Tag Archives: Carbon intensity

China 'moving to lead on climate change'

EMBARGOED until 1401 GMT on Sunday 28 April
The world’s two greatest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the US, earn high praise for their efforts to tackle climate change from an Australian report. But it says much more radical global action is urgently needed.

LONDON, 28 April – Both China and the US, the world’s two principal emitters of greenhouse gases, have been making significant recent progress on tackling climate change, a report by an influential Australian advisory group says.

Its report, The Critical Decade: Global Action Building on Climate Change, has particular praise for China, saying its efforts “demonstrate accelerating global leadership”.

The other “energy giant”, the US, is also commended for showing “a new commitment to lead”. The report says the US “appears to be gaining momentum with President Barack Obama outlining his strong intent to address climate change…”

The report is the work of the Australian Climate Commission, an independent body set up in 2011 to provide authoritative and trustworthy information on climate change science and solutions.

Its authors are Professor Tim Flannery, chair of the Commission, Gerry Hueston, former CEO of BP Australasia, and Roger Beale, an economist and former Secretary of the Australian Department of Environment.

The report says China and the US, the world’s two largest economies which together produce about 37% of world emissions, are both on track to meet their international commitments on climate change, something they said in this month’s “historic agreement” they would tackle together. “Today the energy giants are undoubtedly on the move, which will fuel global momentum.”

Halving electricity demand

China earns praise for several reasons. It is reducing its emissions growth, and in 2012 cut the carbon intensity of its economy more than expected. After years of strong growth in coal use, the rate of growth has declined substantially. It is also “the world’s renewable energy powerhouse”.

Professor Flannery says: “China has halved its growth in electricity demand… [and] is quickly moving to the top of the leader board on climate change.”

Emissions have also been declining in the US, which is on track to meet its goal of cutting them by 17% on 2005 levels by 2020. The authors note that the economic downturn and a shift away from coal to gas have helped here.

Global progress on renewable energy Image: Climate Commission

Global progress on renewable energy
Image: Climate Commission

The report says every major economy is tackling climate change, introducing policies to drive down emissions and encouraging renewable energy.

But in a section headed “This is the critical decade for action”, it says the significant progress made so far is not enough. “Globally emissions are continuing to rise strongly, posing serious risks for our society. This decade must set the foundations to reduce emissions rapidly to nearly zero by 2050.”

The scale and the pace of the changes needed to reduce emissions as drastically as that – something which many scientists insist is vital – is a huge challenge, and many countries appear on present trends very unlikely to meet it.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 26 April, headlined “Japan turns back to coal-fired power plants”, included this observation on the country’s post-Fukushima prospects: “…with the government considering the closure of much of the installed nuclear capacity over the medium term, the spotlight is back on coal as the cheapest energy source, notwithstanding plans to cut carbon emissions.

“A commitment to slice 2020 carbon emissions by 25 per cent from their 1990 level will be revised by October, according to Japanese newspaper reports.”

Action needed now

The Australian report’s praise for China and the US commends their recent performance – or at least their stated intentions – in comparison with their past records. But they will need to do far more than show the relative improvement the Commission recognises.

If the Earth is still to have any chance of staying below the 2°C global average temperature rise which most governments say is essential to prevent dangerous climate change, the energy giants (and the rest of the world) will have to make vastly greater absolute progress.  – Climate News Network

EMBARGOED until 1401 GMT on Sunday 28 April
The world’s two greatest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the US, earn high praise for their efforts to tackle climate change from an Australian report. But it says much more radical global action is urgently needed.

LONDON, 28 April – Both China and the US, the world’s two principal emitters of greenhouse gases, have been making significant recent progress on tackling climate change, a report by an influential Australian advisory group says.

Its report, The Critical Decade: Global Action Building on Climate Change, has particular praise for China, saying its efforts “demonstrate accelerating global leadership”.

The other “energy giant”, the US, is also commended for showing “a new commitment to lead”. The report says the US “appears to be gaining momentum with President Barack Obama outlining his strong intent to address climate change…”

The report is the work of the Australian Climate Commission, an independent body set up in 2011 to provide authoritative and trustworthy information on climate change science and solutions.

