European governments will tell you they have shown 'leadership' in combating CO2 emissions. What they leave out of media briefings is that they are lying, and always have been.

The original climate treaty, the Kyoto accord, was written by Germany and France and used a target date after West and East Germany unified, so by closing a few Soviet-era power plants Germany met its target, while France had increased nuclear so their emissions easily met the old date target as well. It did nothing for emissions, it was political theater.

The recent Paris agreement is even worse, despite what environmental journalists reported. The absolute emission reduction targets are self-chosen by each country among any year from 1990 to 2014 - and they have until 2030 to meet their biggest pollution year goal. Countries were also allowed to use a target based on if they had done nothing at all. Or they could use a GDP ratio. Lots of countries have had their emissions go up, but if their GDP went up more, they get to claim they are honoring the deal. Or they can say they did better than doing nothing at all and be in compliance while their emissions go up. 

What did $4 trillion gain the world? Basically nothing. Source

Europe even wrote in a clause saying that if they import wood to burn, the country exporting it is charged. Europe is burning it while charging the emissions to developing countries cutting down the trees.

They also heaving bought energy from Russia, which met its Paris Agreement goals while their actual emissions went up 13 percent. And Europe got to also claim its own went down. Emissions went up for both, yet they both claim declines. Welcome to politics.

The free ride for Europe is over. After Russia's previous invasion of Ukraine, in 2014, Europe promised to fast-track a pipeline from Russia avoiding Ukraine completely so they could ignore future rumbling in the east. They certainly needed more imported gas. After the Fukushima tsunami in Japan and the shutdown of the reactor in the prefecture as a result, Germany declared it was shutting down its nuclear plants and going solar.

Obviously they weren't really going solar, they were just buying Russian gas on the spot market, which became wildly profitable for Russia and did not count against the percentage of production "generated" by Europe. Snce Russia was 'charged' the emissions, Europe got to pretend they were meeting their climate targets, and Russia was as well - since each country got to pick its own emissions target accounting system under the Paris agreement. 

With the pipeline nearing approval, Russia picked the ideal time to strike Ukraine. Europe was going to be stuck without fuel if they objected. Now Europe is paying the price for its alternative energy shell game. Even those in Europe who said Ukraine needed to deal with their Russian problem alone are finding it impossible to ignore the peril that environmentalists claiming solar and wind were viable have created. 

This season, some farmers are not even bothering to harvest crops - they can't afford the energy to store them. What may have cost $120,000 in electricity a year ago is now $1,000,000. European farmers are heavily subsidized - they account for 80 percent of the world's total farming subsidies - but they don't get lunch money from their governments each day, so the change in energy costs is happening in real time while subsidy increases are not.

In a Reuters example, 4,000 endive producers are at so much financial risk due to the electricity costs created by lack of solar and wind power they aren't bothering to harvest them. The situation is no better in northern Europe, where greenhouses need to be heated.

Because they lied to themselves and embraced alternatives to viable energy, domestic farmers are letting food rot, which means Europe is outsourcing food production to competitors - the same thing they did with energy and how they neutered themselves when it comes to Russian aggression.

That is how first world countries switch places with the ones they used to colonize.