Local weather change: Have nations stored their guarantees?

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Climate change: Have countries kept their promises?

Guest contribution by Mike Jonas

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has just published a rating of five "countries" and how well they have kept their "climate" promises. The five “countries” are Great Britain, Australia, the EU, China and the Philipinnes. The article is by Matt McGrath.

Before I go any further, please look at the names of the five “countries”. Without knowing what data the BBC used and how they assessed what the BBC will give a "passport", ask yourself.

… ..

Matt McGrath presents a table for each "country":

My expectations, knowing that Matt McGrath's assessment would be politically charged, were a passport for the EU and China, a failure for Australia and an unknown for the UK and the Philippines. Why were Australia and the Philippines included instead of much more important carbon emitters like India or Japan? The reason for Australia's inclusion is obvious – one purpose of the article was to make Australia look bad (remember, Australia was banned from the recent "Climate" virtual conference so it is more important than Australia now ever looking bad). The reason for including the Philippines is less obvious to me. Maybe they wanted a lesser country on the list so that Australia wouldn't obviously be in a different league from the rest (suggestions, anyone?).

What can we see in these charts?

1. Australia was rated as “no forestry”. Why exclude forestry? Nothing was ruled out for the others. Well I think the answer is here:

(Australian) emissions from the land sector decreased by 80% between 2005 and 2016

{..} Greenhouse gas emissions in the land sector of Queensland decreased from 97.7 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 1990 to 12 MtCO2e in 2016

(I don't have Australia's total, but Queensland is a big part). Matt McGrath couldn't have made Australia look so bad by looking at the whole picture. Dishonesty in certain areas knows no bounds. It probably took him quite a while to figure out how to fumble Australia's numbers. Without forestry, Australia would have been the only one of the five countries well ahead of 2020 and projecting targets for 2030.

2. The percentage change and total change in CO2 emissions indicated in the diagrams in the period 1990 (ish) -2019 were (approximately):

Great Britain: -45% (-350 million t)

Australia (excluding forestry): + 30% (+ 135 million t)

EU: -30% (-170 million t)

China: + 350% (+ 10,500 million t)

Philippines: + 30% (+ 110 million tons)

If you are seasick, always remember to go to the leeward (upwind) side of the boat so you don't get your own back. The UK and EU have gotten themselves pretty sick with their "climate" efforts, but when they look at China's numbers they must feel like they are going to the windward side. Only it wasn't her own that they came back.

The BBC's assessment of whether the five "countries" had kept their promises was:

Great Britain: "mostly yes".

Australia: "not really".

EU: "mostly yes".

China: "Mostly yes, but with some restrictions"

Philippines: "The measures taken so far are compatible with keeping warming well below 2 ° C in this century."

My guess is that this article is so politicized that it's just a sick joke.

There's a good reason for the US not to be on the BBC article – they're not in the Paris Agreement – but just out of interest their numbers for 1990-2019 are (roughly):

USA: 0% (0 million t) – 4,800 million t in 1990, 5,800 million t in 2007, 4,800 million t in 2019 (data from here and here).

The BBC article can be found at https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55222890. I haven't verified that Matt McGrath's numbers are correct. He does not give any sources. Anyone who believes in the projections on the China map is certainly in cloud-cuckoo land.

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