Guest post by Ed Hoskins. A short bio is given at the end of the post.
This post, using BP statistical review (2015) data, presents CO2 trends on an absolute and per capita basis for the main global economies. They add in the effect of recent Chinese under-reporting of CO2 emissions. They compare CO2 emissions / head as a representation of the level of development of national groups. In particular China overtook the EU (28) in 2012 and France has the lowest CO2 emissions / head of the developed world. It is even less that the whole worldwide average.
If Greens wants to save the world from CO2 emissions this data wholly vindicates the use of Nuclear power for electricity generation. Their preference for Renewable Energy, with the closure of fossil fuel generation, may destroy the progress and benefits of western civilization.
The following calculations and graphics are based on information on national CO2 emission levels worldwide published by BP in June 2015 for the period from 1965 up until the end of 2014.
These data and graphics have been updated in the light of the recent announcement that China has been significantly under reporting its actual CO2 emissions.
The assumption made for the additional CO2 emissions from China is calculated by assuming the emissions previously reported by BP had increased by 17% in 2014. Prior to that emissions are increased by 1% every year from 1998 onwards. This may be an underestimate.
These notes and figures provide a short commentary on that CO2 emissions history.
Some highlights arising from the BP data and the revisions arising from the recent announcement of under-reporting of CO2 emissions by China:
- by 2014 CO2 emissions for the developing world were ~60% higher than those from the developed world.
- China’s CO2 emissions / head for its population of some 1.4 billion have exceeded the average emissions/head in Europe, and China’s CO2 emissions / head was higher than most of the EU Nations except for Germany.
- CO2 emissions / head for India and the rest of the world’s Underdeveloped nations (~53% of the world population) remained very low at ~1.7 tonnes / head, meaning that their state of very serious deprivation and underdevelopment is continuing.
- India’s growth in CO2 emissions 2013 – 2014 equated to China’s level.
The contrast between the developed and developing worlds is stark in terms of their history of CO2 emissions and the likely prognosis for their future CO2 output.
Since 1980 CO2 emissions from the developed world have shown virtually no increase, whereas the developing world has had a fourfold increase since 1980. That increase is and should be accelerating to ensure the improvement of the the lives of people in the underdeveloped world..
In October 2010 Professor Richard Muller made the dilemma for all those who hope to control global warming by reducing CO2 emissions clear: in essence he said:
“the Developing World is not joining-in with CO2 emission reductions nor does it have any intention of doing so. The failure of worldwide action negates the unilateral action of any individual western Nation”.
Representation by Region
This presentation divides the world nations into seven logical groups with distinct attitudes to CO2 control:
developed nations: population 1,184m – 16%.
- United States of America, attempting CO2 emissions control under Obama’s EPA: population 321m – 4.4%.
- The European Union, (including the UK), currently believers in action to combat Global Warming; population 506m – 6.9%.
- Japan, the former Soviet Union, Canada and Australia are developed nations, presently rejecting controls on CO2 emissions: population 356m – 4.9%.
developing nations: population 6,123m – 84%
- South Korea, Iran, South Africa, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan: more advanced developing nations, still developing rapidly, (KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW): population 833m – 11.4%.
- China and Hong Kong: developing very rapidly: population 1,398m – 19.1%.
- India: developing rapidly from a low base: population 1,274m – 17.4%.
- Rest of World (~160 Nations): developing rapidly from a low base: population 2,630m – 36.0%.
CO2 emissions / head
More significant than the total CO2 emissions output is the comparison of the CO2 emissions / head for the various nation groups. This measure represents the level of development of various Nation groups.
- The EU(27) even with active legal measures have maintained a fairly level CO2 emission rate but have managed to reduce their CO2 emissions/head by ~22% since 2005. Much of the recent downward trend is largely attributed to their declining economies and the displacement of industrial processes to countries with laxer environmental regimes.
- The USA has already reduced its CO2 emissions/head by ~9% since in 2005, mainly arising from the use of shale gas for electricity generation. And now Mr Putin is actively involved in backing anti-fracking campaigns in Europe so as to protect his largest Gasprom market and to have an energy stranglehold on the West, as he has demonstrated recently in the Ukraine.
- Russia, Japan, Canada and Australia have only grown their emissions/head by ~1% since 2005.
- China’s CO2 emissions / head have increased ~11 fold since 1965. China overtook the world-wide average in 2003 and surpassed the rapidly developing nations in 2006.
- China’s emissions / head at 8.24 tonnes / head have now surpassed the average level of the EU(27) nations, (7.33 tonnes /head).
- India’s CO2 emissions have grown by 4.7 times over the period and are now showing recent acceleration. That increasing rate is likely to grow substantially with increased use of coal for electricity generation.
- India and the bulk of the underdeveloped, ~55% of the world’s population, still remain at a very low level of CO2 emissions levels of only about 1.7 tonnes / head.
