Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Carbon Intensity

I am really astonished at yesterday's announcement that the world's carbon intensity has been increasing since about the year 2000. Carbon intensity had been decreasing for a hundred years and I thought it was akin to a law of nature that carbon intensity always and forever decreases, because people are always and forever naturally striving to use energy more efficiently.
Up until 2000, carbon intensity had, over the last 30 years, been decreasing by about 1.3% per year. Since 2000 it has been increasing by about 0.3% per year.
This is huge, it seems to me. I still do not really understand it and am still studying this paper to figure out what's going on.


DThompson55 said...

if carbon intensity is measured kg of carbon per dollar, couldnt' the weaker dollar be causing the effect?

Thomas Palm said...

Maybe what we see is China's economy becoming more prominent in the statistics. I'm sure they will catch up, but at the moment that country is even less energy efficient than USA. In addition, given China's low wages energy become a larger fraction of the total cost of products as production is moved to China to reduce cost.