U.S., EU energy & emissions now insignificant to global energy & emissions growth

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

Climate alarmist propaganda activists and their supporting media here in the U.S. and EU have perpetrated a badly flawed fiction that somehow the U.S. and EU have the ability to control how the rest of the world deals with future energy use and emissions growth.

The hard and unequivocal reality is that neither the U.S. nor the EU will play a defining role in determining how much future global energy use or emissions growth will increase. 

The energy use and emissions growth of both the U.S. and EU have become insignificant relative to future global growth.

This reality is illustrated by the emissions graph below which clearly displays that declining emissions by both the U.S. and EU coupled with continuing huge growths in emissions by the developing nations renders both the U.S. and EU inconsequential regarding future global emissions growth.

clip_image002

This same situation as exists for future emissions growth for both the U.S. and EU also exists with respect to energy use growth which is addressed in the information provided below.

The U.S. and EU represent combined only about 29% of global energy use and 26% of global emissions.

More significantly the U.S. and EU had negative energy use and emissions growth rates during the last decade with annual yearly rates of declining growth in energy use being  -0.3% and –1.0% respectively as illustrated in the graphs below and –1.2% and –2.0% respectively in declining emissions growth.

clip_image004

These U.S. and EU declining rates of energy use growth when compared with the developing nations show that the these nations now control 58.5% of global energy use and 62.8% of global emissions with developing nation 10 year increasing growth rates for energy use at +3.3% and emissions at +2.9%.

Examples of the continuing increased large energy use growth of the developing nations are shown below for China, India, Middle East and Africa (with a difference energy scale than the others).

clip_image006

Both the U.S. and EU contributed to decreased energy use and emissions growth during the last 10 years while global energy use grew by 17% and emissions grew by 11% during this period lead by the world’s developing nations.

Fossil fuels continue to provide by far and away the largest incremental increased growth of global energy use as demonstrated in the graph below which depicts the growth of global energy use with fuel mix components identified.

clip_image008

Despite the “war on coal” by climate alarmists in the U.S. and EU the rest of the world’s developing nations have clearly decided that fossil fuels will be the preferred fuel choice for their future energy use growth including future growth for coal as noted in the GWPF article shown below. 

clip_image010

The developing nations are signaling that the economic benefits of fossil fuels trump (no pun intended) government driven mandates requiring high cost, unreliable renewables as illustrated by the resurgence of Indonesian use of coal along with increased coal use by its close energy partner China.

clip_image012

Another GWPF article notes the huge magnitude of coal energy growth planned and underway for both Indonesia and China as follows:

“Arcandra Tahar, Indonesia’s deputy minister for energy and mines, said the government planned to increase its investment in the coal and minerals sector this year to $6.2 billion. He also told the Coaltrans Asia conference that Indonesia had no plans to reduce coal exports, Reuters reported.

Indonesia’s coal exports are expected to hit 371 million metric tons this year, up 7 per cent from last year.

Domestic demand is also driving the boon for Indonesia’s coal producers, thanks to an ambitious government plan to add 56 gigawatts (GW) of electricity capacity across the archipelago by 2027, mostly through the construction of new coal-fired power plants.”

“Behind China’s renewed appetite for coal is the robust economic growth in the world’s biggest energy consumer. With the construction of natural gas infrastructure proceeding slower than expected, much of the growing demand for electricity has had to be met by burning more coal. As a result, China’s consumption of coal rose by 0.4 per cent last year, the first increase since 2013.”

Indonesia which is the world’s 4th most populous nation behind China, India and the U.S. with 269 million people has grown its primary energy consumption at an annual rate of 2.9% per year over the last decade with fossil fuels making up 96% of that energy.

Fossil fuels dominate Indonesia’s energy use with oil accounting for 44%, coal 33% and natural gas 19% of the nations energy use. 

Hydro makes up about 2.3% with other renewables in the form of biofuels accounting for only about 1.7% of Indonesia’s primary energy.

