John Kerry peddles costly and harmful climate plan at summit

United States climate envoy John Kerry pitched a new plan at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, now underway in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The plan calls for private corporations to send vast sums of money to developing nations.

Why, you might be wondering, would businesses want to send their cash to developing nations?

You see, this is why U.S. climate envoy John Kerry needs a plan.

“Our intention is to put the carbon market to work, to deploy capital otherwise unemployable, to speed the transition from dirty to clean power,” Kerry said during an event at the summit.

What does that mean, exactly? Let’s break it down.

The “transition from dirty to clean power” means closing down or never building affordable power plants that run steadily on coal or natural gas and instead relying on expensive and intermittent solar and wind energy. “Capital otherwise unemployable” means the government has put restrictions on businesses that limit their investments or operations. “Put the carbon market to work” means selling permission slips for those businesses to invest or operate.

Kerry’s plan calls for U.S. businesses (and indirectly, U.S. consumers) to finance the “transition” in developing nations.

This is yet another scheme to sell carbon credits, those sketchy creations that supposedly certify that somewhere in the world, something measurable is being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and this measurement can be chopped up and sold to companies that want to “offset” their own greenhouse gas emissions. Companies that buy enough carbon credits can put a little green leaf on their website and brag that they are “net zero.”

If you think this sounds more like a scam than an energy policy, you’re not alone. Activists, scientists and government officials at the summit expressed varying degrees of shock, concern and dismay. “The implications of John Kerry’s proposal is that companies would not actually have to reduce emissions if they buy offsets,” said Climate Analytics’ Bill Hare, one of the experts on a UN panel.

Kerry was even heckled by an indigenous justice activist who later told a reporter, “We do not need to be partnering with polluters.”

Some in the climate crowd would like to see a total ban on the use of fossil fuels for electricity, heating, transportation and even the manufacturing of materials such as plastics. Luckily for them, if there’s one thing a government knows how to do, it’s make something illegal.

That’s the part of the plan Kerry refers to as “capital otherwise unemployable.” Whether through direct prohibitions, ridiculously high taxes, relentless social stigma or pension fund investment boycotts, your United States government can torture the companies that develop and deliver energy derived from coal, natural gas and oil. It can do the same to companies that rely on that energy to operate their businesses.

So far, Kerry reported, he has “strong interest” from PepsiCo and Microsoft in buying the carbon credits, which he promised would be “high quality.” By that he means they won’t be like the carbon credits described earlier in the week by U.N. experts as cheap, bogus and lacking integrity. The experts’ report warned that net zero is being “undermined by false claims, ambiguity and ‘greenwash.’”

Kerry says his carbon credits will have “strong safeguards” and no fossil fuel company will be allowed to buy them. In fact, everyone who buys them will be required to have a goal to get to net-zero carbon emissions as well as a plan to meet a “science-based” interim target.

Kerry also said the credits cannot be used as a substitute for cutting emissions. But if that’s the case, they won’t be worth much to the companies he’s hoping to hit up for $100 billion in project funding by 2030 to finance the green transition in developing countries.

U.N. climate summits are like a fantasy camp where activists can have fun pretending that the world can run on sunshine and breezes without any negative consequences, such as large numbers of people starving and freezing in the dark. The attendees can see that carbon credits are a scam that allows “polluters” to continue business as usual under cover of public relations. What they don’t want to see is that the companies they call “polluters” are providing products and services that most of the world wants. That’s what capitalism does.

Capitalism is unwelcome at climate summits.

Activists at climate summits demand action by governments to prohibit productive activity. They insist on radical cuts to carbon dioxide emissions to appease the angry gods of computer-generated climate models. When democratically elected governments won’t go that far, climate activists erupt like a volcano.

That’s why the U.S. government has a “climate envoy.” It’s his job to go to these summits and talk smoothly about making capital “unemployable” to create a “carbon market” where productive companies are forced to buy nonsense permission slips to operate.

Kerry calls his plan the Energy Transition Accelerator. It has the backing of The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund. It doesn’t have the backing of the U.S. Congress, which would not agree to provide additional billions of dollars in “climate financial aid.” But the activists haven’t given up on getting your money. The summit in Sharm El-Sheikh featured a discussion of “loss and damage,” also known as “climate reparations.” There’s talk of setting up a fund and requiring higher-income nations to pay into it so lower-income nations can cash out of it.

This whole racket could be shut down in one day if U.S. companies decided to stop going along with it. Until that happens, here’s one way to pay lower prices: avoid doing business with companies that say they’re “net-zero.” Look for the leaf on the label, and then buy something else.

Write and follow her on Twitter @Susan_Shelley

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