 in 1994.[155] Major export markets include China, Germany, and the United States.[58] The economy is managed by the centralNational Bank of Rwanda and the currency is the Rwandan franc; in August 2015, the exchange rate was 755 francs to the United States dollar.[156] Rwanda joined the East African Community in 2007, and has ratified a plan for monetary union amongst the five member nations,[157] which could eventually lead to a common East African shilling.[158]

Rwanda is a country of few natural resources,[127] and the economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture by local farmers using simple tools.[159] An estimated 90% of the working population farms, and agriculture constituted an estimated 32.5% of GDP in 2014.[58] Farming techniques are basic, with small plots of land and steep slopes.[160] Since the mid-1980s, farm sizes and food production have been decreasing, due in part to the resettlement of displaced people.[161][127] Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth, and food imports are required.[58]"

The last sentence provides the clue to the current problems in Rwanda. It is not Global Warming, but the birth rate exceeding the death rate. This is Malthus being proved right. It also suggests an underlying cause of the horrific genocide.

Rwanda is NOT short of rain, rivers or lakes. Rwanda does lack the technology and power to distribute the water to where it is needed, and when it is needed. What Rwanda needs now, is money to buy food from abroad.

It is worth repeating (again) that when a country/community has the technology to turn on a light bulb at night, the birth rate falls.

Many in the UN and Green Blob, regard fertile soils and subsistence agriculture as the ideal living standards for everyone else to strive for. The Rwandans know they can not cope with unlimited population rises.

If solar and wind are as good (and cheap) as we are told, the UN should supply small, medium and large wind and solar generators to Rwanda, plus advice on birth control. They would produce benefits for most of the population, not just the privileged 00.001% that would benefit from free cash.

Jun 13, 2017 at 1:44 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mark Hodgson, I have not yet looked at Tonga data etc, but before you get to the Marshall Islands (also in Oceania, mid Pacific, do read this article:

It confirms that the Marshall Islands have a history of violent storms, but the casualties from the next big one, will be large, because the population has expanded onto land their ancestors would not live on.

The last big cash windfalls were from US Guilt/Blood Money payouts arising from the abuse of Bikini Atoll. Now they need more.

Jun 13, 2017 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

gc, as always, thanks for your input. Given Rwanda's problems, and their claim to be a "carbon sink", it does seem odd that they would bother to get involved with green cr*p. However, as always, the answer seems to be "follow the money."

Brunei Darussalam next - INDCs submitted on 1st December 2015.

They seem to have a circle to square:

"The GHG emissions arising in Brunei Darussalam are dominated by sources in the energy sector. Electricity
generation is the largest source of GHG emissions. Currently, around 99% of the country’s electricity is generated from natural gas..." but "The energy sector is a core element of the economy as it accounts for more than 60% of Brunei
Darussalam’s GDP. " Also "The country’s estimated population in 2014 was 411,900 and it is projected to reach approximately 650,000 people by 2035, a 58% increase compared to the population in 2014. "

This is their proposal:

"Brunei Darussalam’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions are summarised as follows:
i. Energy sector: to reduce total energy consumption by 63% by 2035 compared to a Business-As-Usual (BAU) scenario; and to increase the share of renewables so that 10% of the total power generation is sourced from renewable energy by 2035
ii. Land Transport sector: to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from morning peak hour vehicle use by 40% by 2035 compared to a business as usual scenario.
iii. Forestry sector: to increase the total gazette forest reserves to 55% of total land area, compared to the current levels of 41%."

The proposed 65% reduction -v- BAU is more impressive than many, but is still not a commitment to reducing GHG emissions, especially given their projected population increase of 58%. But even then, in the next sentence it is stated:

"Brunei Darussalam has an aspirational target to reduce total energy consumption by 63% by 2035 from a
Business-As-Usual (BAU) scenario. " Note the word "aspirational". So there is nothing binding here. And as usual with such small players ("Brunei Darussalam’s total GHG emissions share of global emissions is very small (0.016%)"), one wonders why they bother.

Presumably the answer is money. Numbered paragraph 6 in their introductory section in referring to the basis of their INDCs says "Means for implementation, which assess the support Brunei Darussalam needs to implement the INDC. That sounds like "send us money" to me.

Jun 13, 2017 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

via a Judith Curry 'A few things that caught my eye this past week'.

