Blogs - Blogs
Senator DeMint's Blog: Lieberman-Warner Unlikely to Reduce Global Temperatures, Cap & Trade Scheme INCREASING Emissions in Europe
June 3, 2008

 Posted By Marc Morano – 1:35 PM ET – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov  

Lieberman-Warner Unlikely to Reduce Global Temperatures, Cap & Trade Scheme INCREASING Emissions in Europe 

From the Office of Senator Jim DeMint

Posted by Jim's Staff

06/03/2008 - 12:44:26 PM 

Following up on yesterday's release on how Lieberman-Warner will destroy jobs and hike gasoline prices, please see this post from Senator DeMint's blog .


   Supporters of the $7 Trillion Lieberman-Warner Climate Tax (S. 2191 / S.3036) assure us the bill is necessary to combat global warming, even though the bill would kill 3-4 million American jobs and double gasoline & home energy prices.  

   However, according to numerous experts, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Tax bill would not measurably reduce global temperatures:   

  Dr. Anne E. Smith, CRA International: "It is worth asking however, the question of how much change in global greenhouse gas emissions would be achieved by S.2191, relative to the growth expected from sources other than the United States... None of these scenarios [under Lieberman-Warner] are sufficient to prevent global emissions from continuing to increase through 2050, due to the unchecked growth of emissions from developing countries, principally China and India."  

  Patrick J. Michaels, Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia: "So, what do you get for your trillions? Climatically, nothing. Assume that all the nations of the world fulfill their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol (they won't!), which reduces global emissions about 5% below 1990 levels. That results in a "savings" of global warming of 0.07 degrees Celsius by 2050—an amount too small to measure, as global temperatures vary on their own about twice that much from year-to-year. Now add in Lieberman-Warner. Say the U.S. actually does what the law says, though no one knows how to. The result is an additional 0.013 degrees (C) of "prevented" warming. Assume that all the Kyoto countries adopt — and fulfill — S 2191. The amount of saved warming in 2050 is around 0.11 degrees C, and about 0.20 in 2100. Too small to measure. The accumulated cost? Probably in excess of 10 trillion dollars."  

  Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation: "Given sharp increases in emissions from China and other fast developing nations, the unilateral measures in S. 3036 would do little. Even assuming the worst of global warming, emissions would still go up, and the impact on the earth’s future temperature would likely be too small to even verify – quite remarkable given the multi-trillion dollar price tag."   

  Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that the cap & trade scheme in Europe that Lieberman-Warner is modeled after, has actually led to INCREASED carbon emissions every year since it was enacted:  

  The European Union's greenhouse-gas emissions from key industries rose 1.1% last year, despite its antipollution policies, demonstrating the difficulty in meeting international commitments to fight climate change... For the past three years, Europe has been trying to reduce emissions by imposing a market-based cap-and-trade system. Industries such as power generators, steel, cement and aluminum are supposed to cap the amount of carbon dioxide they spew. If they can't make their targets, they must buy permits to emit carbon on the open market.  

  By forcing companies to buy and sell the right to pollute, Europe's system is supposed to give them a financial incentive to clean up their acts. It is also supposed to provide European countries with a way to meet their commitments to the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations accord that set emissions-cutting targets for the 175 nations that ratified it for the period between this year and 2012.  

  But the caps that the EU set for different industries turned out to be too high. As a result, instead of shrinking, as was originally envisioned, emissions in these industries have crept up by about 1% each year since the program began. Europe's struggle to make its cap-and-trade program work shows just how hard it will be for the industrialized world to achieve any meaningful reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. Japan isn't faring any better: Its Kyoto targets call for it to reduce emissions by 6% below 1990 levels, but emissions are actually increasing there as well.   

Read More About the Impacts of Lieberman-Warner:

Majority Office
410 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.Washington, DC 20510-6175
phone: 202-224-8832
Minority Office
456 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.Washington, DC 20510-6175
phone: 202-224-6176