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Mike's Minute: We might have progress at a Cop meeting

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 5 Dec 2023, 11:09AM
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company CEO Sultan al-Jaber speaks during the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on February 14, 2023. Photo / AP
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company CEO Sultan al-Jaber speaks during the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on February 14, 2023. Photo / AP

Mike's Minute: We might have progress at a Cop meeting

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 5 Dec 2023, 11:09AM

While Cop28 rumbles on, and I have little if any faith anything truly tangible will come out of it, you have to give them credit for the latest move, which involves 100 odd countries signing up to the idea that they want to boost renewable energy by 2030.

These pledges are part of the problem. It's one thing in the heat of a meeting when everyone is hyped to make promises you may, or may not, be able to keep.

The reason we have Cop28 is because the promises made at Cop1 through Cop27 didn't amount to enough to solve the issue.

In this latest promise they will boost renewables, by actually trebling them.

That second part will prove to be the undoing of it all. 2030 is but a handful of years away and, as laudable as it may seem, just trebling stuff isn't realistic.

But the important part, and the positive part, is it is a step change in the obsession we seem to have had around stopping stuff and banning stuff and generally messing with peoples lives in a way that was never going to work.

Banning the combustion engine is most likely to prove to be the biggest piece of idiocy yet.

Back when they started making promises about it, 2025 or 2030 or 2035, depending on where you were, seemed a lifetime away. Now that it's here reality has hit and the combustion engine is still very much alive and shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon.

Britain has backed off their ban, America has no appetite for it whatsoever and its replacement, the EV, is in real trouble in terms of non-subsidised uptake.

People seem to prefer the hybrid, which has of course an internal combustion engine.

Given we like cars and aren't giving them up, how about more wind, more sun, more wave and, dare I suggest, more nuclear. Boosting good stuff is a better calculation than cutting bad stuff.

Essentially, this is a lesson in human nature. We all want to do the right thing but we will not be inconvenienced and we will not be bludgeoned into submission.

The trick is simple - whether my lights get turned on via the sun, or wind, or coal doesn't matter, as long as the lights are on.

Reliability is the key.

Renewables currently are not reliable. Maybe a trebling of supply will make them so.

Let's hope so.

Let's hope this path is the chosen one at meetings like Cop. Otherwise before you know it, it will be Cop45, Cop51, Cop67.

And so it will go.

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