"The Paris Agreement is substantively a joke. "

TheFederalist: Democrats Have Lost On Climate Change, And It’s Their Own Fault

Jun 13, 2017 at 10:57 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Thanks RC, interesting link.

Angola next (INDCs filed on 29th November 2015).

"Angola plans to reduce GHG emissions up to 35% unconditionally by 2030 as compared to the Business As Usual (BAU) scenario (base year 2005). In addition, it is expected that through a conditional mitigation scenario the country could reduce an additional 15% below BAU emission levels by 2030. In achieving its unconditional and conditional targets Angola expects to reduce its emissions trajectory by nearly 50% below the BAU scenario by 2030 at overall cost of over 14.7billion USD."

Note the word "plans" - no firm undertaking, no absolute enforceable commitment.

" According to the Angolan NAPA (2011), the major expected climate change threats and impacts are: floods, soil
erosion, drought episodes, rise in sea-level. " Interesting - droughts and floods, both. I suppose they are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but nothing like hedging your bets.

Note this:

"Base year period and baseline data
The year 2005 is used as the reference year. "

So again, 2005 rather than 2015 is selected as the base year for measuring reductions -v- Business as Usual scenarios. The table included in the INDCs suggests that with a 35% reduction against BAU, emissions will still broadly double. Even in the more optimistic scenario of still further reductions against BAU, they will still increase by approximately 50% by 2030.

"Angola is the third-largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and a net exporter of fossil fuels, and by now the second largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria." But it provides " insignificant contribution, at 0.1% of the total global emissions..."

Again, therefore, one wonders why they bother, but the nub comes eventually:

"...the implementation of all the Conditional mitigation and adaptation contributions that the country endeavour to deliver will require international support in form of finance, investment, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building to fully accomplish the intended contributions."

Ah yes - send us money!

Jun 13, 2017 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Palau next (INDCs submitted on 28th November 2015). I'm afraid I had to look it up (shameful ignorance on my part). According to Wikipedia: "The country contains approximately 340 islands, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, and has an area of 466 square kilometers".

Their INDCs start,predictably I suppose, given their location and nature, with the usual genuflection:

"Palau is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, principally from sea level rise and the increase in extreme events (drought, flooding, Category 4 and 5 typhoons). Sea-level rise threatens vital infrastructure, settlements, and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities. Moreover, under most climate change scenarios, water resources in small islands are likely to be seriously compromised. Subsistence and commercial agriculture will be
adversely affected by climate change, and ocean warming and acidification will heavily impact coral reefs, fisheries, and other marine-based resources crucial to our livelihoods, economy and culture."

"Reference/base year is 2005 – emissions were approximated at 88 thousand tCO2e".

"Indicative targets:
₋ 22% energy sector emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2025
₋ 45% Renewable Energy target by 2025
₋ 35% Energy Efficiency target by 2025"

It's quite impressive for once:

"Under the BAU scenario emissions would be 140 thousand tCO2e in 2025, compared to 68 thousand tCO2e if both the renewable energy and energy efficiency targets are met."

And they're not even asking for too much money, in the scheme of things:

" noted above, implementation of many of the policies and measures needed to achieve our emissions
reduction target will depend on the availability of partnership finance, technology support and capacity development.
Based on a first-order estimate, the upfront investment cost for the renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in Palau’s INDC would be on the order of $5.5 million USD. This investment has the potential to generate savings, on a net-present-value basis, of $2.5 million by 2025."

If I have anything negative to say here it's that the commitments are non-binding, and because their GHG emissions are so low, this doesn't amount to much in the scheme of things. But so far I've looked at a lot worse.

Jun 13, 2017 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Nigeria next (INDCs submitted on 28th November 2015). Arguably, as with Pakistan - already looked at - we have at last reached a big hitter, where their INDCs could have some significance:

"In 2014, Nigeria became the largest economy in sub-Sahara Africa. " Although so far as I can see their INDCs don't actually mention the fact, Wikipedia tells us that "there were 37.2 billion barrels (5.91×109 m3) of proven oil reserves in Nigeria as of 2011, ranking the country as the largest oil producer in Africa and the 11th largest in the world, averaging 2.28 million barrels per day (362×103 m3/d) in 2006. At current rates this would be 45 years of supply if no new oil was found." Also "The Nigerian government hopes to increase oil production capacity to 4 Mbbl/d (640×103 m3/d) by 2010. Nigeria is the world’s eighth largest exporter of crude oil...". And "Nigeria's foreign exchange is heavily dependent on the oil sector, which accounts for majority of its export revenues." OPEC's web-site adds "Apart from petroleum, Nigeria’s other natural resources include natural gas...".

