2017 Global CO2 emissions
The following calculations and graphics are based on information on worldwide CO2 emission levels published by BP in June 2018 for the period from 1965 up until the end of 2017.
The data can be summarised as follows:
Some initial points arising from the BP data:
- Having been relatively stable for the last 7 years global CO2 emissions grew by ~1.3% in 2017. This growth was in spite of all the international “commitments” arising from the Paris Climate Agreement.
- The contrast between the developed and developing worlds remains stark:
- developing world emissions overtook Developed world CO2 emissions in 2005
- they have been escalating ever since in terms of their history and the likely prognosis of their CO2 emissions.
- Since 1990 CO2 emissions from the developed world have decreased, whereas the developing world has shown a fourfold increase since 1980. CO2 emissions in the developing world are accelerating as the quality of the lives for people in the underdeveloped and developing world improves. At least 1.12 billion people in the developing world still have no access to reliable mains electricity.
- As a result CO2 emissions / head for India and the rest of the world’s Underdeveloped nations (~53% of the world population) remains very low at ~1.7 tonnes / head, (~40% of the Global average) meaning that the state of serious human deprivation and underdevelopment is continuing.
- By 2017 CO2 emissions from the developing world were some 65% of the global emissions.
- India and the underdeveloped world will certainly be continuing to promote their own development to attain comparable development levels to their other peer group developing nations.
- India’s growth in CO2 emissions 2016 – 2017 was by a further 4.1%
- China, (considered here as a “Developing Nation”), showed CO2 emission growth of 1.4% in 2017.
- China’s CO2 emissions / head for its population of some 1.4 billion has now approached the average emissions / head in Europe.
- China’s CO2 emissions / head was already higher than most of the EU Nations other than Germany.
Even as long ago as October 2010 Professor Richard Muller made the dilemma for all those who hope to control global warming by reducing CO2 emissions, particularly by means of CO2 reductions from Western Nations, 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 analysis divides the world’s nations into seven logical groups with distinct attitudes to CO2 control:
developed nations: population ~1,184 million – ~39% CO2 emissions.
- United States of America, now President Trump is rescinding many of Obama’s climate initiatives including USA support for the Paris Climate accord: population 321m : 4.4% — 15.2% CO2 emissions.
- Japan, the former Soviet Union, Canada and Australia, (JP RU CA AU), are developed nations, ambivalent towards controls on CO2 emissions and not necessarily adhering to the Paris Climate Accord: population 356m : 4.7% — 13.1% CO2 emissions.
- The European Union (28), (including the United Kingdom): population 507m : 6.7% — 10.6% CO2 emissions., currently believing in action to combat Global Warming, and their governments are generally enthusiastic supporters of the Paris Climate Accord as the European Union. However it should be noted that the populace of the EU(28) is losing enthusiasm for Green agendas: subsidy support for Renewables is being curtailed and it is likely that many of the pioneering commitments of the past 25 years made to controlling climate change will not retain subsidy support and therefore will be abandoned in future.
developing nations: population ~6,123 million – ~84% — 61% CO2 emissions
- China and Hong Kong: developing very rapidly, with no effective commitments under the Paris Climate Accord: population 1,390m : 18.5% — 27.9% CO2 emissions. China is responsible for the continuing development of its own Coal-Fired installations, multiple Coal-fired installations in the Third World and for the development Fracking for its own Gas fields. Although China makes gestures towards Renewable Energy and has benefitted from Solar PV manufacture, nonetheless its actions are hardly in accordance the the Paris Climate Accord.
- India is developing rapidly from a low base with no virtually commitments under the Paris Climate Accord: population 1,333m : 17.4% — 6.8% CO2 emissions. India is continuing the rapid development of its own Coal-Fired installations. Although India makes gestures towards Renewable Energy its actions are hardly in accordance the the Paris Climate Accord.
- South Korea, Iran, South Africa, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan, (KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW): the more advanced developing nations, still developing rapidly, with minimal commitments under the Paris Climate accord: population 833m – 11.7%– 12.1% CO2 emissions.
- Rest of World (~160 Nations), like India the remainder of the underdeveloped world is developing rapidly from a low base. These nations have no real commitments under the Paris Climate Accord other than the anticipated receipt of “Climate Funds” from developed nations: population 2,630m : 36.3% — 14.0% CO2 emissions.
These data is set out in tabular form below.
These graphs of total CO2 emission history show that up until 2016:
- there has been an overall reduction of CO2 emissions from developed economies since 1990.
- the USA, simply by exploiting shale gas for electricity generation, has already reduced its CO2 emissions by some 16% since 2005. That alone has already had a greater CO2 emission reduction effect than the entire Kyoto protocol.
- CO2 emissions from the developed economies ambivalent about action on CO2 (JP RU CA AU) have hardly grown since 2005.
- the European Union, EU(28) has reduced its CO2 emissions by ~12% since 2005
However, 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% higher than the USA. After a brief hiatus till 2016 the escalation in Chinese CO2 emissions now 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 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 CO2 emissions growth from the Rest of the World economies, from a low base, they have grown by +80% since 2001.
