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Just weeks ago, I wrote concerning the fact German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her struggle to form a new coalition government, has agreed to scrap Germany’s short term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. This comes as The Wall Street Journal is reporting Germany and a number of other European Union countries are admitting they will fail to reach the greenhouse gas cuts they agreed to as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Indeed, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Malta have each fallen behind in reducing emissions, although Germany faces the largest gap between commitments and current emission levels. In early 2018, Germany announced it would miss its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Germany announced in 2016 its emissions rose for the second year in a row, emitting 2.6 million tons more greenhouse gases than in 2015. A government spokesman announced, “The environment ministry is preparing itself to purchase emission allowances from countries that have surpluses in the coming years.”
In part as a result of this emissions reduction shortfall, a report commissioned by the BDI German industry group estimates meeting Germany’s share of the EU’s overall long-term target of cutting emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 would cost Germany $1.2 trillion. This price will rise if Germany’s emissions continue their upward trajectory in the short term.
In perhaps a bit of serendipity, while EU member states struggle to cut greenhouse gas emissions while keeping their economies afloat, a new Sheriff arrived on the scene at the EU’s Environment Council.
Neno Dimov, Bulgaria’s Environment Minister, ascended to the presidency of the European Union’s (EU) Environment Council on January 1. Dimov previously served as Bulgaria’s deputy minister of the environment, from 1997 to 2002, simultaneously serving as a member of the management board for the EU’s European Environment Agency, which is comparable to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dimov is unique as an Environment Council president because he is an explicit climate skeptic, or realist.
Like U.S. President Trump, whom he has told the press he admires, Dimov is known for arguing environmental protection must be balanced against economic growth. In his book From Environmentalism to Freedom (2012), Dimov argues EU environmental regulations have gone too far, harming people and the economy for little or no environmental gain.
Forbes reports Dimov has said in myriad interviews the theory of global warming is being used as a tool of intimidation. In a May 2017 television interview, Dimov said, “Climate change is a scientific debatе; there is no consensus, and every part has arguments,” and said he disagrees with the theory. In an online video from 2015, Dimov says global warming is a “fraud … used to scare the people. The melting of the ice will not raise the sea level even a millimeter.” In the same video, Dimov also said, “The main factor for climate change is solar activity.”
Though, per EU rules, Dimov’s reign as head of the EU’s Environment Council is limited to six months — the council’s directorship rotates on a six month basis, one might hope during his term in office, some of his understanding of the limited role humans are playing in climate change, and of the justness of putting basic human needs ahead of the inane and destructive goal radical environmentalist’s have of ending the use of fossil fuels, filters down to the leadership of the EU as a whole and of each of its member states.