Indonesia CO2 emissions have climbed at an annual rate of 3.1% per year over the last decade and increased by 185 million metric tons per year during that period.

For comparison purposes for those of us living in California this increase in Indonesia CO2 emissions is about 3.5 times greater than California’s government mandated CO2 reductions with billions of dollars in carbon tax fees and higher electricity costs paid by Californians to achieve that reduction.

Additionally embarrassing for California is the impact of the state governments failures in forest management and community development policies that have lead to increased wildfires which have resulted in our states forests becoming net emitters of CO2 emissions which was not assumed to be the case by regulators who established California’s CO2 reduction estimates – thus the state governments CO2 reduction estimates are wrong and overstate California’s emissions reduction results.

Californians paid billions of dollars for nothing but a bunch of climate alarmist political propaganda.

China and Indonesia have established an energy initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative, which establishes the future coal relationship framework between these countries with the goal of building 35,000 MegaWatts of new coal plants in Indonesia by the end of 2019 powered mostly with Indonesia coal. Additionally this initiative provides for Indonesia to utilize China’s coal power plant technology and most importantly the availability of financing by China to promote the building of these plants.

A recent example of the success of Indonesia and China’s cooperation in building coal plants is illustrated by the Celukan Bawang coal power plant located on Bali’s northern coast port city Celukan Bawang. This coal plant started operation in 2015.

The Celukan Bawang coal plant comprises three 142 MW coal power plants. The plant was built with $880 million in financing by China Development Bank and built by a consortium of China and Indonesian companies. The plant is shown below.

clip_image014

This power plant is presently being expanded with the addition of two new 330 MW coal plants.

Climate scientist Nic Lawis noted in a recent article at WUWT that:

“To tackle global climate change it is far more important that fast-growing developing countries do more than any well-intentioned steps in the Netherlands. “In fact, European emissions don’t matter.”

This astute insight is not only true for the EU but for the U.S. as well.

Unfortunately the climate alarmist propaganda alarmists and their supporters in the media both here and in the EU continue to conceal these global energy use and emissions growth realities from the public while clamoring for enormously expensive and bureaucratic obtrusive government schemes that will accomplish no significant reduction of future growth of either global energy use or emissions.

Under President Trump’s highly successful energy policies the U.S. has now become a global energy giant bringing both improved emissions performance, as U.S. CO2 reductions during the last decade clearly establish, and more competitive energy costs for the benefits of all Americans.

A WUWT article on energy realism noted:  

“From fossil fuels to renewables…supply rose…costs fell…efficiencies increased…and diversity blossomed. And something else happened as well. Our environment did not become worse. By nearly any measure, it became better, even as our economy expanded and energy development reached new heights.”

“America is now on the cusp of energy independence, but the President would like to go farther. He would like to share our energy bounty with the world and let the spirit of competition benefit consumers by providing more choices in the marketplace. Already, we are sharing our natural gas.”

“Last year, we became a net natural gas exporter. Today, we export LNG to 27 nations on five continents.”

“We are increasing our coal exports substantially.  These exports rose by an estimated 61 percent last year over 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Last August, the first shipment of Pennsylvania thermal coal bound for Ukraine left the Port of Baltimore. In the coming years, we will be exporting multiple fuels.”

“And not only that. We will export the same technologies that made us a clean, abundant, and diverse energy producer in the first place. By exporting our energy, we can free our friends and allies from fuel dependence on unfriendly nations.

“And by exporting our energy technology and know-how, we can help developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia create their own energy renaissance and harness more energy to improve the lives of their citizens.”

“And that includes access to electricity. Over a billion people live without it.  We want to reduce that number substantially in the coming years.”

The U.S. has shown that fossil fuels are the way of the future providing both environmental and energy cost benefits and it is clear that the rest of the world is embracing that conclusion.

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “U.S., EU energy & emissions now insignificant to global energy & emissions growth

  1. You talk about declining growth. That implies that consumption is still going up, just not as fast. In fact what we’re seeing is decreasing consumption. You could call that negative growth but that’s going to confuse some people.

