World CO2 Emissions May Rise 43% by 2035 on Coal Use, OPEC Says
World emissions of carbon dioxide may rise by 43 percent between 2010 and 2035 as fossil fuels remain the main source of energy and coal becomes the number one fuel, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“In the likely absence of an early and widespread deployment of carbon capture and storage, there will be an increase in global annual CO2 emissions,” OPEC said in its annual report published today.
Discharges of greenhouse gases, blamed for climate change, must be reduced by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with 1990 levels to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the global average in the pre-industrial era and avoid more intense heat waves, floods and storms, a United Nations scientific panel on climate change has said.
More than 190 nations will discuss emission-reduction rules for the period after 2012 -- when the current targets for developed nations under the Kyoto Protocol expire -- at a UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, starting Nov. 28. Envoys worldwide have failed to agree on a global climate-protection framework amid differences between developed and developing countries.
Commercial primary energy demand may increase 51 percent over the 2010-2035 period, OPEC said, with fossil fuels making up 82 percent of the global total. Oil, retaining the largest share among energy sources for most of the projection period, will be by 2035 overtaken by coal, which will represent 29 percent of total energy, similar to today, according to OPEC.
The demand for oil assumed in the report’s reference scenario could fall if nations worldwide take action to cut greenhouse gases, it said.
“If a strict GHG regime were to emerge, one which attached additional costs to upstream and downstream operations, then this would typically have a negative impact upon future demand and supply growth, and, in all probability, upon oil prices and costs,” according to the report.
While fossil fuels remain the main source of energy, emissions by industrialized and developing nations -- known under the Kyoto treaty as non-Annex 1 countries -- will be approximately equal by 2012 and by 2035 the latter will account for 65 percent of the global total, according to OPEC. Emissions by developed nations will be 2 percent below 1990 levels by this time, OPEC forecast.
“It should be stressed, however, that the per capita situation for CO2 emissions paints a much different picture,” OPEC said in the report. “By 2035 Annex I countries emit, on average, 2.3 times more CO2 than non-Annex I countries.”
While at the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen countries agreed to submit political pledges to cut emissions, their baselines and methods differ. The 27-nation European Union has already adopted a binding target to reduce CO2 discharges by 20 percent in 2020 compared with 1990 levels. The U.S. offered a cut of 17 percent by the end of this decade from 2005 levels.
China, the world’s biggest polluter, pledged to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide it emits for each unit of economic output by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels. Chinese negotiators resisted a cap on the absolute amount of greenhouse gases the country emits, arguing that the U.S. and other wealthy nations should bear the brunt of emissions cuts.
Cumulative emissions from developed countries will continue to exceed discharges from poorer nations and by 2035 will account for 61 percent of the total pollution from 1900, according to OPEC.
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