* My column in BusinessWorld, December 03, 2019.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) 25th Conference of Parties (COP 25) is held in Madrid starting this week, Dec, 2-13. In a press release dated Nov, 29, “COP25 to Be the Launchpad for Significantly more Climate Ambition,” it reiterated the target of annual climate money: “We will continue to urge developed nations to fulfill their pledge of mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020. We also must see overall global finance flows… away from carbon-heavy investment and towards more sustainable and resilient growth. Drops in the bucket are not enough: we need a sea change.”
For more than two decades now, the UN and its various multilateral agencies have been demonizing fossil fuels and CO2 emission then they use lots of fossil fuels in their annual COP meetings with tens of thousands of participants, plus several thousands in various pre-COP meetings worldwide.
The reality is that many developing and newly industrializing economies embrace more fossil fuels to sustain their growth. Data in Table 1 delineate the G7 countries and major East Asian economies plus Australia, from 1995 COP 1 to 2018 COP 24.
Now, when we get the total fossil fuel use of countries and compare with their GDP size, a correlation is shown — all G7 countries that “decarbonize” faster, their fossil fuel consumption from 1995 to 2018 expanded only 0.8 to 1.3x, also have slow GDP expansion. The other group expanded their fossil fuel use by 1.4x or higher and experienced GDP expansion of 2.5x or higher (see Table 2).
The Philippines has the smallest fossil fuel use of only 42 million tons oil equivalent (mtoe) in 2018, very small coal use of only 16 mtoe, and has the second-lowest GDP size of only $331 billion. And many groups, both government and non-government, are pushing and lobbying that the Philippines should cut its oil and coal plants via higher oil-coal tax, have a carbon tax upon the prodding of the IMF and other multilaterals, or a “climate tax on electricity” (CTE), a lousy idea filed by Congresman Luis Raymund Villafuerte.
While most climate activists abroad do not delineate the three types of fossil fuel energy and demonize all, several big environment and leftist groups in the Philippines demonize only oil-coal and praise gas. When the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act) law was enacted in 2017, they successfully lobbied to have a higher oil-coal tax and exempted gas from the tax hike. They seem to be in cahoots with gas companies here.
The UN and its attached multilaterals, the anti-coal, anti-fossil fuel environmentalists and lobbyists deny that climate change is cyclical (warming-cooling…) and natural (nature-made, not man-made), for the past 4.6 billion years when planet Earth was born. They distort basic geology and climatology because they are blinded by their ecological central planning mindset and hunger for more carbon taxes and multi-billion dollar climate money.
The IMF should focus on its original mandate of global macroeconomic and balance of payments stability, and get out of fanning climate alarmism and anti-inequality leftism. And Brexit is a good move partly to escape the EU’s heavy and restrictive environment and climate policies that can stifle stronger economic growth and business expansion.