A Commentary on the 1965-2019 BP data on Global Man-made CO2 emissions.
The 2020 BP CO2 emissions data is aggregated here into seven Nation groups according to their nominal state of development and their attitudes towards controlling CO2 emissions:
- Developed: USA – JP CIS CA AU – EU(28)
- Developing: China HK – India – KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW – Rest of World (~160 Nations)
World CO2 emissions stabilised 2012 – 2017, with reduction of CO2 emissions from the Developed world from 2005 on. The differential between the Developed and nominally “Developing” worlds continue to grow and accelerate.
- The differential between the Developed and nominally “Developing” worlds will grow and accelerate, as the quality of people’s lives improve across the Developing world.
- The developing world now has CO2 emissions ~900 million tonnes higher than the Developed world.
- Still, some 1.1 billion people, ~15% of the global population, have no access to reliable electricity.
- CO2 emissions will escalate as the Chinese and India develop Coal-fired power stations both at home and within their spheres of influence.
Recent CO2 emissions growth: 2015 – 2019
In 2010 Professor Richard Muller made the dilemma for anyone who hopes to control global warming by reducing CO2 emission from Western Nations very clear. In essence he said:
“the Developing World is not joining-in with CO2 emission reductions nor should it have any intention of doing so. The failure of worldwide action negates all unilateral action of Western Nations”.
- In 2019 there was a real reduction of Developed world emissions by ~330 million tonnes, whereas the “Developing” world emissions grew by ~504 million tonnes and supported by China Coal-Fired generation growth is inevitable.
- Since 2005, using shale gas for electricity generation, the USA, has reduced its CO2 emissions by some by ~1,000 million tonnes to more effect than the Kyoto protocol and the Paris Climate Accord.
- China overtook the USA CO2 emissions in 2005 and are now ~4,800 million tonnes higher.
- Chinese emissions have grown by ~5,900 million tonnes since 2003.
- Since 2017, the uplift in Chinese emissions has continued aggressively.
- Since 2018 emissions growth has been entirely from the “Developing” nations.
- 13% of the Global population has no access to reliable electric power
- 25% of India’s population still has no access to reliable electric power.
- Western organisations, the World Bank, IMF, the UN etc. attempt to limit power fossil-fuelled generation growth in the underdeveloped world by only supporting “sustainable” Renewables.
- The Chinese “Belt and Road programme” undermines any progress from the Paris Climate accord.
The level of CO2 emissions/head represents the level of development of various Nation groupings:
- The USA and the EU(28) have both continued to reduce their CO2 emissions and quality of life.
- From 2005 onwards the EU(28) with legal measures had reduced emissions. But much of that trend was due to the decline of their economies and the displacement of industrial processes overseas.
- Russia, Japan, Canada and Australia have hardly grown their emissions since 2005.
Note that: Russia has deliberately backed anti-fracking campaigns in Europe and the USA to support Russian Gas exports. Russian interference has eliminated the fracking opportunity throughout Europe and in effect has given itself an energy stranglehold over Europe.
- China overtook the world-wide average for CO2 emissions in 2004.
- In 2019 China’s emissions reached ~6.92 tonnes/head, surpassing the EU(28) ~6.49 tonnes/head.
- India and the bulk of the under-developed nations, (~54% of the Global population), remain at the low emissions level of about ~1.81 CO2 tonnes/head about 1/4 of the level in China and the EU(28).
- India’s growth in CO2 emissions 2018 was a further 162 million tonnes. India has some 450 new Coal-fired generation plants under development.
- India and the under-developed Nations have massive potential for further CO2 emissions growth as their energy deprivation is progressively rectified.
The futility of Western de-carbonisation
Green initiatives in the West, have made little contribution to CO2 emissions reduction. Renewables, from their manufacture to demolition, are marginally CO2 emissions and energy neutral over their service life. Renewables require substantial fossil fuel input for their raw materials, manufacture, installation as well as fossil fuel back-up to compensate for their intermittent unreliability. Biomass for power generation, (nominally “carbon neutral”), increases CO2 emissions about threefold over Gas-firing.
So, Climate Change prevention, costing very extensive resources in the West is evidently futile and self-deluded. These self-harming actions in response to Alarmist Green thinking are already causing gross risks to Western energy security and have increased costs for all Western power users. On the other hand, the Developing World is set to grow its CO2 emissions indefinitely.
Were it desirable, there are only two real examples of effective CO2 emissions reduction:
- USA: with shale gas replacing Coal-firing for power generation has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 1/3 since 2000.
- France: using Nuclear energy for power generation since the 1950s has reduced its CO2 emissions to below the Global average of 4.43 tonnes/head.
The 2020 BP CO2 emissions data imply the following:
- China, Russia and India’s actions at home and within their spheres of influence negate all Western efforts at CO2 emissions reduction. They make a mockery of the Paris Climate accord.
- The elimination of Fracking for fossil fuel recovery in Western Europe is self-inflicted harm arising from Russian interference, inducing “Alarmist Green Virtue Signalling”.
- In spite of the vast cost, only very marginal CO2 emissions reduction are being achieved by Weather Dependent Renewables. The use of “carbon neutral” Biomass increases Western CO2 emissions.
- Russia and China are pursuing a self-serving “Climate-based facet of an economic Cold War”.
- Spending any effort in the West, for solely emotional and childish reasons, without true cost benefit analysis and without full engineering due diligence for any proposed technical solutions, let alone at GDP scale costs, trying to stop the Western World’s shrinking effect on warming that has not been happening for 3 millennia is monumentally ill-advised.