Its authors are Professor Tim Flannery, chair of the Commission, Gerry Hueston, former CEO of BP Australasia, and Roger Beale, an economist and former Secretary of the Australian Department of Environment.

The report says China and the US, the world’s two largest economies which together produce about 37% of world emissions, are both on track to meet their international commitments on climate change, something they said in this month’s “historic agreement” they would tackle together. “Today the energy giants are undoubtedly on the move, which will fuel global momentum.”

Halving electricity demand

China earns praise for several reasons. It is reducing its emissions growth, and in 2012 cut the carbon intensity of its economy more than expected. After years of strong growth in coal use, the rate of growth has declined substantially. It is also “the world’s renewable energy powerhouse”.

Professor Flannery says: “China has halved its growth in electricity demand… [and] is quickly moving to the top of the leader board on climate change.”

Emissions have also been declining in the US, which is on track to meet its goal of cutting them by 17% on 2005 levels by 2020. The authors note that the economic downturn and a shift away from coal to gas have helped here.

Global progress on renewable energy Image: Climate Commission

Global progress on renewable energy
Image: Climate Commission

The report says every major economy is tackling climate change, introducing policies to drive down emissions and encouraging renewable energy.

But in a section headed “This is the critical decade for action”, it says the significant progress made so far is not enough. “Globally emissions are continuing to rise strongly, posing serious risks for our society. This decade must set the foundations to reduce emissions rapidly to nearly zero by 2050.”

The scale and the pace of the changes needed to reduce emissions as drastically as that – something which many scientists insist is vital – is a huge challenge, and many countries appear on present trends very unlikely to meet it.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 26 April, headlined “Japan turns back to coal-fired power plants”, included this observation on the country’s post-Fukushima prospects: “…with the government considering the closure of much of the installed nuclear capacity over the medium term, the spotlight is back on coal as the cheapest energy source, notwithstanding plans to cut carbon emissions.

“A commitment to slice 2020 carbon emissions by 25 per cent from their 1990 level will be revised by October, according to Japanese newspaper reports.”

Action needed now

The Australian report’s praise for China and the US commends their recent performance – or at least their stated intentions – in comparison with their past records. But they will need to do far more than show the relative improvement the Commission recognises.

If the Earth is still to have any chance of staying below the 2°C global average temperature rise which most governments say is essential to prevent dangerous climate change, the energy giants (and the rest of the world) will have to make vastly greater absolute progress.  – Climate News Network

China ‘moving to lead on climate change’

EMBARGOED until 1401 GMT on Sunday 28 April The world’s two greatest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the US, earn high praise for their efforts to tackle climate change from an Australian report. But it says much more radical global action is urgently needed. LONDON, 28 April – Both China and the US, the world’s two principal emitters of greenhouse gases, have been making significant recent progress on tackling climate change, a report by an influential Australian advisory group says. Its report, The Critical Decade: Global Action Building on Climate Change, has particular praise for China, saying its efforts “demonstrate accelerating global leadership”. The other “energy giant”, the US, is also commended for showing “a new commitment to lead”. The report says the US “appears to be gaining momentum with President Barack Obama outlining his strong intent to address climate change…” The report is the work of the Australian Climate Commission, an independent body set up in 2011 to provide authoritative and trustworthy information on climate change science and solutions. Its authors are Professor Tim Flannery, chair of the Commission, Gerry Hueston, former CEO of BP Australasia, and Roger Beale, an economist and former Secretary of the Australian Department of Environment. The report says China and the US, the world’s two largest economies which together produce about 37% of world emissions, are both on track to meet their international commitments on climate change, something they said in this month’s “historic agreement” they would tackle together. “Today the energy giants are undoubtedly on the move, which will fuel global momentum.”