It is rather surprising then (or perhaps not!) that their INDCs barely mention any of this. The only meaningful reference I have identified is under the section headed "Mitigation contributions":

"Oil and Gas
o Improved enforcement of gas flaring restrictions
o Development of Gas-to-Power Plants at Gas Flare Sites (micro grid)
o Blending 10% by volume of Fuel-Ethanol with Gasoline (E10) and 20%
by volume of Biodiesel with Petroleum Diesel (B20) for Transportation Fuels."

And that's it...with a couple of paragraphs on gas flaring.

A point of interest to me is that presumably their CO2 emissions calculation doesn't include CO2 emissions from the oil they export - presumably that appears under the emissions of the nations which use that oil. Nigeria's INDCs say that in 2010 their GHG emissions were less than 1% of the global total.

We encounter the usual fundamental caveat - send us money!

"The implementation of the full contribution is conditional on the availability of adequate financing for investment in the mitigation actions contained therein. " And

"International finance and investment, technology and capacity-building will be needed to achieve the ambitious intended contribution. Further work is needed to determine the exact domestic share of the full contribution, as well as the total investment required. "

Their "executive summary" document, however, contains this: "National Cost = $142b". That's rather a lot.

So what are they offering (in a non-binding and partially conditional way)? Business as Usual looks like this:

"Business as Usual emissions projections
Nigeria’s economy and population are both growing rapidly, and the population is attaining a higher standard of living. This growth will have a strong impact on future emissions. Following careful review of the re-based GDP data for 2010-2014iv and official population projections the “business-as-usual scenario” was developed as part of the preparation of this INDC. This scenario assumes an economic growth at 5%, population growing at about 2.5% per year, all Nigerians to have access to electricity (both on-grid and off-grid) and demand is met, industry triples its size by 2030. Under this scenario, emissions are projected to grow 114% by 2030 to around 900 million tonnes – around 3.4 tonnes for every Nigerian. Under a high growth scenario, with economic growth at 7%, this climbs to over one billion tonnes. "

"In the event an ambitious, comprehensive legally binding global agreement is reached at COP21 in Paris, Nigeria will make an unconditional contribution of 20 per cent below BAU that is consistent with the current development trends and government policy priorities. "

The problem is, allowing for population growth (which they estimate at 2.5% p.a.), even their most optimistic scenario sees GHG emissions increasing substantially. Not that their INDCs make that clear - they fudge the issue by describing current estimated emissions per capita as "around" 2 tonnes CO2e; 2030 BAU: around 3.4 tonnes CO2e; and 2030 Conditional: around 2 tonnes CO2e".

So, even on the most optimistic and conditional basis (i.e. conditional on spending $142Bn), their per capita emissions will remain "around" the same, but their total emissions will increase substantially (by my calculation by c. 45% assuming population growth (compound) of 2,5% p.a.

Forgive me for admitting that I'm underwhelmed.

Jun 13, 2017 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson, according to the World Bank, Angola's second biggest source of foreign cash is from the mining and export of diamonds

The biggest?

"Oil exports in the last 10 years accounted on average for 97% of Angolan exports. In 2014 and in 2015, the share of oil in total export remained around the same level. Oil exports brought in $60.2 billion in revenues to the country in 2014. In 2015, FX inflow generated by oil exports was at $33.4 billion, a 44.5% decline in relation to the same period the previous year."

If Angola can not sell any oil, where will it get 97% of its money from? If they burnt more oil themselves to produce cheap electricity to power their economy, their own Carbon Footprint would increase, so they expect foreign money as compensation?

There is no guarantee that the black market in oil exports will cease. Many eager sellers and buyers will be happy to lose compromising and embarrassing paperwork.

So a few Angolans can get rich by selling oil for others to burn, but cannot burn it within their own country to benefit the lives of all Angolans.

Climate Science rewards dishonesty by the few, for the few, leaving the majority worse off.

Jun 13, 2017 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jun 13, 2017 at 8:33 PM | Mark Hodgson

Palau, I had not heard of it either! According to Wikipedia:

"Palau's economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing. Tourist activity focuses on scuba diving and snorkeling in the islands' rich marine environment, including its barrier reefs' walls and World War II wrecks. The government is the largest employer, relying heavily on U.S. financial assistance. Business and tourist arrivals numbered some 50,000 in fiscal year 2000–2001."