  2. Sure is a good thing that ‘carbon’ isn’t a problem for the planet. If it was, you would think we would know by now. If anything, the world is just getting greener from more available carbon dioxide. Let’s clean up real pollution and make sure we take care of the planet and ensure the economy and all the people’s of Earth are in better shape for many more future generations.

    • If we help the world’s people to access cheap, reliable, clean fossil fuel energy, we will be helping them raise their living standards. Then, like what has happened in the West, birth rates will decline, wars will become less frequent, and we will really save the planet.

  3. Proof, yet again, that what the political left pushes always generates the exact opposite effect. Expanding use of energy is the future, the left can only push it down for a short time and then people refuse to listen. All their regulations and laws will be stripped away as people move forward, and there is nothing they can do to stop us.

  4. The growth of CO2 per year in 1960 was 1ppm when total human CO2 production was 6 giga tons per year and today the growth is 2ppm per year when human CO2 production is about 40 giga tons per year, how is it that a growth of over 6 times in CO2 production results in only a growth of 2 times in atmospheric CO2?
    Seems to me that humans are not the driving factor in the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere. I think it is the ocean releasing the CO2 that drives the growth. That is, if it is even really going up. I do not particularly trust the keeling curve controllers.

    • Imagine the keeling curve plotted on top of Larry’s first graph. The emissions rate almost tripled starting in 2002 and then died in 2011. The keeling curve is nearly constant through both changes. Our emissions do not change the growth of atmospheric content enough to measure. The IPCC assertion that all the recent growth in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic is erroneous and falsified by (https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/ ) and (https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/19/co2responsiveness/).
      If we do not effect the CO2 content we are not effecting the temperature and we certainly can’t “fix” it by stopping those ineffective emissions.
      On this fact the whole human caused climate change crises fails and all the gnashing of teeth is shown to be moot.

    • The Global Carbon fluxes now being tallied by the NASA OCO-2 mission are showing those science teams that the many natural source and sink fluxes vastly swamp the anthropogenic source signals. Further, the first several years of data 2015-2016 was during a the big El Nino. So we know during El Nino’s CO2 growth rate goes up, and during La Nina’s CO2 growth rate gets smaller. Now snce mid-2017 thru 2018, ENSO neutral has been the state.

      One of the first things OCO-2 data showed NASA was their previously built computer model of CO2 sources and sinks wasn’t just completely wrong, it misleadingly wrong.
      https://ocov2.jpl.nasa.gov/images/ocov2/1stmap.jpeg

      CO2 global source and sink paradigms are likely being re-written slowly in the more serious scientists, but it takes a long time to unlearn the years and decades of wrong ideas.
      The realizations from the OCO-2 data, now that the El Nino is gone, may be so profoundly against the CO2 source-sink paradigm that the NASA/OCO-2 data team has stopped putting monthly graphical products on their web site for the last 19 months. The last graphical product on the OCO-2 web portal is July 2017.
      https://ocov2.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries/gallerydataproducts/

      It certainly isn’t because anyone in the Trump administration is stopping them.

      One of my suspicions is that more recent OCO-2 CO2 data (since mid-2017) has been diverging from the MLO record and other NOAA ESRL CO2 records since the last effects of the 2015-2016 El Nino had faded by early-mid 2017. They may simply be at loss to explain the more recent data, but the silence seems suspicious to me that something else is going on behind the science scene on the OCO-2 team that they don’t want the public to see.

      Further support of this is that any search for presentations and publications from the OCO-2 team in 2018 only returns for the chlorophyll fluorescence part of the OCO-2 mission (the solar induced fluorescence signal from chlorophyll that OCO-2 captures). The OCO-2 team has gone silent on the CO2 part of the mission.
      The Big Question is Why?

