The International Energy Agency sounded new alarms over rising global carbon emissions from coal Monday, even as the agency trims back its forecast for how much global consumption of the fuel will grow in the next five years.
The IEA, in a report Monday, predicts that global demand for coal will increase an average of 2.3 percent annually through 2018, compared with the 2.6 percent growth rate in last year’s five-year rolling forecast.
But despite slower growth in global demand for the fuel, as China seeks better efficiency and a more diverse fuel mix, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said that “coal in its current form is simply unsustainable.”
“Radical action is needed to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, yet that radical action is disappointingly absent,” she said in comments released alongside the report.
“Progress on [carbon capture and storage] is effectively stalled, and a meaningful carbon price is missing,” she added.
Van der Hoeven, echoing earlier IEA warnings, said the trajectory for global carbon emissions puts the world in store for long-term temperature increases far above the 2 degrees Celsius level that’s the target in international climate talks.
Preventing increases of more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels would help avoid some of the most dangerous effects of climate change, many scientists say.
In China, which accounted for more than half of global coal use last year, the growth in demand for coal is slowing down. The nation’s demand for coal grew 4.7 percent in 2012, which was its second-lowest in a decade, according to the Paris-based IEA, which cited the country’s hydro-power production and lower-than-expected economic growth.
Still, the country remains the most important factor in global coal markets.
“While China will account for nearly 60 percent of new global demand over the next five years, government efforts to encourage energy efficiency and diversify electricity generation will dent that growth, slowing the global increase in demand,” the IEA reports.
In the U.S., coal consumption in 2018 is expected to be at roughly 2012 levels as use of natural gas and regulations hold down demand.
“Increasing shale gas production will create intense price competition for coal; environmental regulations on emissions will lead to the closure of significant coal”fired generation capacity. At the same time, CO2 policy will hinder investment in new coal plants,” the report states.
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Just after President Obama finished his address to the DNC, Hillary Clinton walked out on stage to join him, so the better could share a few embraces, wave to the crowd—and let the cameras capture all the unity for posterity.
In a speech that began a bit like a State of the Union address, President Obama said the "country is stronger and more prosperous than it was" when he took office eight years ago. He then talked of battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008, and discovering her "unbelievable work ethic," before saying that no one—"not me, not Bill"—has ever been more qualified to be president. When his first mention of Donald Trump drew boos, he quickly admonished the crowd: "Don't boo. Vote." He then added that Trump is "not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either."
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."