Study Links Pollution from Marine Vessels to Heart and Lung Disease; Annual Deaths from Ship Emissions Could Increase 40% by 2012
California Sues EPA For Stonewalling Law to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Light-Duty Vehicles

IEA: Developments in China and India Transforming the Global Energy System; Alarming Consequences for All Countries

Weo20071
With primary energy demand by 2030 rising 55% in the reference scenario for WEO 2007, coal sees the biggest increase in demand followed by oil and natural gas. Click to enlarge.

Energy developments in China and India are transforming the global energy system as a result of their sheer size and their growing importance in international energy markets, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2007.

However, the consequences of unfettered growth in global energy demand are alarming for all countries, the report continues. If governments around the world stick with existing policies—the underlying premise of the WEO Reference Scenario—the world’s primary energy needs would be 55% higher in 2030 than today.

Developing countries contribute 74% of the increase in global primary energy use in this scenario. China and India together account for 45% of this increase. increase in global primary energy demand in this scenario. Both countries’ energy use is set to more than double between 2005 and 2030.

About half the increase in global demand goes to power generation and one-fifth to meeting transport needs—the latter mostly in the form of petroleum-based fuels.

The transport sector is the principal driver of oil demand in most regions. Globally, transport’s share of total primary oil rises from 45% in 2005 to 52% in 2030. Although biofuels take an increasing share of the market for road-transport fuels, oil-based fuels continue to dominate in the scenario, their share of transport demand falling from 94% to 92% over the projection period.

Worldwide, fossil fuels—oil, gas and coal—continue to dominate the fuel mix. Among them, coal is set to grow most rapidly, driven largely by power-sector demand in China and India. This resurgence of coal is a marked departure from past WEOs. These trends lead to continued growth in global energy-related emissions of carbon-dioxide (CO2), from 27 Gt in 2005 to 42 Gt in 2030—an increase of 57%.

China is expected to overtake the United States to become the world’s biggest emitter in 2007, while India becomes the third-biggest emitter by around 2015. China’s per-capita emissions almost reach those of OECD Europe by 2030.

Consuming countries will increasingly rely on imports of oil and gas—much of them from the Middle East and Russia. In the Reference Scenario, net oil imports in China and India combined jump from 5.4 mb/d in 2006 to 19.1 mb/d in 2030—this is more than the combined imports of the United States and Japan today.

World oil output is expected to become more concentrated in a few Middle Eastern countries—if necessary investment is forthcoming. Although production capacity at new fields is expected to increase over the next five years, it is very uncertain whether it will be sufficient to compensate for the decline in output at existing fields and meet the projected increase in demand. A supply-side crunch in the period to 2015, involving an abrupt escalation in oil prices, cannot be ruled out, WEO notes.

Government action can alter appreciably these trends, the IEA states. If governments around the world implement policies they are considering today, as assumed in an Alternative Policy Scenario, global energy-related CO2 emissions would level off in the 2020s and reach 34 Gt in 2030—almost a fifth less than in the Reference Scenario.

Global oil demand would be 14 mb/d lower—a saving equal to the entire current output of the United States, Canada and Mexico combined.

Measures to improve energy efficiency are the cheapest and fastest way to curb demand and emissions growth in the near term. The savings are particularly large in China and India. For example, tougher efficiency standards for air conditioners and refrigerators alone would, by 2020, save the amount of power produced by the Three Gorges dam. Emissions of local pollutants in both countries, including sulphur-dioxide and nitrous oxides, would also be reduced sharply.

Weo20072
Even in the alternative policy scenario, CO2 emissions are 27% above current levels. Click to enlarge.

But even in the Alternative Policy Scenario, global CO2 emissions are 27% above current levels in 2030.

In a “450 Stabilization Case”, which describes a notional pathway to long-term stabilization of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at around 450 parts per million, global emissions peak in 2012 and then fall sharply below 2005 levels by 2030. Emissions savings come from improved efficiency in industry, buildings and transport, switching to nuclear power and renewables, and the widespread deployment of CO2 capture and storage (CCS). Exceptionally quick and vigorous policy action by all countries, and unprecedented technological advances, entailing substantial costs, would be needed to make this case a reality.

