Monday, November 30, 2009
China's announcement of a target of a reduction of 40%-45% in carbon intensity by 2020 as compared to 2005 levels is bad news. Bad news because a reduction in carbon intensity as opposed to absolute levels ignores economic growth. At a projected growth rate of 8% a year, in 10 years, China's economy will grow over 17 fold! But China is already emitting 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide per capita today which is more than its "fair share" if we aim for an allocation for a 450 ppm stabilization level. That figure is 2 tons of CO2 per person. In absolute terms (as opposed to carbon intensity), that demands a 90% reduction in current US emissions and over a 50% reduction in China's per capita emissions.