Halving electricity demand

China earns praise for several reasons. It is reducing its emissions growth, and in 2012 cut the carbon intensity of its economy more than expected. After years of strong growth in coal use, the rate of growth has declined substantially. It is also “the world’s renewable energy powerhouse”. Professor Flannery says: “China has halved its growth in electricity demand… [and] is quickly moving to the top of the leader board on climate change.” Emissions have also been declining in the US, which is on track to meet its goal of cutting them by 17% on 2005 levels by 2020. The authors note that the economic downturn and a shift away from coal to gas have helped here.

Global progress on renewable energy Image: Climate Commission

Global progress on renewable energy
Image: Climate Commission

The report says every major economy is tackling climate change, introducing policies to drive down emissions and encouraging renewable energy. But in a section headed “This is the critical decade for action”, it says the significant progress made so far is not enough. “Globally emissions are continuing to rise strongly, posing serious risks for our society. This decade must set the foundations to reduce emissions rapidly to nearly zero by 2050.” The scale and the pace of the changes needed to reduce emissions as drastically as that – something which many scientists insist is vital – is a huge challenge, and many countries appear on present trends very unlikely to meet it. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 26 April, headlined “Japan turns back to coal-fired power plants”, included this observation on the country’s post-Fukushima prospects: “…with the government considering the closure of much of the installed nuclear capacity over the medium term, the spotlight is back on coal as the cheapest energy source, notwithstanding plans to cut carbon emissions. “A commitment to slice 2020 carbon emissions by 25 per cent from their 1990 level will be revised by October, according to Japanese newspaper reports.”

Action needed now

The Australian report’s praise for China and the US commends their recent performance – or at least their stated intentions – in comparison with their past records. But they will need to do far more than show the relative improvement the Commission recognises. If the Earth is still to have any chance of staying below the 2°C global average temperature rise which most governments say is essential to prevent dangerous climate change, the energy giants (and the rest of the world) will have to make vastly greater absolute progress.  – Climate News Network

EMBARGOED until 1401 GMT on Sunday 28 April The world’s two greatest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the US, earn high praise for their efforts to tackle climate change from an Australian report. But it says much more radical global action is urgently needed. LONDON, 28 April – Both China and the US, the world’s two principal emitters of greenhouse gases, have been making significant recent progress on tackling climate change, a report by an influential Australian advisory group says. Its report, The Critical Decade: Global Action Building on Climate Change, has particular praise for China, saying its efforts “demonstrate accelerating global leadership”. The other “energy giant”, the US, is also commended for showing “a new commitment to lead”. The report says the US “appears to be gaining momentum with President Barack Obama outlining his strong intent to address climate change…” The report is the work of the Australian Climate Commission, an independent body set up in 2011 to provide authoritative and trustworthy information on climate change science and solutions. Its authors are Professor Tim Flannery, chair of the Commission, Gerry Hueston, former CEO of BP Australasia, and Roger Beale, an economist and former Secretary of the Australian Department of Environment. The report says China and the US, the world’s two largest economies which together produce about 37% of world emissions, are both on track to meet their international commitments on climate change, something they said in this month’s “historic agreement” they would tackle together. “Today the energy giants are undoubtedly on the move, which will fuel global momentum.”

Halving electricity demand

China earns praise for several reasons. It is reducing its emissions growth, and in 2012 cut the carbon intensity of its economy more than expected. After years of strong growth in coal use, the rate of growth has declined substantially. It is also “the world’s renewable energy powerhouse”. Professor Flannery says: “China has halved its growth in electricity demand… [and] is quickly moving to the top of the leader board on climate change.” Emissions have also been declining in the US, which is on track to meet its goal of cutting them by 17% on 2005 levels by 2020. The authors note that the economic downturn and a shift away from coal to gas have helped here.