      The more recent (since 2017) OCO-2 CO2 data results and the NOAA MLO records are one important area I would hope that Dr Hopper and the Presidential Commission on Climate Change would investigate.

      • Joel O’Bryan – March 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm

        the NASA/OCO-2 data team has stopped putting monthly graphical products on their web site for the last 19 months. The last graphical product on the OCO-2 web portal is July 2017.

        It certainly isn’t because anyone in the Trump administration is stopping them.
        One of my suspicions is that more recent OCO-2 CO2 data (since mid-2017) has been diverging from the MLO record and other NOAA ESRL CO2 records since the last effects of the 2015-2016 El Nino had faded by early-mid 2017.

        “WOW”, 19 months since the last OCO-2 CO2 data was reported.

        Maybe they had to “bite-the-bullet” and admit to themselves that this “thingy” wasn’t actually working, to wit:

        The OCO-2 satellite carries a single instrument consisting of three high-resolution spectrometers to detect atmospheric carbon dioxide. ….. its current position 438 miles above the Earth’s surface

        Joel, do those high-resolution spectrometers have great “depth perception”, …… like being able to accurately measure CO2 ppm quantities at any selected altitude from sea level to 50,000 to 70,000 vertical feet?

        And how do those spectrometers “sort out” the surface and H20 vapor emission frequencies from the CO2 emission frequencies?

        And I am also wondering how that “short duration” of OCO-2 measurements compared to the Mauna Loa Observatory measurements for the same period? A curious mind would like to know.

    • Astonerii:
      Smile, will I guess that kinda proves it’s not linear. If the USA and EU wanted to have some control over emissions they shouldn’t have given away their energy intensive heavy industries to the Chinese. Don’t knock China and India for doing the “heavy” work that we refused to do. Stupid, stupid and more stupid.

    • Astonerii – March 16, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Seems to me that humans are not the driving factor in the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      And termites are not the driving factor in the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere …. and it is estimated that termites emit 10 times more CO2 into the atmosphere than humans do.

      And “YES”, the temperature of the ocean surface water is the “control knob” for the ingassing/outgassing of atmospheric CO2, ….. which is specifically denoted by the Keeling Curve Graph, which is the plotted results of CO2 measurements recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory, HI.

      The KC CO2 Graph clearly depicts the bi-yearly (seasonal) cycling of the water temperature as well as the average yearly increase in temperature (LIA recovery). ….. Duh, Henry’s Law.

    • Isn’t Spain in the EU?

      So, does the EU figure contain the Spanish growth, or must we add the two together?

        • som

          Lately, I’ve been reading lots of Churchill bios (Manchester/Reid & Andrew Roberts).

          With all due respect, things might go better if you actually had an actual government (aka something with decision-making capability)…

          And I’m an Anglophile.

  5. Sadly for California, your current crop of Democrat politicians are not going to wake up one morning and have an epiphany about their ridiculous energy policies. Cal’s democratic pols are owned lock, stock, and barrel by Tom Steyer and his ilk, so even if they did want to throttle back the nonsense, they can’t.

    • Considering how California collects income tax (50% of CA income tax comes from top 1%), if Congress, in its infinite wisdom, rocks the tech monopoly anti-trust boat, the Silicon Valley Money Tree will probably feel the effect.

      If the shower of tech cash subsides, state citizens just might be surprised how the state has been spending “their” money (Hooterville Trolly, among other things).

  6. No surprise here. The Paris Discord was aimed at the Western nations with the sole goal of reducing their CO2 output and consequently their industrial progress. They bought the scam hook line and sinker while the so called “developing nations” are allowed to skate. The goods and CO2 are still being produced at an increasing rate along with world population. When will we see the same effort that vilifies the West for increasing fossil fuel usage be used against the real so called “polluters” if it’s so deadly to man?