"The population enjoys a per capita income twice that of Micronesia as a whole. Long-term prospects for the key tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of leading East Asian countries and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development."

"Politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services. ......... Palau's economy is based mainly on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product (GNP) derived from foreign aid. "

Palau must be very content, to remain largely unknown, US Funded, and enriched by tourists flying out to visit.

Jun 14, 2017 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jun 13, 2017 at 9:07 PM | Mark Hodgson

At the risk of upsetting the Politically Correct Law Enforcement Agencies .......

Trusting documentation claiming to be "Official" that originates from within Nigeria, has caused many problems for companies, organisations and individuals within the UK.

Producing "Official Documentation" to obtain money from other people, has been lucrative, but there is little "Official Documentation" to find, that would allow the money to be followed.

Jun 14, 2017 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie, it's a good job you're here. I'd missed those very good points about Angola. Thank you.

Tuvalu next (INDCs submitted on 27th November 2015).

Here is a truly positive set of INDCs, for once:

"Tuvalu commits to reduction of emissions of green-house gases from the electricity generation (power) sector, by 100%, ie almost zero emissions by 2025.
Tuvalu’s indicative quantified economy-wide target for a reduction in total emissions of GHGs from the entire energy sector to 60% below 2010 levels by 2025."

Very impressive, though there is the usual "send us money" section:

"These emissions will be further reduced from the other key sectors, agriculture and waste, conditional upon the necessary technology and finance."

"International support is crucial to enable Tuvalu [to] implement further actions enshrined in its Policies and Plans, including at sectorial level."

"The goal to pursue a zero carbon development pathway by 2050 is dependent on availability of finance and technology."

And while Tuvalu can't be blamed for their current lack of GHG emissions, all of this is rather pointless, given that "Tuvalu’s emissions are less than 0.000005% of global emissions, one of the lowest from any Parties, negligible in the global context. "

Jun 14, 2017 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark. I think you may be missing an important point about these relatively poor, small countries like Tuvalu. It is not the size of their emissions, nor their reduction plans. What is important is that they could act as role models. If we can do it, then you big rich countries surely can. We can do it if only we had the resources, we have the drive : you have the resources, where is your drive?

Jun 14, 2017 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll, you may well be correct. It's all about sending signals, rather than actually achieving anything. The problem with it, of course, is that it's relatively easy (I stress relatively) for small nations with non-industrialised economies to cut their GHG emissions to very low levels.

But if a country like Nigeria, big and important by African standards, but still relatively backward, requires $142Bn to hold its emissions increase to 45% (or more), then how much would it cost them to reduce their emissions significantly? And that's for a country supposedly responsible for less than 1% of GHG emissions. On a simple upscaling (not necessarily that simple, I accept) it would cost the whole world c. $15trn to hold their GHG emissions increase at 45%. What would it cost not to increase GHG emissions at all? $30Trn? More? And to reduce them by 50%? $50Trn? More? To eliminate them? $100s Trn?

I absolutely take your point about nations like Tuvalu, but at the end of the day it's pointless virtue signalling. As we on here always say, to resolve the GHG emissions issue would destroy the world economy. I suspect the parties signing up to the Paris Accords know that, which is the Paris Accords achieve nothing of any substance.

Jun 14, 2017 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, I'm not sure I totally agree with your comment
"it's relatively easy (I stress relatively) for small nations with non-industrialised economies to cut their GHG emissions to very low levels".
Those countries that I have visited (usually as a tourist) in the category commonly only use fossil fuels for absolute essentials or for tourism (which as sole generators of foreign income is tantamount to being essential). My feeling is that those countries will find it extremely difficult to reduce their GHG emissions. Some are desperately trying, using unconventional energy sources (volcanic heat in St. Vincent), but for most there is little available and that which does requires large capital investments which the countries do not have access to. Hence the pleading nature of many of the submissions.

Jun 14, 2017 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll & Mark Hodgson

Island Nations such as Tuvalu, never had a measurable Green House emission, until civilised foreigners arrived during the carnage of World War 2. Their Manmade CO2 have come from burning fuel oil shipped in from elsewhere. When everything requires the cost of shipping, docks, unloading and storage, the cost of a barrel of oil on the world market, becomes somewhat irrelevant.

