China just completed a huge deal with Russia for natural gas. How will it affect their CO2 emissions?
Not as much as you might think.
The 30-year, $400 billion deal is for 38 billion cubic-meters of gas annually for 30 years, "or about 20 percent of its sales to Europe." That's a total of 1,140 Bm3; by contrast, the US consumed 26,034 Bcf last year, or 737 Bm3.
The Chinese total will generate about 45 trillion megajoules of energy (an average power of 48 gigawatts), which will emit about 2.5 gigatons of CO2.
Generating that amount of energy with coal would emit 4.4 Gt CO2.
So over 30 years it only saves 1.9 Gt CO2, which is just 20% of China's 2012 emissions of 9,900 Mt CO2. It's less than 1% of what they will emit over 30 years.
China emits a lot of CO2. Every reduction helps, and this should definitely help their pollution problems. But it won't do a lot for global warming.
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