Recent CO2 emissions growth
Global CO2 emissions had previously plateaued. But since 2016 they have shown a significant uplift. Unsurprisingly the emissions growth has occurred in the developing nation groups India, Rest of World as their quality of life is progressively improving. After a fall in 2015 -2016 in 2017 the was a significant uplift in Chinese emissions. In spite of the Europe wide efforts EU(28) emissions have also been growing overall.
Notably the only Nation that has consistently reduced its CO2 emissions is the USA.
With increasing installation of Coal-Fired generation throughout the developing world it is now likely that Global CO2 emissions will continue to show significant growth thus entirely negating the objectives of the Paris Climate accord.
CO2 emissions / head
Possibly 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 Nations.
- In 2003 China overtook the world-wide average and surpassed the rapidly developing nations.
- China’s CO2 emissions / head have increased ~11 fold since 1965.
- China’s emissions / head have recently increased in 2017 to 6.71 tonnes / head.
- The EU(28) with active legal measures had reduced emissions until ~2013. Much of that downward trend is largely attributed to their declining economies and the displacement of industrial processes to countries with laxer environmental regimes.
- But recently the EU(28) has seen an upturn in CO2 emissions/head because of increased coal burning for electricity generation particularly in Germany.
- The overall EU(28) and China are now closely matched in CO2 emissions at ~6.9 – 6.7 tonnes / head
- India’s CO2 emissions have grown by 4.7 times since 1965 and are now showing acceleration. That emissions rate is likely to grow substantially with continuing and 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 / head of about 1.70 – 1.76 tonnes / head, this level is about 1/9 of the level of the USA and about 1/4 of the level in the EU(28).
- The USA has already reduced its CO2 emissions / head by ~20% since in 2005. This has mainly arisen from the substitution of shale gas for electricity generation replacing Coal.
- The USA has again reduced its CO2 emissions/ head in the last year to ~15.50 tonnes/head.
- Russia is actively involved in backing anti-fracking campaigns in Europe and in the USA via its support of various NGO groups. This is an obvious policy to protect the largest Gasprom markets for Russian Gas in the West. In the past this has retained an energy stranglehold on Western nations, as has been well demonstrated in the Ukraine. The export of Fracked gas from the USA to Europe and indigenous fracking for example in the UK will progressively break such a stranglehold.
- Russia, Japan, Canada and Australia have only grown their emissions/head marginally by ~1% since 2005.
To bring CO2 emissions / head in the developing world up to:
- the present global average level would require a further ~11,000 tonnes per annum or an additional +33%
- the current levels in China and Europe would require a further ~22,000 tonnes per annum or an additional +66%.
European Union CO2 Emissions
When the participating nations particularly in the environmentally active / Green aware EU are compared with Chinese CO2 emissions/head, an interesting picture arises, as follows.
- Average EU(28) CO2 emissions now approximate closely to China.
- EU(28) CO2 emissions overall have increased slightly in 2017, notably in Germany and remarkably France but not in the UK.
- Chinese CO2 emissions at 6.71 tonnes/head for its 1.4 billion population are already ~51% higher than the worldwide average. China’s emissions/head grew slightly in 2017.
- China’s CO2 emissions/head now substantially exceed those in the UK.
- However China has no real commitment under the Paris Climate Accord to constrain its CO2 emissions till after 2030.
- The UK has seen a significant drop in CO2 emissions reaching 5.62 tonnes/head in 2016.
- Germany virtually alone amongst the EU(28) still substantially exceeds the CO2 emissions/head level of China.
- At 4.56 tonnes / head French emissions have increased beyond the world-wide average 4.44.
- Still at 4.56 tonnes/head, France, has the lowest CO2 emission rates in the developed world. This is entirely due to the long-term commitments by France to electricity generation by Nuclear energy. That fact makes President Macron’s stated intention to reduce Nuclear generation from ~80% to 50% particularly anachronistic. This is especially so as French CO2 emissions are now showing an increase from their low base+.
- China’s CO2 exceeded France’s CO2 emissions / head in 2009 and are now ~46% higher.
- The EU(28) CO2 emissions / head as a whole is now ~7% higher than China
- Germany, one of the largest CO2 emitters in Europe, has emissions/head ~105% higher than the worldwide average but it is only ~45% higher than China.
- Germany’s emissions / head have increased recently because they are now burning much larger quantities of brown coal to compensate for the “irrational” closure of their nuclear generating capacity.
- 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 be irrational and non-tenable.
The unique performance of France as a developed country in limiting its 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 thus now threatening to destroy one of France’s supreme national assets, i.e. its commitment to reliable Nuclear energy for electricity generation, which if it were an advantage, have no significant CO2 emissions.
The futility of Western de-carbonisation
Actions in the West in response to the Alarmist Green agenda have already caused
- gross risks to Western energy security
- substantially increased costs for private energy users
- damaged the economics of all Western manufacturing industries.
Western industrial companies are bound to seek more congenial energy / business environments, with laxer attitudes towards CO2 emissions to maintain the performance of their businesses. So the futility of the expenditure of vast resources on Green activities in Germany and throughout the Western world becomes clear.
An estimate of the additional 60 year lifetime cost commitment of some €2.0 trillion that has already been committed for the installation of Weather Dependent Renewables in Europe is given at