Global progress on renewable energy Image: Climate Commission

Global progress on renewable energy
Image: Climate Commission

The report says every major economy is tackling climate change, introducing policies to drive down emissions and encouraging renewable energy. But in a section headed “This is the critical decade for action”, it says the significant progress made so far is not enough. “Globally emissions are continuing to rise strongly, posing serious risks for our society. This decade must set the foundations to reduce emissions rapidly to nearly zero by 2050.” The scale and the pace of the changes needed to reduce emissions as drastically as that – something which many scientists insist is vital – is a huge challenge, and many countries appear on present trends very unlikely to meet it. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 26 April, headlined “Japan turns back to coal-fired power plants”, included this observation on the country’s post-Fukushima prospects: “…with the government considering the closure of much of the installed nuclear capacity over the medium term, the spotlight is back on coal as the cheapest energy source, notwithstanding plans to cut carbon emissions. “A commitment to slice 2020 carbon emissions by 25 per cent from their 1990 level will be revised by October, according to Japanese newspaper reports.”

Action needed now

The Australian report’s praise for China and the US commends their recent performance – or at least their stated intentions – in comparison with their past records. But they will need to do far more than show the relative improvement the Commission recognises. If the Earth is still to have any chance of staying below the 2°C global average temperature rise which most governments say is essential to prevent dangerous climate change, the energy giants (and the rest of the world) will have to make vastly greater absolute progress.  – Climate News Network

Asia cuts its carbon faster than Europe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Producing more goods and services while emitting less carbon is the dream of many economists. In the race to see which countries can best manage to do this, East Asia is stealing a march on the US and Europe. And contrary to popular conceptions, China is now making faster progress than Germany and the United Kingdom towards competitiveness in tomorrow’s low-carbon world. LONDON, 25 March – When it comes to prowess in moving towards a low-carbon economy, some countries in Asia are increasingly outpacing Europe and the United States, a new report shows. Three of the top G20 countries best placed to compete in the global low-carbon economy are now from East Asia, having overtaken their European and American competitors, according to an index which measures how carbon-competitive countries are. The report, the Climate Institute/GE Low-Carbon Competitiveness Index, published by the Climate Institute, was first released in 2009. This year’s edition relies on data from 2010. In that year France, the UK and Germany were placed first, third and fifth. Today France is still in first place (thanks largely to its heavy reliance on nuclear power to generate electricity) but the UK has slipped down while Germany, sixth, is out of the top group. Meanwhile China leapt ahead of its previous placing, and South Korea and Japan continued their strong performance. China is now third, up from seventh. This is despite China now having supplanted the US as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Though China’s growth in renewables is impressive, its power sector still relies overwhelmingly on coal, with construction of coal-fired power stations continuing at breakneck pace: the country now accounts for nearly 50% of global coal consumption. The Index measures carbon competitiveness by examining 19 indicators in three areas: sectoral composition (a historical snapshot of the current economy, for example transport and trade emissions intensity); early preparedness (like investment in clean energy and growth in emissions); and future prosperity (e.g. investment in education and infrastructure). It includes indicators such as industrial efficiency, financial flows into clean-energy production, carbon intensity of trade, and natural-capital depletion. “Asia, particularly China, is building the capability to prosper in the inevitable low-carbon and clean energy future”, said John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, based in Sydney, Australia. “China’s dramatic improvement is due to its growing investment in clean energy coupled with growing high-tech exports. In 2010 alone, China hosted just under half of total global public equity investment in clean energy.” Connor added: “Leaders in the global low-carbon economy are those countries which have recognised the inextricable link between economic growth, resource security and climate change and are acting accordingly. “Despite the economic downturn, a number of EU countries have managed to hold on to their relatively good position to compete in the global low-carbon economy. However, Asian countries, particularly China, are beginning to threaten the EU’s position as a low-carbon leader.”

“Our future world will be one in which the right to produce emissions will become a scarce and valuable resource…”