Economic growth in China and India could turn out to be significantly faster than assumed in the Reference and Alternative Policy Scenarios, resulting in more rapid growth in energy demand, oil and gas imports and CO2 emissions. In a High Growth Scenario, which assumes that China’s and India’s economies grow on average 1.5 percentage points per year faster than in the Reference Scenario, energy demand is 21% higher in 2030 in China and India combined. Globally, energy demand rises by 6% and CO2 emissions by 7%.

The challenge for all countries is to put in motion a transition to a more secure, lower-carbon energy system, without undermining economic and social development. Nowhere will this challenge be tougher, or of greater importance to the rest of the world, than in China and India. Vigorous, immediate and collective policy action by all governments is essential to move the world onto a more sustainable energy path. There has so far been more talk than action in most countries.

—WEO 2007

Resources

Comments

Lucretius

Re: As far as an oil price collapse? ... I don't see anywhere for the price to go but way up."

Yet on an energy basis, oil is now as expensive as electricity, around 7 cents a kwh equivalent (see: Why oil is overpriced), although in most applications it is less productive. So although in the short-term wars and other impediments to the operation of a free market may drive oil prices higher, in the longer term, investments (e.g., in new coal or nuclear power plants) and technological developments, such as plug in electric autos, solar, wind and wave power generation should greatly limit oil demand and price.

Roger Pham

What really has to be phased out is the use of coal, dirt-cheap dirty coal that puts out way higher CO2 amount per unit of energy, mercury and PM and Sulfur oxide and NOx etc.
Cheap coal is the main culprit in the lack of significant market penetration of wind and solar electricity, inspite of the cries about the perils of global warming, inspite of the leap-and-bound advancement in solar and other renewable energy technologies. Unless all the powers that be has enough foresight to gradually phase out the use of coal via gradual tax increase or other schemes, all of our concerns here will be moot. We can tax the hell out of cigarette, tobacco, (and petroleum in Europe and Asia) in order to curtail the use of those "sinful" items. We can do the same for coal, once everyone realize the major and irreversible harms in the continual escalation of coal usage.

Market forces will never be sufficient to bring about an intelligent way toward a more sustainable lifestyle. The main benefit of market-economy is pay cheap now (eg. for lead-tainted goods and contaminated food and drugs) and pay huge consequences later!

Engineer-Poet

Quoth Alain:

As long as chinese citizen emits only a fraction of a westerner and their income is only a fraction of that of a westerner, it is only logic they say they have no intention to limit their economic growth by binding restrictions.
But neither do they have any right to emit more carbon in the production of a good than we do.

Efficiency matters. China, India and the entire world should be competing to make goods with the least pollution (including carbon emissions). Grossly polluted countries like China should be switching from coal stoves to "town gas". Even if the end use is not sequestered, the amine scrubbing of sulfur from the gas also captures a substantial fraction of the carbon (converted to CO2 in the gasifier) and it can all be sequestered by deep-well injection for less cost than separating the CO2 and H2S. On top of this, the gas can be converted to electricity more efficiently than the original coal, stretching coal supplies. This is win/win, and if anyone in the world still wants to use coal they should do it that way instead of cutting corners at the expense of local health and global climate.

Quoth Max Reid:

Carbon tax will further increase oil demand and prices and put
more burden on people in both developing countries and US.
Efficiency is cheaper than oil, even without a carbon tax. For instance, US vehicles achieve only about 25 MPG average (cars and light trucks), while European cars average 47% better than the US car fleet. US gasoline consumption alone is on the order of Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports. If the US went to European efficiency levels overnight, it would cut US gasoline consumption by 1/3. This would create on the order of 3 million barrels/day of surplus oil production worldwide and substantially depress prices.

Quoth K:

We can change our energy consumption and improve our situation by taxing fossil fuels. Provided we tax foreign and domestic fuels equally we have no trade treaty problems.
All this does is pass further tax advantages to nations which do not have a carbon tax, because the goods from tax-evaders will be cheaper in currency even if they have more embodied carbon than the goods from the tax-payers. The US in particular is already hemmorhaging manufacturing jobs; a carbon tax which does not hit Chinese and Indian goods equally on a per-ton basis is a non-starter and disastrous for the climate.

K

E-P:

Quoth K:
We can change our energy consumption and improve our situation by taxing fossil fuels. Provided we tax foreign and domestic fuels equally we have no trade treaty problems.

