Why Canada should ignore Kyoto....
As you know, I've been blogging about the plans the Chinese have for powering their economy over the next 20 years. In case you missed it, here's an excerpt from an editorian in the Financial Post last Thursday:
China announced that last year alone it added 102 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity to its economy. Give or take a gigawatt, that new capacity is equal to roughly Canada's total current annual electricity capacity.When I watch the news, it seems like the public believes that if we reduce OUR carbon emissions, then Canada won't heat up. But, global warming is just that - global. No matter how much we reduce, total emissions won't be going down....and if you believe that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming (which I don't), then, the problem won't go away.
These new Chinse power plants are 90% coal-powered, which means they spew out large amounts of carbon emissions. With the help of an expert, I've worked out an estimate of the new annual carbom emissions China added to its inventory last year alone. If 90% of the 102 gigawatts is coal, that means coal capacity of about 90 gigawatts. If the power plants operate at 60% capacity, the new plans will add 473 million kilowatt hours to China's annual electricity production. A conventional and reasonable estimate of carbon emissions is about 1.1 kilograms of greenhouse gases for each kilowatt-hour of power, for an annual total of 470 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.
To recap: China last year added electricity-generating capacity that will produce an estimated 470 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. That number id equal to about 70% of the total annual greenhouse-gas emissions from the entire Canadian economy. Not 70% of the Canadian electricity secotr, but 70% of total annual emissions from all sectors -- energy, automobiles, heating, industry -- of the Canadian economy.
Canada's estimated national economy-wide production of greenhouse-gas emissions is currently about 750 million tonnes. Even if China cleans up the coal with the latest technology -- unlikely -- or even sequesters part, it will still be pumping new carbon into the atmosphere equal to 50% of Canada's total emissions. Even under the best environmental assumption of total sequestriation, in which China would capture and store carbon at these new plants, it will still be producing 140 million tonnes of carbon, or almost 20% of total Canadian carbon emissions.
These numbers demonstrate global issues that have always been obvious, which is that Canada's carbon role is worth only 2.3% of total world carbon emissions. China is adding the equivalent of a new Canada every year.