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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Comparison of US and China climate efforts

Some in the United States argue Washington should not commit itself to specific reductions in the GHG emissions, which could boost energy prices, until China does so as well.

Here is a birds eye view of climate change moves by both countries:


CHINA:

(a) China's latest five-year plan calls for a 20 percent cut in energy intensity by the end of 2010, from 2005 levels. Chinese authorities estimate this would cut the country's carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 1 billion tons. However, the effort has fallen behind schedule.

(b) Beijing also has set a goal for about 15 percent of the electricity it generates to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

(c)China's fuel economy standards for its rapidly growing passenger vehicle fleet are more stringent than those in Australia, Canada. Average fuel economy for new vehicles was projected at 36.7 mpg (miles per gallon) in 2008.

(d) Some energy-intensive products for export no longer qualify for special tax breaks in an attempt to encourage energy efficiency.

(e) At a summit in Italy, China joined rich and poor countries acknowledging that global temperature increases should be limited to 2 Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels, a goal that would force deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

(f) However China would not commit to a goal of cutting world carbon emissions in half by 2050.

(g) Environmentalists also worry that China plans to significantly expand the number of coal-fired power plants that contribute to global warming.

UNITED STATES:

(a) No national carbon-reduction goals have yet been set but the House of Representatives has narrowly passed legislation calling for industrial greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 17 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels, and 83 percent by 2050.

(b) Senate leaders say they are considering similar legislation. While a bill might be debated in October 2009, the measure has not been introduced yet and a difficult fight is expected.

(c) If Congress fails to finish a bill, the Obama administration has indicated it will go ahead with regulations to control climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency, early next year, has the power to move ahead.

(d) Some states, such as California, have set their own goals for reducing emissions. Quite commendable !

(e) An economic stimulus measure enacted in February 2009 included $30 billion for investments in renewable energy technology and improved energy transmission.

(f) With no agreement among policymakers over whether to expand non-polluting nuclear power, mostly because of waste storage problems and high construction costs, many fear that continued use of dirty coal will hobble climate change efforts until alternative methods can be developed.

(g) The fuel efficiency standard in the US is 27 mpg now and will be 32 mpg in 2011. Progressive reform !!


There are around 28 billion metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent emitted into the atmosphere in 2005 (US EIA), only 50% of them will be absorbed by ocean and land. Therefore it is clear that 14 billions metric tons of CO2 equivalent goes to the atmosphere in each year since 2005. The upward trend of concentration will not change unless the emissions reduction reaches a level, which is higher than 50% of current emissions. The reduction target for a nation has to be based on its economic condition.

True cost of energy:

China is racing ahead of the Unites States in Solar. But that is to only look at it on a superficial basis. The Chinese have 1.3 Billion people. Other than the Southeast part of the Country, they live in exceptionally poor conditions (or a very low standard of living). So they have a huge untapped labor force that is willing to work at 1/100th the cost of a worker in the West. Read and participate in the discussion .....


California takes a lead in climate change initiatives:

California became the national leader in Climate Change with the adoption of Assembly Bill 32. It establishes a GHG emission limit for 2020 at a level equivalent to the state’s 1990 emissions. Provides the means to achieve the Governor’s GHG emission reduction targets. Cleantech projects examined: NanoSolar Thin Film Solar Cells, Konarka Technologies, Inc. Organic Solar Cells, Greenvolts, Inc. Two Axis Carousel Solar Tracker, Brayton Energy, LLC Solar Energy Compressed Air Storage. Read more .. ..