When the participating nations particularly in the environmentally active / Green aware EU are compared with Chinese CO2 emissions/head, an interesting picture arises, showing:
- Chinese CO2 emissions at 8.24 tonnes / head for its 1.4 billion population are already ~63% greater than the worldwide average. China’s emissions are still growing fast.
- China ‘s emissions / head has now overtaken the overall average of the whole European Union. Germany alone still exceeds the CO2 emissions level of China.
- At 4.36 tonnes / head, France, with ~80% nuclear electricity generation, has the lowest CO2 emission rates in the developed world
- France emissions/ head are now 2% below the world-wide average.
- China’s CO2 exceeded France’s CO2 emissions / head in 2009 and are now ~87% higher.
- The UK emissions/head at 6.65 tonnes / head is now ~21% lower than China.
- The EU(27) CO2 emissions / head as a whole is now 12% less than China
- Germany, one of the largest CO2 emitters in Europe, has emissions/head ~92% higher than the worldwide average but it is only ~18% higher than China. Germany’s emissions/head have tended to increase recently because they are now burning much larger quantities of brown coal to compensate for the “irrational” closure of their nuclear generating capacity.
The performance of France in limiting CO2 emissions must question the logic of Green attitudes in opposing of Nuclear power. If CO2 emissions really were a concern to arrest Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming / Man-made Climate Change, these results, particularly from France, show starkly the very real advantage of using Nuclear power for electricity generation.
But even France’s commitment to Nuclear power is now being questioned. Green attitudes in the French government are now threatening to destroy one of France’s supreme national assets, i.e. its commitment to Nuclear energy for electricity generation, with no CO2 emissions.
Following the Fukushima disaster, the German government position of rapidly eliminating nuclear power in a country with no earthquake risk and no chance of tsunamis should not be tenable.
Gross CO2 emissions
These graphs of total CO2 emission history show that up until 2014:
- there has been a stabilisation or reduction of emissions from developed economies since 1980.
- the USA, simply by exploiting shale gas for electricity generation, has already reduced its CO2 emissions by some 9.5% since 2005. That alone has already had more CO2 emission reduction effect than the entire Kyoto protocol.
- CO2 emissions from the developed economies rejecting action on CO2 (JP RU CA AU) have hardly grown since 2005.
- the European Union, EU (27)+EFTA has reduced its CO2 emissions by ~22% since 2005.
- CO2 emissions from the developing world as a whole overtook the developed world in 2007 and are now ~60% larger than the developed world’s CO2 emissions.
- there has been a very rapid escalation of Chinese CO2 emissions since the year 2000.
- China overtook the USA CO2 emissions in 2006, and Chinese emissions are now ~62% greater than the USA, the escalation in Chinese CO2 emissions continues. Chinese emissions have grown by +75% since 2005 and China continues to build coal fired powerstations to supply the bulk of its electricity as its industrial and domestic demands grow.
- India has accelerating emissions, growing from a low base by +63% since 2005. India too is building coal fired powerstations to increase the supply of electricity as 25% of its population still has no access to electric power.
- there is inexorable emissions growth from the Rest of the World economies, from a low base, they have grown by +30% since 2005.
So any CO2 emissions reduction achieved by the Developed Nations will be entirely negated by the increases in CO2 emissions from Developing Nations.
A comparison can be made between the annual growth of CO2 emissions from China and India and the annual CO2 emissions output of major European economies.
This graph shows clearly that total European CO2 emissions have often been entirely dwarfed by the incremental growth seen in China. The growth of Chinese CO2 emissions in some years have often exceeded the German, UK and French CO2 emissions level.
It is also interesting to note that by 2014 the growth in CO2 emissions in India matched that of China..
The futility of de-carbonisation
Actions in the West in response to the Green agenda are increasing risks to energy security and damaging the economics of all its manufacturing industries. So those companies are bound to seek more congenial energy / business environments, with laxer attitudes towards CO2 emissions,
So the futility of the expenditure of vast resources on Green activities in Germany and throughout the Western world becomes clear. According to Bjorn Lomborg the ~€125billion German investment in solar power alone, not including other renewable investments, could only reduce the onset of Global Warming by a matter of about 37 hours by the year 2100. http://www.lomborg.com/content/2013-03-germany-pays-billions-delay-global-warming-37-hours In addition in their recent paper the prestigious French Société de Calcul Mathématique SA have clearly said
“The battle against global warming: an absurd, costly and pointless crusade”
And more recently Bjorn Lomborg has produced evidence that the total effect of any agreement in the terms proposed in Paris could only control future warming in 2100 by less than 0.2°C.
Bio for Ed Hoskins
At 76 I am retired: I qualified at Guys as a dentist and then read architecture at Cambridge. I did research on quantifiable aspects of building and planning. In 1969 I founded one of the earliest spin-off software companies from the University, Applied Research of Cambridge. ARC pioneered many effective software products for building, planning and geographic information systems. I ran ARC for some 16 years and it grew to about 150 people worldwide.
I encountered Green thinking when researching pollution in London. The results were not in line with the Green script, and when published they elicited death threats. So I started to wonder why Greens were so afraid of simple facts.