powerplant.jpgWe knew it was going to happen, the only question was when. China will overtake the US
as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases as early as 2009,
predicts the International Energy Authority in the latest edition of
its World Energy Outlook — a veritable Domesday book for
environmentalists.

Without new government measures to alter underlying energy trends,
the IEA predicts global primary energy demand will increases by 53%
between now and 2030.

Because of rising oil and gas prices, Coal has led the recent surge
in global energy demand and is on a stronger growth path than in
previous WEOs. China and India are the predominant sources of global
energy demand growth, accounting for over 70% of the increase.

The IEA's baseline forecast sees global CO2
emissions reaching 40bn tons 2030, a 55% increase over today's level.
China overtakes the US as the world's biggest emitter of CO2 before 2010.

The IEA calls on oil-consuming countries to rapidly curb their
consumption or face higher prices and severe environmental damage,
including changes in the global climate.

But the agency acknowledged that any conservation would require a
“considerable political push” from western governments, as well as
large developing economies like China and India, to reduce their use of
hydrocarbons, including coal.

The report coincides with this week's meeting in Nairobi to discuss
a new agreement after the Kyoto Protocol. The talks, which are not
expected to produce an agreement for at least a couple of years, are
aimed partly at bringing the larger developing countries like China,
India and Brazil under emission controls.

For more on China and Kyoto , see yesterday's EngagingChina post.

More on the WEO report in this New York Times article.


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