Two new reports are just out. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has produced a report called “Redrawing the energy-climate map” and the annual BP review of world energy is also out.
There is both good and bad news in the IEA report.
The good news is that in both the US and China switches to renewables and possibly gas are driving either a fall in emissions (US) or a continuing fall in the rate of emissions increase (China). The EU also had a fall in emissions partly due to an increase renewables output. In China the electricity output increase of just over 5% in 2012 was met by increased renewables output. The CO2 intensity of Chinese electricity is also plunging, although its still much higher than here. Energy efficiency in Japan was not enough to prevent an increase of 70Mt of carbon emissions due to nuclear shut-down.
The bad news is according to the IEA (who it should be stated are not climate sceptics) that we are still heading for a 2.8-4.5 increase in temperature on current trends. The IEA states that to prevent this we need to have emissions on a downward trend by 2020. Can we do this? Yes, but its tough. The IEA say four things have to happen.
- Making our buildings and transport much more efficient.
- Phasing out fossil fuel subsides.
- Minimise greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production.
- Limit coal power.
So at last the US and China are making huge strides in the right direction, hopefully not too late. Some of the bulleted points you can take action on and your church could lobby on others. The BP energy review will be covered in another post.