- The breakdown in emission sources is: coal 45%, oil 35%, natural gas 20%.
- China's per-capita emissions are rising fast: from 52% of the OECD average to 63% in just two years. (Rearrange the letters in OECD and it spells "r-i-c-h." That means most of those reading this. You -- yes, you, pal -- you live in a society in the top 18%. That's pretty lucky, and you had nothing whatsoever to do with it. So stop whining.)
- The press release goes out of its way to marvel at China's decrease in energy intensity:
"What China has done over such a short period of time to improve energy efficiency and deploy clean energy is already paying major dividends to the global environment”, said Dr. Birol. China’s carbon intensity — the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP — fell by 15% between 2005 and 2011. Had these gains not been made, China’s CO2 emissions in 2011 would have been higher by 1.5 Gt.OK... (I really can't stand this kind of diplomatic dancing that you always see in anything the UN, IEA, etc. put out.) Sure, Chinese citizens deserve to use just as much energy as citizens in the OECD countries. (Again, that's you and me.) And their per-capita coal consumption is still only 82% of the US's. But their coal-burning is increasing very, very fast, and they now burn half the world's coal, and no statistical shuffling of the feet is going to hide that this is a problem for the world's climate.
- [By the way, 2010 US per-capita coal consumption was 6,800 lbs/person/yr, 2.9 times the world average. How exactly are you Americans using 19 pounds of coal a day?]
- US CO2 emissions are down 430 Mt since 2006, or 7.7%. Except we still emit 17% of the world's CO2 (from fossil fuels), and only have 4.5% of the world's population. One factor is simply that people are driving less -- gasoline has finally gotten expensive enough for people to care, and perhaps the road congestion reached the tipping point -- as per-capita gas consumption is at levels seen 20 years ago:
- For some reason the IEA thinks they can specify warming as a function of emissions to within 3% (or so) accuracy:
"The 450 Scenario of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2011, which sets out an energy pathway consistent with a 50% chance of limiting the increase in the average global temperature to 2°C, requires CO2 emissions to peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017, i.e. just 1.0 Gt above 2011 levels. The 450 Scenario sees a decoupling of CO2 emissions from global GDP, but much still needs to be done to reach that goal as the rate of growth in CO2 emissions in 2011 exceeded that of global GDP. “The new data provide further evidence that the door to a 2°C trajectory is about to close,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol."I don't get that -- climate models have no where near that level of accuracy. So what are they doing by giving the world the impression that future warming can be precisely determined by how much fossil fuel we burn?