With the US and other countries (including the UK) having military interests in these Pacific Islands, "free", or very heavily subsidised shipping has been the best form of overseas aid and development. This continues to this day.

These Island Nations could have their emissions cut to almost pre-World War 2 levels, simply by requiring them to pay for ALL costs involved in providing electricity, fuel for vehicles etc, having provided wind and solar equipment. Even the Green Blob know this would be unacceptable, unworkable and impractical in the 21st Century for Island Nations.

Why is the Green Blob trying to inflict a reversal of development on the UK and EU?

The survival of Malta during WW2 (for which it was awarded a GC) was dependent on fuel oil tankers. It still is.

Not Island Nations, but how do the Balearics power themselves?

Jun 14, 2017 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

AK, I won't fall out with you about it! I think the difference between us is small.

Anyway, Jamaica next (INDCs submitted on 27th November 2015).

As usual...."As a small island developing state, Jamaica is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change not only in terms of our natural resources, but also its economic development, as sectors such as tourism, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and water are climate sensitive, as is social wellbeing. Jamaica’s susceptibility to natural disasters has proven to be a major threat to the stability of human settlements and infrastructure."

Followed by a nice piece of pie in the sky:

"Vision Statement: Jamaica achieves its goals of growth and prosperity for its people while meeting the challenges of climate change as a country with enhanced resilience and capacity to adapt to the impacts and to mitigate the causes in a coordinated, effective and sustainable manner. "

They are offering almost a 30% increase in GHG emissions as their contribution:

"The effect of the energy policies was modelled and compared to a ‘business-as-usual’ (BAU) scenario of emissions growth without policy intervention, using 2005 as a base year. Under the BAU scenario, GHG emissions would increase by 37% by 2030 (see Table 1). Jamaica’s intended nationally determined contribution will mitigate the equivalent of 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030 versus the BAU scenario. This is a reduction of 7.8% of emissions versus BAU. This target is predicated on the current level of implementation of the National Energy Policy and the existing pipeline of renewable energy projects."

In addition:

"Jamaica will conditionally increase its ambition to a reduction of GHG emissions of 10% below the BAU scenario, subject to the provision of international support. "

Send us money and we'll only increase our GHG emissions by 27%!

Jun 14, 2017 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Niue next (INDCs submitted on 25th November 2015). Shamefully, this is another place I had to look up. Wikipedia tells us:

Apparently, it is "is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand, and east of Tonga, south of Samoa and west of the Cook Islands. Its land area is 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) and its population, predominantly Polynesian, was around 1,612 as of November an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand, and east of Tonga, south of Samoa and west of the Cook Islands. Its land area is 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) and its population, predominantly Polynesian, was around 1,612 as of November 2016."

With such a small population, again one wonders why they've bothered with the Paris Accords and INDCs. Perhaps this explains why:

"Niue’s future is imperilled by the effects of climate change for which it bears absolutely no responsibility. Niue faces severe events and slow onset events from changes to the climate system caused by others.
Niue believes that loss and damage must be addressed in a sustainable and consistent manner to highlight its significance and relevance in climate change, especially in developing countries. It is beyond Niue’s national measures to address loss and damage alone from climate change. Building on the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) position, Niue is calling for loss and damage to be included as a separate element of the 2015 Paris Agreement, an element that should be distinct from adaptation."

Perhaps I'm just being cynical, but that reads tome like "send us compo"!

Again the virtue-signalling:

"While Niue’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is negligible (less than 0.0001%), and Niue is a net sink given the growth of our forests, nevertheless we are taking steps to reduce our emissions, in particular in the energy sector. "

In achieving this, they have a problem:

"Niue is 96% dependent on imported fuel for power generation and 100% dependent on imported fuel for land, sea and air transportation. " [See golf charlie's comments above regarding Tuvalu].

Perhaps inevitably therefore, "The Government welcomes international assistance in the development of opportunities for deep emissions cuts in the transport sector. " Note that this assistance would be in addition to all this:

"Niue’s economy is heavily dependent on support from New Zealand, which has a statutory obligation to provide economic and administrative assistance to Niue. Aid accounts for 70% of Niue’s GDP, which is NZ$10,000 per capita. Other sources of financial resources include taxation, government trading activities, sovereign assets and additional support from development partners. Low population, scarcity of natural resources, isolation and high costs of transportation lead to Niue’s economy being far from self-sufficient."

Perhaps like Tuvalu, things were better for them before they joined the modern world?

