China’s carbon production is growing faster than the West can shrink its own:
Worldwide emissions rose 834 million metric tons to 33.99 billion tons, IWR said today on its website. China’s releases of the greenhouse gas climbed 6.5 percent, offsetting declines in the U.S., Russia and Germany, the Muenster-based institute said.
“If the current trend persists, global CO2 emissions will go up by another 20 percent to over 40 billion tons by 2020,” Norbert Allnoch, the IWR’s director, said in the statement. Countries’ emission levels should be tied to mandatory investments in climate protection such as renewable energy, the IWR said.
Economies including Brazil, China and India are raising investments in renewable technologies to help meet their growing energy demand. The projected surge in low-carbon sources won’t be enough to meet the United Nations goal of limiting global warming since industrialization to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the International Energy Agency said yesterday.
China was the biggest polluter, with emissions of 8.9 billion tons. The U.S. produced about 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide and India was the third-biggest emitter with 1.8 billion tons, the IWR data show.
I’m not sure how China can bring its increasing production under control. After energy production, particularly via burning coal, and transportation, both of which are growing fast in China and for which they have no ready alternative, the next largest producer of greenhouse gases is cement production in which China leads by nearly two orders of magnitude.
As I’ve been saying for some time to whatever extent carbon production is a serious problem the only real hope for dealing with it is by various geoengineering approaches. Artificial trees. Capturing the carbon dioxide and turning it into methanol (as I wrote about a couple of weeks ago). Other similar approaches.
I also think we’ll be able to tell when those warning about greenhouse gases are really serious when a) they start behaving as though it were really serious and b) they start characterizing it as the moral equivalent of war.