    • The developing nations would never have gone along with the Climate Hustle if they were required to dial back their emissions. So it was practical matter for the COP UNFCCC bureaucrats. And the only way to get the Developing nations to climb on-board the Climate Hustle was to turn it into a Climate Gravy Train with a promise of free money, i.e. the $100 Billion Climate Aid Fund. Obama illegally mis-appropriated $1 Billion USD to it (2 x $500M installments). That was an impeachable offense which the cowardly Republicans in Congress rolled over and did nothing but whine.

      The Vatican jumped on-board the Climate Gravy Train because some of the Climate Aid would also go to NGO charities, i.e Catholic Relief groups which work in developing countries. That was to be a money flow from which the Vatican’s bishops could skim a %-age for “overhead”.

  7. When so-called ‘renewable’ energy production facilities can even ‘sustainably’ renew themselves, pigs will fly our airmail and we’ll be real about the terms we dress our moonbeam dreams in.

  8. There is an irony here.

    Those of the political left persuasion love cultural diversity. To them all cultures are morally equivalent and of equal value and no culture is better than another. Going to the moon is the cultural equivalent of putting a bone through your nose. You are a western chauvinist if you judge the relative value of different cultures. You are hopeless and some kind of bigot (or racist) if you believe that western culture is superior to any other culture on earth.

    Well, global warming is a strictly western religion. The rest of the world doesn’t buy it or share the political left’s peculiar obsession with carbon dioxide. They have their own goblins, spirits and gods to worship and their own superstitions. That’s what cultural diversity does.

  9. Interesting. Never seen that before. Some kind of storage dome at the Celukan Bawang coal plant to keep coal dry (I guess).

    • The average annual rainfall inn that part of Indonesia is 70–125 in.
      So it is kinda damp there…

  10. If US only produces 2.5 percent of all CO2 produced worldwide from fossil fuels AND CO2 produced from all worldwide fossil fuels is only 1.5% of the CO2 in the atmosphere (See Nelson, et al., Oceans, Ice & Snow and CO2 Rise, Swing and Seasonal Fluctuations, International Journal of Geosciences 2016 7, 1232-1282 at page 1257) then that means of the 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere only 0.148 ppm is attributed to CO2 from US fossil fuels.

  11. The CO2 from burning fossil fuels has little, if any, effect on climate. New coal-fired plants should include precipitators to remove the real pollutants such as particulates, NOX and sulfur to avoid smog like in Beijing and the necessity of costly retrofit.

    • Coal, nuclear, and gas do not fit well into a government mandated green-preferred intermittent grid. There are troubles ahead for places that attempt to shut all coal and nukes.

      • Some places have already experienced trouble: Germany, Spain, Austrailia, England, Switzerland …

        Life-cycle energy consumed exceeds energy produced. Without energy from other sources, renewables cannot exist.

  12. A query in the readers letters as too where is the CO2 coming from.

    The obvious answer has to be the 70 % Oceans of this World. Its agreed that since the end of the Little Ice Age, about 1880 but it was still very cold up to 1911, remember the Titanic.

    So what happens after such a long period of hundreds of years of very cold conditions, why it starts to get a bit warmer. So the vast Oceans slowly start to get a bit warmer, it would only take a fraction of one degree Celsius for the CO2 out gassing to commence. There is so we are told, a lot of CO2 dissolved in the vast Oceans.

    So question, has anyone checked the temperature of the Oceans from say 1880 to present day in thousands of one degree Celsius ? I doubt it very much.

    MJE VK5ELL

    • To MJE VK5eLL
      I too believed that CO2 yearly increases could be coming from a slight warming of the ocean. I compared the raw data and found that if the CO2 is integrated over 33 years then the graphs of CO2 concentration and the surface ocean temperature anomaly increase were almost identical. It was very strong evidence of a relationship between surface ocean temperature and CO2 rise. However, when one considers that 98% of the CO2 released in the air is scrubbed by various mechanisms (i.e. rain, direct vapor absorption, etc.) then the CO2 from the ocean only had small effect (albeit double that of CO2 from fossil fuels). The culprit for the CO2 increase is biology, and more particularly bacterial biology. This was discussed in my article referenced above.
      Michael Nelson