The report makes it clear that countries which fail to limit carbon emissions and simply pursue economic progress regardless of the pollution they cause risk being left behind, economically and diplomatically as well. Key findings from the Low-Carbon Competitiveness Index show that the top five countries are France, Japan, China, South Korea and the UK (in descending order). China has moved from seventh place to third. Germany dropped out of the top five and is now sixth because of decreased investment in clean energy. The report says the most dramatic decline in performance was achieved by the United States, now down from eighth to eleventh. It says this is mainly because of decreased investment in clean energy, a falling share of high-tech exports, decreased investment in physical capital and growing emissions-intensive air freight. A blogger on the website China Dialogue wrote in May 2012: “Our future world will be one in which the right to produce emissions will become a scarce and valuable resource, just like minerals, fertile soil, water, financial capital and skilled workers. Countries with higher levels of carbon productivity will be better-placed to provide material prosperity to their residents. “How each nation adapts to a carbon-constrained world will, to an extent, determine its future economic competitiveness and ability to create prosperity for its residents. Economies that can generate more wealth with less carbon will be the low-carbon winners.” – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Producing more goods and services while emitting less carbon is the dream of many economists. In the race to see which countries can best manage to do this, East Asia is stealing a march on the US and Europe. And contrary to popular conceptions, China is now making faster progress than Germany and the United Kingdom towards competitiveness in tomorrow’s low-carbon world. LONDON, 25 March – When it comes to prowess in moving towards a low-carbon economy, some countries in Asia are increasingly outpacing Europe and the United States, a new report shows. Three of the top G20 countries best placed to compete in the global low-carbon economy are now from East Asia, having overtaken their European and American competitors, according to an index which measures how carbon-competitive countries are. The report, the Climate Institute/GE Low-Carbon Competitiveness Index, published by the Climate Institute, was first released in 2009. This year’s edition relies on data from 2010. In that year France, the UK and Germany were placed first, third and fifth. Today France is still in first place (thanks largely to its heavy reliance on nuclear power to generate electricity) but the UK has slipped down while Germany, sixth, is out of the top group. Meanwhile China leapt ahead of its previous placing, and South Korea and Japan continued their strong performance. China is now third, up from seventh. This is despite China now having supplanted the US as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Though China’s growth in renewables is impressive, its power sector still relies overwhelmingly on coal, with construction of coal-fired power stations continuing at breakneck pace: the country now accounts for nearly 50% of global coal consumption. The Index measures carbon competitiveness by examining 19 indicators in three areas: sectoral composition (a historical snapshot of the current economy, for example transport and trade emissions intensity); early preparedness (like investment in clean energy and growth in emissions); and future prosperity (e.g. investment in education and infrastructure). It includes indicators such as industrial efficiency, financial flows into clean-energy production, carbon intensity of trade, and natural-capital depletion. “Asia, particularly China, is building the capability to prosper in the inevitable low-carbon and clean energy future”, said John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, based in Sydney, Australia. “China’s dramatic improvement is due to its growing investment in clean energy coupled with growing high-tech exports. In 2010 alone, China hosted just under half of total global public equity investment in clean energy.” Connor added: “Leaders in the global low-carbon economy are those countries which have recognised the inextricable link between economic growth, resource security and climate change and are acting accordingly. “Despite the economic downturn, a number of EU countries have managed to hold on to their relatively good position to compete in the global low-carbon economy. However, Asian countries, particularly China, are beginning to threaten the EU’s position as a low-carbon leader.”

“Our future world will be one in which the right to produce emissions will become a scarce and valuable resource…”

The report makes it clear that countries which fail to limit carbon emissions and simply pursue economic progress regardless of the pollution they cause risk being left behind, economically and diplomatically as well. Key findings from the Low-Carbon Competitiveness Index show that the top five countries are France, Japan, China, South Korea and the UK (in descending order). China has moved from seventh place to third. Germany dropped out of the top five and is now sixth because of decreased investment in clean energy. The report says the most dramatic decline in performance was achieved by the United States, now down from eighth to eleventh. It says this is mainly because of decreased investment in clean energy, a falling share of high-tech exports, decreased investment in physical capital and growing emissions-intensive air freight. A blogger on the website China Dialogue wrote in May 2012: “Our future world will be one in which the right to produce emissions will become a scarce and valuable resource, just like minerals, fertile soil, water, financial capital and skilled workers. Countries with higher levels of carbon productivity will be better-placed to provide material prosperity to their residents. “How each nation adapts to a carbon-constrained world will, to an extent, determine its future economic competitiveness and ability to create prosperity for its residents. Economies that can generate more wealth with less carbon will be the low-carbon winners.” – Climate News Network