Jun 14, 2017 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

New Zealand next (INDCs submitted on the same day as those of Niue). And here we actually have a country whose commitments, if replicated across the world, would mean that Paris Accords meant something. Unfortunately they are not replicated across the world, and also "...New Zealand is responsible for low levels of emissions now and historically (0.15 percent of global emissions in 2012)..."

Still, here's something positive for those who wish to see GHG emissions reduced:

"New Zealand has set an economy-wide target of 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 (which equates to 11 percent below 1990 levels). New Zealand also has a longer term target of reducing emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050."

For once, I can't argue with that.

Enough for today. All being well, I'll start to look at the Gulf States tomorrow.

Jun 14, 2017 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson, the Wikipedia entry for Niue is fascinating reading, revealing a declining population, trying to "make ends meet" financially.

I was not aware that EU generosity extended to the Pacific:

"The European Union is helping Niue convert to renewable energy. In July 2009 a solar panel system was installed, injecting about 50 kW into the Niue national power grid. This is nominal 6% of the average 833 kW electricity production. The solar panels are at Niue High School (20 kW), Niue Power Corporation office (1.7 kW)[70] and the Niue Foou Hospital (30 kW). The EU-funded grid-connected PV systems are supplied under the REP-5 programme and were installed recently by the Niue Power Corporation on the roofs of the high school and the power station office and on ground-mounted support structures in front of the hospital. They will be monitored and maintained by the NPC.[71] In 2014 two additional solar power installations were added to the Niue national power grid, one funded under PALM5 of Japan is located outside of the Tuila power station – so far only this has battery storage, the other under European Union funding is located opposite the Niue International Airport Terminal."

If the EU has provided sufficient in Unreliables to produce 6% of the power demand for a population of under 2,000 people, how should costs be compared with the production of the other 94%? (presumably from shipped in oil)

Do the EU have figures demonstrating value for EU Taxpayer's Money?

As with other Islands and remote communities, I do support wind and solar, even if they are Unreliable, because it is better than nothing. I would like to see more portable wind and solar modular packages being produced, capable of "supporting" a family or village community of 2, 10, 50 people, and being transportable in a backpack, 4 x 4 pick-up truck or shipping container.

Jun 14, 2017 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mark Hodgson, a post looking at how pointless it all is, if there is no money being given away.

Jun 15, 2017 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mark Hodgson,

"Despite abundant natural resources and a relatively small population, New Zealand is a net importer of energy, in the form of petroleum products. The ratio of non-renewable andrenewable energy sources was fairly consistent from 1975 to 2008, with about 70 per cent of primary energy supply coming from hydrocarbon fuels. This ratio decreased to about 60 per cent in 2014.[1] The proportion of non-renewable energy varies annually, depending on water flows into hydro-electricity lakes and demand for energy.[2] In 2014, approximately 60% of primary energy was from non-renewable hydrocarbon fuels and 40% was from renewable sources.[1] In 2007 energy consumption per capita was 120 gigajoules. Per capita energy consumption had increased 8 per cent since 1998. New Zealand uses more energy per capita than 17 of 30 OECD countries.[3] New Zealand is one of 13 OECD countries that does not operate nuclear power stations.

From 1994 to 2014, the energy intensity of the economy per unit of GDP declined by 24 per cent to 2.67 MJ/$.[1] A contributing factor is the growth of relatively less energy-intensive service industries.[4]"

I am not sure how cause v effect v correlation v consequence actually works in the last sentence. Is it simply that heavy industry and manufacturing got outsourced to China?

Jun 15, 2017 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie - valuable input as always. Thank you.

You make an interesting point about New Zealand. I'm of the view that any "progress" the UK has made regarding GHG emissions has been achieved by exporting UK jobs and GHGs to China and other, mostly Asian, countries with lower environmental standards and higher GHG emissions than the UK. Has New Zealand done the same?

Kuwait next (INDCs submitted on 25th November 2015). I think we can take Kuwait's INDCs as a classic example of what is wrong with the Paris Accords, not least the fact that this wealthy and oil-rich country obviously counts as a developing country for these purposes, and makes its submissions conditional on receiving financial assistance.

First, the usual... Kuwait's "environmental challenges have been aggravated dramatically with the beginning of
the twentieth century as a result of global climate change."

