Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
The Los Angeles Times published a story touting California meeting its AB 32 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal in 2016 versus the target year of 2020 with this reduction amounting to lowering greenhouse gas emissions by about 65 million metric tons per year since the states peak year 2004 levels.
The story notes that the escalated emissions reduction target set by SB 32 of year 2030 emissions levels at 40% below 1990 levels will be much more difficult to meet requiring the people of California to accept major life style sacrifices for reductions in emissions in the transportation and industrial economic sectors in addition to continued reductions in the electric energy production sector.
What the L. A. Times story completely hides (some might say conceals) is any discussion of relevance or lack thereof of how California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction levels relate to the overriding and controlling picture of global emissions.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) data clearly demonstrates that the worlds developing nations (non-OECD) dominate global energy growth along with the associated growth in global CO2 emissions.
The majority of that developing nation global energy growth is occurring in the nations of Asia lead by China and India.
It is hardly surprising that the developing nations are responsible for driving significant global increases in global CO2 emissions as a consequence of their huge energy growth.
EIA projects that the developing nations, including China, will continue to dominate global CO2 emissions levels and growth in the future while the developed nations will see slightly declining CO2 emissions reductions in the future.
The CO2 emissions growth of the developed nations (OECD) has become relatively stable and has been slowly declining with the U.S. leading the way with decreases from its peak CO2 emissions year of 2006 of about 6 billion metric tons per year.
California’s AB 32 performance of achieving year 1990 greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2016 represents a reduction of about 0.15% of year 2016 EIA projected global emissions levels.
Between 1990 and 2016 global emissions of CO2 are projected by EIA to increase by about 12.9 billion metric tons of CO2 with over 90% of that increase from the developing nations lead by China’s increase of about 7.7 billion metric tons per year during that period.
In the period 1990 to 2016 China’s growth of 7.7 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions per year compares to California’s AB 32 reduction of about 0.052 billion tons of CO2 per year (CO2 emissions represent about 80% of Ca. greenhouse gas emissions). How this huge increase by China can earn the political admiration by climate alarmists here in California that China is “leading the fight against climate change” is preposterous.
California’s escalating emissions reduction SB 32 mandates a costly and highly bureaucratically driven target of achieving a 40% reduction below 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by year 2030 with that escalated target reduction representing less than 0.4% of EIA projected year 2030 global emissions levels.
California CO2 emissions reduction targets are not only costly, inefficient and bureaucratically onerous they are completely insignificant at the global level given the huge energy and emissions growth being driven by China and other developing nations of Asia as projected by EIA.
EIA projects that year 2030 global CO2 emissions will climb by about another 2.3 billion metric tons per year above year 2016 levels with all of that increase from the developing nations including China.
EIA data documents that China’s CO2 emissions in 1990 were less than 1/2 of U.S. CO2 emissions but have now reached twice U.S. CO2 emissions levels.
EIA data shows U.S. CO2 emissions have declined by about 900 million metrics tons per year or about 12% since peak year 2006 CO2 emission levels based on the energy market driven increased use of low cost natural gas made available through fracking technology which resulted in reductions in U.S coal fuel use.
This energy market driven emissions reduction performance illuminated the need for costly, inefficient and bureaucratic government energy and emissions reduction mandates proposed by the Obama Administration through executive fiat.
In sharp contrast to U.S. coal fuel reductions China is now increasing its coal use again after declines in years 2014 and 2015 with the rate of increase in its CO2 emissions the highest its been in 7 years.
China continues to be the world’s largest user of coal fuel with its coal fuel use now climbing again with increased coal imports needed to meets its growing electricity generation.
EIA data presents the extraordinary scope of China’s huge continuing use of coal fuel compared to the U.S.
Additionally EIA projects that China will continue to dominate global coal fuel use and further that global coal use will remain at peak levels for decades as other developing nations such as India grow their energy production and coal fuel use needs.
In California Electric Vehicles are touted as playing a significant role in reducing future global CO2 emissions.
However EIA data shows Electric Vehicles continue to represent a very small market for total global vehicle sales and have less than a 4% market share of world vehicle sale markets.
The reality is that globally EV energy use represents lass than 1% of the transportation energy use sector which is completely dominated by use of liquid fuels.
California’s politically driven climate alarmism campaign touting the state and China as leading the global emissions reduction effort is a classic example of the deception, distortion and dishonesty of climate fear propaganda that is falsely portrayed by our politicians here and media supporters including the L. A. Times.