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Sunday, April 19, 2009

China's 2030 CO2 Emissions Could Equal the Entire World's Today

If China's carbon usage keeps pace with its economic growth, the country's carbon dioxide emissions will reach 8 gigatons a year by 2030, which is equal to the entire world's CO2 production today. That's just the most stunning in a series of datapoints about the Chinese economy reported in a policy brief in the latest issue of the journal Science.

Coal power has been driving the stunning, seven plus percent a year growth in China's economy. It's long been said said that China was adding one new coal power plant per week to its grid. But the real news is worse: China is completing two new coal plants per week.

That power is being used to drive an enormous manufacturing expansion. China has increased steel production from 140 million tons in 2000 to 419 million tons in 2006, the authors report. Even more recent numbers from the International Iron and Steel Institute show China's production leading the world at 489 million tons, more than double Japan and the US combined. That steel is getting used quickly too. In 1999, Chinese consumers bought 1.2 million cars. That number had increased 600% by 2006, when 7.2 million cars were sold.

Read on
The Painting is by Henri Rousseau

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