Then a circle to square:

"Kuwait’s population reached 3.368572 in 2013 with a steady increase over the past two decades by growth rate around 4.1%. The expected increase in population growth rate is combined with urban development and rapid provision of basic services to the population. In the light of the global decline in oil prices and the high cost of subsidies ratio in energy, water and housing prices, the State of Kuwait is facing many developmental challenges, including diversifying and enhancing work opportunities that provides safe working environments for citizens and residents, urban planning and
housing, infrastructure and promoting national capacities to monitor and implement developmental plans.
It is worth mentioning that the state of Kuwait is considered a country with a single source of income, it relies mainly on the extraction and sale of oil in its public budgets. Thus, the state's economy is vulnerable to oil prices fluctuations in supply and demand, and Kuwait's industrial base is based on the extraction, refining and exporting of oil with an export revenue of more than 90% of the country total revenues, the value of the oil contribution to GDP represents 51-55%. Also Kuwait is entirely dependent on fossil fuels for energy production by 83.5% of liquid oil and 16.5% of natural gas."

And: "The contribution of energy sector activities is equivalent to 95% of CO2-eq emissions from the total national emissions as illustrated in Figure 3. It turns out that the main factor of emissions in the State of Kuwait is the heavy reliance on liquid petroleum fuels in most sectors, Also Current sources for energy production in the country relies on oil by 90% and natural gas 10%, electricity and water production plants Consumes 70% of oil and its derivatives, while the remaining 30% comes from natural gas, in addition to transportation sector which relies 100% on liquid petroleum products."

So, what are they going to do about it? Not a lot, really:

"The State of Kuwait is ambitious to move to a low carbon equivalent economy and to avoid the increase in greenhouse gas emissions compared to business as usual patterns, based on plans and development projects in the country, and it is working on achieving this goal on a voluntary basis through the implementation of some projects and enacting laws and regulations, according to its national circumstances, which is Subjected to the availability of financial, technical and technological support through the mechanisms of the Convention. Note that the amount of the reduction resulted from the proposed projects will be estimated later."

They're certainly not going to reduce their oil production! But they might do things like "Improving petroleum products through producing clean fuel according to environmental specifications to supply power plants with it by 2020, this project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and industrial sector in the state significantly"

And they also mention this: "Construct a new refinery to replace the state's oldest refinery, which will meet international
environmental standards in the way that the refinery will operate, where the amount of emissions will be low and the products of this refinery will be compatible with international specifications and standards."

And despite their oil wealth, even this limited offer is dependent on being sent money!

"For the state of Kuwait to be able to implement the procedures of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change impacts and achieve sustainable development criteria, Kuwait needs the availability of technological and financial support by the relevant existing institutions under the Framework Convention such as technological mechanisms consisting of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN), as well as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

"In accordance with provisions of Article (4.7) of the Framework Convention which states that the extent to which the developing countries, including the State of Kuwait, fulfill its obligations under the Convention will depend on the developed party’s providence of support to developing parties in the field of finance, technology transfer, so as to ensure an effective global cooperative action on climate change."

There's also an appalling level of bleating and saying it's all someone else's fault:

"Kuwaits current total emissions are merely about 0.27% of the total global emissions in 2013. And despite the fact that Kuwait didn’t contribute to this phenomenon, Kuwait’s geographical location made it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change that began to appear obviously in recent years by a significant rise in temperatures, scarcity of rainfall and increased sand and dust storms that paralyze life in the state and harm public health of the citizens and residents, which leads to increased losses and economic burdens on the state, in addition to the possibility of losing parts of the coastline in the country as a result of rising sea levels, which might endanger about 174 thousand individual !! [not my exclamation marks, they're in the original] The State of Kuwait will suffer from economic and social consequences of negative impacts of response measures, where Kuwait is considered one of the countries that its economy dependent on oil and will be affected negatively from international policies and procedures of the UNFCCC."

But they're not offering anything binding, mind, don't get the wrong idea:

"The state of Kuwait submitted its INDCs based on the development plans and projects of the state that will be presented later to the Kuwait National Parliament for adoption. These contributions are conditioned in providing financial, technical and technological support from developed countries within the mechanisms of the UNFCCC. The State of Kuwait preserves the right to reconsider these contributions based on future developments in the state's own national circumstances, the state's general policy and in case of any amendment to the Convention or related decisions of the Conference of the parties before it enters into force in a manner that includes rules or provisions that vary with the
assumptions under which those contributions are submitted."