All this does is pass further tax advantages to nations which do not have a carbon tax, because the goods from tax-evaders will be cheaper in currency even if they have more embodied carbon than the goods from the tax-payers. The US in particular is already hemmorhaging manufacturing jobs; a carbon tax which does not hit Chinese and Indian goods equally on a per-ton basis is a non-starter and disastrous for the climate.
++++++++++++++++++++

Yes E-P, I already pointed out that inflation would worsen and manufacturing would be hurt. You didn't quote that part.

I also said I see nothing better (than a carbon tax) for now. And I mean now, not five years from now.

If you want to wait for international cooperation then I'm sure that is right around the corner despite all evidence.

If you want US vehicles to get much better mileage, ala the EU, then I eagerly await that day. With only about 200M vehicles it shouldn't take us long to remedy matters.

All sorts of events could improve matters. Why not have all of our power generation change to nuclear tomorrow at noon? That would be dandy too.

Our lack of leverage with China and several other fast developing nations is a fact. And our fossil fuel consumption is a fact.

You yourself premise that nothing we do will matter if others don't change. I think that premise may be correct; but it doesn't hint at what we can do for ourselves right now.

So what do you propose?

Engineer-Poet
With only about 200M vehicles it shouldn't take us long to remedy matters.
Half of all mileage accrues to vehicles less than 6 years old, so if we started in 2008 we could be half done by 2014.  We could probably be done faster if we taxed motor fuel up to $5/gallon (and gave it back as a per-taxpayer credit on SS taxes to keep it revenue-neutral).

I'm not sure exactly what fuel price is required to make vehicles like the Tango competitive, but if the taxes resulted in substantial market share for electric vehicles it would go faster yet.

I already pointed out that inflation would worsen and manufacturing would be hurt.
Pushing work to nations which produce more pollution per unit defeats the entire purpose.
If you want to wait for international cooperation then I'm sure that is right around the corner despite all evidence.
You forget who the roadblock has been:  the USA.  We only need the cooperation of nations which have been trying to get us to do something like this for a decade (the EU and GB).  Taiwan, Japan and Korea would probably join right in.  Once there are high and uniform tariffs on goods from non-carbon-taxing nations, the export-driven economies of China and India won't derive an advantage from polluting.
So what do you propose?
Escalating tax on fossil carbon, plus a surtax on motor fuel, levellized by treaty with the EU and imposed on non-signatories by tariffs via a "greener" replacement for the WTO.  US taxes allocated thusly:
  • Paid to verified and audited permanent (> 100 year lifetime) carbon sequestration efforts.
  • Used for low-interest loans for efficiency measures (e.g. 0% financing on the "hybrid premium", measures required to make zero-energy buildings, etc.)
  • 100% of the remainder rebated to taxpayers through a zero-bracket amount on employment taxes.  The government keeps none of it.
Not that difficult, really.

K

Nice try E-P. I'll discuss this point by point.
:::::::::::::
..if we started in 2008 we could be half done by 2014.

Response. Or we could be 10% done by 2020. It depends on what people buy and drive.

First the vehicles you want aren't available in sufficient volume in 2008. But the volume will increase if the market is there. Do you propose a subsidy going to the small number of people who buy new cars? Perhaps we can force people to buy specific vehicles or outlaw the sale of other vehicles?

:::::::::::::
Pushing work to other nations ...defeats the entire purpose?

Response. It doesn't defeat my purpose. Mine was stated "do what we can now to discourage fossil fuel use." It wasn't "do what we can now provided it isn't unpleasant."

It doesn't automatically produce more pollution either. It depends on what those other nations do.

::::::::::::::::
You forget who the roadblock has been.

Response: No, I didn't forget. I just don't care.

I don't care about our policies for the last fifteen years. My question (again) is what do we do now? You offer mostly fuzzy assurances of treaties and tariffs and cooperation and sundry great things real soon now.

The problems of tariffs are well known and include domestic politics, treaties, economics, and administration. A swampland we shouldn't visit.

And treaties have to be agreed to and followed. Maybe they will be and maybe not.

You use 'should' and 'could' a lot. I will too. Treaties could work or they could not. Nations should cooperate to solve international problems.

I asked what we do now, not what we do someday if others cooperate. And your proposal is>
::::::::::::::::::

Your proposal:
Escalating tax on fossil carbon, plus a surtax on motor fuel, levellized by treaty with the EU and imposed on non-signatories by tariffs via a "greener" replacement for the WTO. US taxes allocated thusly:
Paid to verified and audited permanent (> 100 year lifetime) carbon sequestration efforts.
Used for low-interest loans for efficiency measures (e.g. 0% financing on the "hybrid premium", measures required to make zero-energy buildings, etc.)
100% of the remainder rebated to taxpayers through a zero-bracket amount on employment taxes. The government keeps none of it.

My proposal:

1) Escalating tax on fossil carbon transactions - extractions and imports. Not on products refined from them.

Assured effect. The US will adjust to use less fossil fuel because it costs more.

Potential effect. This will favor foreign refining. But that shift can't be made overnight. Address it when and if it becomes a problem.

2) Continue research and encourage other measures. But don't pretend. All those measures take longer, some much longer. Many rely upon technology that may not pan out. Or cooperation that may not occur. In other words they are uncertain.

3) No rebates of carbon taxes. Rebates are always a political football and have high administrative costs. We run a deficit.

::::::::::::::::
General principles: I don't care about revenue neutrality.

Any change hurts someone.

I try to avoid words such fair, just, and equal while discussing government and economics. They are all pleasant words and usually attempts to beg the point.

Those programs designed to be fair, just, and equitable won't be anyway.

Neither 'should' or 'could' count for much.

Engineer-Poet

Your "response" is simply not serious.  For instance:

It depends on what those other nations do.
Those nations are China (and, to a lesser extent, India) and we already know what they do.  To ignore this is to live in a fantasy world.  To adopt policies with the effect of taxing US goods but not Chinese and Indian goods is to increase the net carbon emission in production, which is in direct contradiction to your alleged goal of
do what we can now to discourage fossil fuel use.
It takes two houses of Congress plus the executive to pass a law; it doesn't take that much to opt out of a treaty which otherwise prevents us from applying taxes to foreign carbon emissions on goods shipped to the US.  All of these are things we can do, and your tendentious and contradictory (bordering on trollish) statements have been noted.

K

E-P: My statements have been noted. Are you threatening me?

My response was serious.

As for which of us is being contradictory. I quoted your proposal, every line of it. It said nothing about opting out of trade treaties. Now you say we can and should if they prevent taxes (why don't you call them tariffs?)

I have dealt with you before, and on engineering calculations and thought you have much to say. But on this threat you began by quoting me and leaving out the part of the quote most relevent.

Now you apparently can't stand an alternative view and have started calling names. People are allowed to disagree with you.

Engineer-Poet (impersonated)

[Comment from impersonator has been deleted. -GCC]

Engineer-Poet

One thing that's nice about impersonation and other slimy tactics:  when your opponents start using them, you know they're out of facts.

[Comment deleted from impersonator]

Kit P

Oh no, I must admit E-P got something right, “The US in particular is already hemmorhaging manufacturing jobs” if you dissect his sentence to remove “a carbon tax which does not hit Chinese and Indian goods equally on a per-ton basis is a non-starter and disastrous for the climate.”

The tax this, cap that crowd sure have an aversion to solutions that work. In the US, 75% of the carbon free emission electricity comes form the 104 nuke plants. Westinghouse is building 4 AP1000 in China. The Russians just got a contract for two. France will soon get a contract for two 1600 MWe units. Plus China is building a whole slug based on an older French designs.

It is fun to watch the tax this, cap that crowd in big business to figure out their game. If you have a bunch of old coal plants, you want a cap and trade system. If you have a bunch of old nuke plants, you want carbon tax. Winners: tax collectors and commodity traders.

Engineer-Poet

Watching these clowns get whacked by GCC staff is fun.  If it went a little faster, I'd make popcorn.

Kit P, you just nailed the reason I'm pro-nuke.  I don't push it hard because I think it's one of the high-resistance paths politically (and it's not something we want to give to e.g. Iran), but I've always seen it as one of our best options.

Kit P

I do not have a problem with Iran building commercial reactors or enrichment plants if they are monitored by the IAEA. I did not have a problem with the Clinton administration helping build commercial reactors in North Korea. I think the world will be a better place when everyone who wants it has a supply of electricity to meet their basic needs. Clearly this is a way to have a more peaceful world. After that, maybe I will worry about AGW.

Cooperation to use nuclear power safely is almost universal. It will be very interesting to see if Russia sends fuel to Iran while Iran remains closed to international inspection.

The comments to this entry are closed.