Analysts claim the Earth Day signing of the Paris climate summit agreement will disproportionately hurt the poor and eventually create a type of “green energy poverty.”
The December climate summit agreement, which seeks to create regulations aimed at cutting power plant carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent by 2030, will “impose huge costs on poor people everywhere,” Julian Morris, vice president of research at Reason Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The climate deal will need the formal approval of at least 55 countries, representing 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions to have any actual force.
Bloomberg and other environmental data analysts project the new rules, if they are signed and go into effect, will likely cost more than $12 trillion over 25 years to implement.“The required expenditure averages about $484 billion a year over the period,” Bloomberg calculated in February.
Morris, who wrote an assessment of the agreement for Reason Foundation, added that poor people would feel the pain of finding creative ways of replacing the vacuum created by a loss of fossil fuels more so than wealthier people. This is especially true if governments continue to subsidize the use of sustainable alternatives like solar panels.
The commitments made under the Paris agreement, Morris said, “would divert trillions of dollars into low-carbon technologies and government-funded schemes,” which would eventually hurt the kind of innovations required to spur energy advancement.
“If people find their energy prices increasing because of a lack of relatively cheap fossil fuels, then the capital needed to create alternatives would dwindle and eventually dry up,” Morris added.
Ironically, the signing would actually make it more difficult to reduce carbon emissions, Morris said.
The Heritage Foundation, for its part, released a report on April 13 describing what researchers perceive as the ill-effects the Paris Climate Agreement will have on the working poor. Its findings mirror Morris’s assessment in many ways.
The Heritage Foundation’s report calls the possible signing “a push for un-development for the industrialized world and a major obstacle for growth for the developing world.”
These regulations, the report goes on to note, “stifle the use of the most efficient and inexpensive forms of electricity, businesses as well as households will incur higher electricity costs.”
Heritage states that, in the absence of widespread use of fossil fuels, government mandates, “taxes, and special interest subsidies will drive family incomes down by thousands of dollars per year, drive up energy costs, and eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. All of these costs would be incurred to achieve only trivial and theoretical impacts on global warming.”
Solar panels, to use one example, are heavily subsidized in the United States, energy insiders say, through a 30 percent federal tax credit for home solar panels.
And many state governments ban the purchase of individual solar panels. Customers in these areas lease the panels from utility companies and sell any excess energy back to the utilities at higher than market rates, which, coincidentally, force energy prices to creep higher for utility customers without solar panels.
The initial costs to lease solar panels can reach as high as $10,000.
These tax credits are “kind of like having the government pay for 30 percent of your brand new car,” Dan Kish, the senior vice president at the free market-based Institute for Energy Research, told TheDCNF in April.
“Imagine a poor, single mother in Florida trying to keep warm her home or rental property,” Kish said at the time, “and now imagine these mostly wealthy solar panel customers forcing public utility companies to buy up electricity at jacked up prices.”
He added: “Forcing these companies to pay more than market rates for electricity makes the rates of that single mother skyrocket.”
The Heritage Foundation, as well Morris and the Reason Foundation, are warning that singing the climate agreement in New York this Earth Day could create more instances of the type made by Kish.
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