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CARMA 2.0 has arrived! Power sector still stuck on fossil fuel

CARMA 2.0 has arrived! And our analysis of the latest data shows that the world still has a long way to go on curbing emissions growth.

Last week’s Washington Post feature on CARMA focuses on massive growth in Chinese emissions. Although pollution wasn’t big news once the Olympics started, this year China’s power sector will emit more CO2 than the US power sector for the first time. Furthermore, rapid construction of coal-fired plants is wiping out any improvements in emissions intensity. But China will (sort of) head in the right direction, on carbon intensity, as it doubles electricity production over the next decade: the share of fossil-fuel generation will decrease from 83% to 73%.

What about the rest of the world? Well, in India the share of fossil fuel plants in India will only increase by 1% over the next decade and decrease in overall intensity, but generating capacity will triple over the same period and 77% of capacity will depend on fossil fuels.

In Europe, great wealth, soaring environmental rhetoric, and world-leading technologies suggest the region should be leading a massive push to replace fossil plants with renewable energy technologies. In fact, Europeans have some explaining to do, as the continent as a whole is poised to increase the share of fossil-fuel power from 47% to 53% at the same time governments are reconsidering the costs of subsidizing renewables. This certainly won’t help things.

And in the US, despite permitting delays and cancellations of coal-fired power plants, the fossil fuel share is set for a 2% increase, to 71%. Public support for renewable energy notwithstanding, the unstable investment climate caused by a Congressional standoff on investment tax credits is delaying rapid development of the sector.

In sum, the world is still heading in the wrong direction as far as the atmosphere is concerned. As IPCC head R.K. Pachauri was quoted as saying in a Washington Post op-ed last week, “The cities, power plants and factories we build in the next seven years will shape our climate in mid-century.” Postponing a push toward renewable energy will make the inevitable switch vastly more expensive than it has to be, in terms of the sunk costs of investments in fossil fuel technologies as well as the cost of any climate-related economic damage. These costs make the current lack of political will to reduce dependence on carbon-intensive energy seem staggeringly myopic.

But this will no doubt change. Already, India’s government is concerned about National Thermal Power Corporation’s CARMA, and that emissions disclosure on CARMA will hinder fundraising for coal power plants. Here in the US, major Wall Street banks are pricing CO2 in their lending models. But the question remains whether political leaders worldwide will act soon enough to make a difference.

We’ll keep you updated when CARMA 3.0 comes out next year!

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I believe that we have already done more harm to our planet thae we can solve. Others called it an irrepairable harm. You see, some countries have become industrialized at the expense of our planet, and now they are asking that others reduce carbon emmittions. This will not work at all.


I have been lecturing/talking to various groups for many years on the impact of electricity generation on the environment. Most people have been surprised at what I have to tell them, many only see their little world and have no knowledge, or care, for the holistic view. Energy used to be part of environmental education, now no longer seriously taught in schools. There is an urgent need to change attitudes but, as I have discovered over the years the majority won’t, because it interferes too much with their standard of living. The only way we can make an impact is to get back to teaching the subject at an early age in schools.

Many of us, me included, are cynical when we hear our govenments talk about saving the planet by implimenting green initiatives. These are only designed to make money from the masses on the back of Climate Change, tjhis only puts people off.

Politicians are only interested in saving their own skins and won’t make any decisions that are likely to put the voters off. Most energy ministers haven’t a clue about the subject and only think in sound bites that they think the voter wants to hear. Let’s take politics out of the equation; let’s start telling the truth about what can and cannot be achieved. No single agendas; let’s have one professioonal body telling it as it is; let’s start considering the big picture.

The UK’s carbon outpiut is said to be around 2% of global emissions, if we reduce this by 80% as the government says it will. The rest of the world’s carbon emissions will fill the space. No change there then. The only way to reduce global emissions is for everyone to start reducing their outputs immediately, to replace fossil fuels with whatever is expedient to help arrest the present situation allowing us a breathing space.

If carbon emissions were to stop tomorrow, it would take hundreds of years for the planet to stabilise. We, the population, have to stop abusing the electrical supply. The world will survive, I doubt the human race will.


Since CO2 cannot and never has warmed the planet, I have to see your site as damaging to the environment. You are targeting misguided environmentalist and greedy politicians at companies and power sources we need very badly. Sure, clean up any heavy metals and other pollutants, but CO2 is plant food and we need the added productivity it will produce as we continue to cool for the next 20-30 years. We will warm again eventually, but not before you are gone.