Here is a chart showing the top 10 emitters of CO2:
And here is a list of the top 10 energy consumers with their 2012 consumption figures given in Quadrillion BTUs:
Notice who is consuming a lot of energy without a lot of emissions? France, with their nuclear fleet is obvious. They consumed 10 quads of energy and don’t even make it into the top 10 of emitters. Canada, with its large hydropower capabilities is also easy to understand.
Germany, perhaps because of its Energiewiende initiative, also consumes a lot without emitting.
I have no explanation for South Korea–they consume even more energy than France but rely on imported fossil fuels for 97% of their energy. What gives? They use a lot of liquefied natural gas and get 13% of their primary energy from nuclear, but we need to find out why they are out-performing other countries with similar profiles.
If we are going to address CO2 emissions, rather than asking countries to come up with an ’emissions plan’, or INDCs as they’re called, we should be carefully studying the different performance levels of country economies. We should identify best practices and set benchmarks that will allow countries to actually plan for the future.
Oh, well. I suppose a party in Paris is a lot more fun.