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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Nikki Haley. Jeb Bush. Scott Walker. Lindsey Graham. John Kasich. The list is growing ever longer of Republicans who say they wouldn't even consider becoming Donald Trump's running mate. "The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles."
"Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters — followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin in Indiana holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on a glide path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July."
In a statement released on Sunday, President and Mrs. Obama revealed that their oldest daughter, Malia, will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021. She will take a year off before beginning school.
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”