    • MJE

      I wonder how we measure ocean temperatures today to one thousandth of a degree.
      Whilst a few thousand Argo floats probably do a decent job of measuring water temperature to the nearest tenth of a degree, that applies to the water it is in.
      It is assumed to apply to the near waters.
      There are about 4000 Argo floats.
      There are about 120 million square miles of ocean, so if the floats are evenly distributed [and the coverage, though spotty, isn’t too bad], each ‘measures’ an area of 30,000 square miles [more than West Virginia, but less than South Carolina; or, for non-Americans – roughly the same as the Czech Republic or the Republic of Panama].
      All from one spot temperature. “Near waters” – sensu lato.
      Additionally, there are ships’ measurements. These are pretty much restricted tot he busier sea routes, and – having taken hundreds, if not thousands, of sea temperatures – I wouldn’t bet on being better than ‘to the nearest degree’.

      Oceans are big things.

      So (if I may): Answer, Has anyone checked the temperature of the Oceans from say 1880 to present day in thousands of one degree Celsius ?
      No.

      And they never will.

      Auto

  13. We can make arguments about CO2 being able to warm the ocean through the skin layer, or being able to warm the deep ocean. Or we can do some good and make arguments such as in the above article. When you make arguments about CO2 warming, you’ve taken yourself out of the game, set off to the side. You’ve been conned. Stop doing that.

  14. Larry wrote (my emphasis: “U.S., EU energy & emissions now insignificant to global energy & emissions GROWTH”

    True, but nonsense! Warming is expected to be roughly proportional to the log of CO2 concentration. So the ACCELERATION of the warming RATE depends on emission GROWTH. Warming, however, depends on TOTAL EMISSIONS.

    There are lots of ways to assign blame for total emissions: emissions/capita, emissions/$GCP (value gained from emissions), emissions since possible danger widely acknowledge around 1990. Watching the deliberate development of China at the known cost of horrendous pollution proves that economic growth for developing countries is worth the environmental cost. However, as countries get richer they are willing to devote an increasing share of their GDP to a better environment. If anything is going to change the destiny of our planet, it must come from the developed world, which have emissions per capital and emissions/GDP that can be lowered. Probably the best we can hope for without a major change in technology is for global emissions to reach a plateau in the next decade or two.

    Economic theory says that the discount rate we should apply to future costs depends on our expected economic growth rate. A high growth rate means a high discount rate. If we expect our children to be far richer than we are, we should focus on growing GDP, and let our vastly richer descendent deal with the problems we leave behind. India and the rest of the developing world have seen the economic progress of China. It is politically impractical for any leader to spend money on avoiding damages in the distant future at the cost of current growth. Their perceived discount rate is high; the cost of future damages in today’s dollars is low.

    Rich affluent environmentalists are afraid that our lifestyle is unsustainable, and that their descendants on a hotter planet might be poorer than they are. They are willing to pay a lot to help their poorer descendants avoid future damages. Their expected economic growth rate and discount rates are low, perhaps even zero or negative.

    Both groups are behaving in a rational manner – even when looking at the problem in purely economic terms of cost-benefit. Thinking rationally, the course we should take depends on our expectation about our future economic growth. Until the developing world gets richer, they are likely to reach a different answer than many richer countries. I don’t think it is appropriate to base our rational decisions on the rational actions of developing countries.

  15. I don’t see any reference to the fact that the UK’s annual CO² emissions are now said to be at levels last seen in 1888 Per-capita levels have not been this low since 1858. See link:

    https://www.energyvoice.com/other-news/193939/uk-carbon-emissions-down-six-years-in-a-row/

    If CO² is the magic control knob claimed by the environ-mentalists, surely this is Job Done for the UK? No need for further economy-wrecking measures, as the carbon cycle of the biosphere was able to handle this without being thrown out of balance.

    We can all get on with our lives now, yes? Fat chance…

Comments are closed.