Nevertheless, they've really worked hard at this,and we all should be jolly grateful:

"Given the national circumstances of the state of Kuwait, which is currently facing numerous economic, social and environmental challenges. Due to the growing population and the increasing demand of resources, particularly water and energy, which is accompanied with the decline in the national income because of mitigation policies of developed countries. Also taking into consideration the state's responsibility to provide employment opportunities, housing and to maintain the citizen's living standard, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions of the State of Kuwait is
considered very ambitious and fair."

It would be laughable were it not so pathetic.

Jun 15, 2017 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Minty (Jun 14, 2017 at 10:26 AM): it is not a matter of who should be doing what, and at what cost, but why go to all that bother?

For the smaller nations, many obviously see it as a money-pit to be eagerly mined. Whatever they do – or, indeed, whatever any or all of us do – will have negligible impact, anyway, no matter how many “initiatives” are promulgated. Sure, clean up your act, clear away the litter, stop outrageous pollution – all of these can be done at minimal cost; some might even prove a more profitable way of acting: “brewing” of bodily waste, human and livestock, for example, to extract the methane, and provide a rich, sterile fertiliser, rather than just chuck (I was going to say "dump" there, but this is too serious for that) it in the nearest river. It has been (is being?) done in India; why not spread that around?

Jun 15, 2017 at 10:40 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Ravishing Rattie, I could not agree more but I was trying to put myself in the shoes of someone who believes the Paris accords are necessary. Why would they concern themselves with the efforts of tiny countries whose emissions are so small as to be meaningless but are countries that might suffer significantly from the presumed effects of climate change? If those countries believe they will be adversely affected then they might do everything in their power to encourage/shame big players into doing the "right thing". Mark does not wish to debate further, but the more I reflect upon what I have seen of some of those small countries, the more I believe that reducing their emissions will be virtually impossible. They are so dependent upon Western tourism that their entire economies are skewed to pay for petroleum imports.

As Mark wrote "I think the difference between us is small".

Jun 15, 2017 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll


Thanks for your patience. It's not really that I don't wish to discuss further your point; rather that I've set myself a rather large and time-consuming task in looking at all the INDCs submitted to date. You may notice that my appearances elsewhere are rather limited at the moment!

Mind you, my task would be a lot simpler and quicker if all INDCs were as short and ineffectual as Bahrain's (submitted on 24th November 2015), running to just 5 pages.

It refers to its special national circumstances in such a way that it becomes clear they don't intend doing much:

"The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of low-laying islands, islets, shoals and patches of reefs situated off the central southern coast of the Arabian Gulf. Bahrain has limitations in its size, population and economy which give rise to constraints in financing, technical capacities and options for emission-reduction technology. Bahrain makes relatively minor contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation potential will largely depend on national circumstances, capacity and support. Being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, adaptation is a key priority. Bahrain has no natural surface freshwater resources, scarce and irregular rainfall, minor and dwindling hydrocarbon resources, limited scope in the near term in terms of developing significant alternatives to hydrocarbons-based energy, and an increasingly high population density. As such, a delicate balance must be struck in order for
Bahrain to be able to develop sustainably. In addressing economic matters, and as a small island, minimizing the negative impacts of the implementation of response measures with respect to the energy, transport and tourism sectors are of strategic concern."

I've noticed a few using the "get out of jail free card" offered by the Paris Accords, which effectively allow them to submit INDCs (thereby saying they are fully signed-up) whilst not actually offering much of anything at all:

"As a member of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) the Kingdom of Bahrain hereby communicates with good faith its intended nationally determined contribution, recalling paragraph 11 of Decision 1/CP.20 which provides that “small island developing States may communicate information on strategies, plans and actions for low greenhouse gas emission development reflecting its special circumstances in the context of intended nationally determined contributions.”"

Bahrain offers a little under headings like Energy Efficiency; Carbon Capture & Storage; and Renewable Energy. Not that they identify what effect this will have on their GHG emissions. Then there's the usual "send us money and we might try a bit harder":

"At present, the action being taken to address the issue of adaptation is executed with limited capacities and resources, with a need for a more comprehensive and articulated adaptation package with support from the international community." And "The Kingdom of Bahrain recognizes that the extent to which it will meet its obligations under the
UNFCCC will depend highly on the level of international support in means of implementation. Therefore, mitigation and adaptation stipulations are meant to inform and will be undertaken in the context of support on finance, technology-transfer and capacity building".

Not very impressive.

Jun 15, 2017 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson