Monday, July 23, 2012

Good climate news, bad climate news

On the good news front, an excellent post from David Roberts on the amount of emissions the US has cut in recent years.  Go read.  Joe Romm has argued that we may have reached peak emissions in the US in 2007, this provides additional support.  New to me was that wind power is following the same downward price trend as solar, and may reach price parity with gas in this decade.

So enough with the good news.  Bad news is with global emissions generally, and China particularly:
Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) -- the main cause of global warming -- increased by 3% last year, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion tonnes in 2011. In China, the world's most populous country, average emissions of CO2 increased by 9% to 7.2 tonnes per capita. China is now within the range of 6 to 19 tonnes per capita emissions of the major industrialised countries. In the European Union, CO2 emissions dropped by 3% to 7.5 tonnes per capita. The United States remains one of the largest emitters of CO2, with 17.3 tones per capita, despite a decline due to the recession in 2008-2009, high oil prices and an increased share of natural gas.
I still wouldn't assign China the same level of blame as Europe - it's the total emissions per capita that matter, not the annual emissions.  China has also promised not to hit the US level of per capita emissions.  While China and India don't deserve the same level of blame as the developed democracies, they are on a very dangerous course for the entire world.