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5.30.2011

IEA - Prospect of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2ºC is getting bleaker

Source: iea.com May 30, 2011

Energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, according to the latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

After a dip in 2009 caused by the global financial crisis, emissions are estimated to have climbed to a record 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt), a 5% jump from the previous record year in 2008, when levels reached 29.3 Gt.

In addition, the IEA has estimated that 80% of projected emissions from the power sector in 2020 are already locked in, as they will come from power plants that are currently in place or under construction today.

“This significant increase in CO2 emissions and the locking in of future emissions due to infrastructure investments represent a serious setback to our hopes of limiting the global rise in temperature to no more than 2ºC,” said Dr Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the IEA who oversees the annual World Energy Outlook, the Agency’s flagship publication.

Global leaders agreed a target of limiting temperature increase to 2°C at the UN climate change talks in Cancun in 2010. For this goal to be achieved, the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be limited to around 450 parts per million of CO2-equivalent, only a 5% increase compared to an estimated 430 parts per million in 2000.

The IEA’s 2010 World Energy Outlook set out the 450 Scenario, an energy pathway consistent with achieving this goal, based on the emissions targets countries have agreed to reach by 2020. For this pathway to be achieved, global energy-related emissions in 2020 must not be greater than 32 Gt.This means that over the next ten years, emissions must rise less in total than they did between 2009 and 2010.

“Our latest estimates are another wake-up call,” said Dr Birol. “The world has edged incredibly close to the level of emissions that should not be reached until 2020 if the 2ºC target is to be attained. Given the shrinking room for manœuvre in 2020, unless bold and decisive decisions are made very soon, it will be extremely challenging to succeed in achieving this global goal agreed in Cancun.”

In terms of fuels, 44% of the estimated CO2 emissions in 2010 came from coal, 36% from oil, and 20% from natural gas.

The challenge of improving and maintaining quality of life for people in all countries while limiting CO2 emissions has never been greater. While the IEA estimates that 40% of global emissions came from OECD countries in 2010, these countries only accounted for 25% of emissions growth compared to 2009. Non-OECD countries – led by China and India – saw much stronger increases in emissions as their economic growth accelerated.

However, on a per capita basis, OECD countries collectively emitted 10 tonnes, compared with 5.8 tonnes for China, and 1.5 tonnes in India.

5.24.2011

Oil's Blame Game

By Michel Desjardins, Post Carbon Greater Moncton
Published in Times & Transcript on Friday May 20, 2011

As gas prices swirl upward, the oil blame game has shifted into high gear.

Our own Industry Minister Tony Clement blames the petroleum industry – refiners, distributors and retailers – for not clearly explaining how gas prices are set. He himself is under fire for not adequately regulating the industry.

In the US, President Obama blames speculators. But Obama too is being blamed for not declaring and implementing a “drill here, drill now” strategy.

Motorists all over the world are scorching mad and shooting in all directions. They accuse everyone but their dog of gouging.

All this noise sounds to me like a lot of posturing to avoid the real issue.

The real issue is that oil is a finite substance. We are dependant on it for our way of life. And it is depleting.

Make no mistake, oil prices will continue to creep up. The reason is that we have to go to greater lengths to extract the stuff, basically deep into the ocean or tar sand muck. Also, more people, namely the Chinese and the Indians, are competing for the little that’s left.

The crude reality is that in the long run governments can do precious little about depleting oil fields. No one can. What they can do however is create a policy environment that helps us break our addiction.

Let’s not waste time on blame games. Let’s all learn to live with less oil, a lot less oil.

The End of Easy Oil

5.19.2011

IEA: More Oil Needed Urgently

Source: IEA.ORG May 19, 2011

The IEA Governing Board, at its regular quarterly meeting on 18-19 May, examined oil market developments and their impact on the global economy. Despite a near-10% correction since 5 May, oil prices remain at elevated levels driven by market fundamentals, geopolitical uncertainty and future expectations. The IEA Governing Board expressed serious concern that there are growing signs that the rise in oil prices since September is affecting the economic recovery by widening global imbalances, reducing household and business income, and placing upward pressure on inflation and interest rates. As global demand for oil increases seasonally from May to August, there is a clear, urgent need for additional supplies on a more competitive basis to be made available to refiners to prevent a further tightening of the market.

Additional increases in prices at this stage of the economic cycle risk derailing the global economic recovery and are neither in the interest of producing nor of consuming countries. Oil importing developing countries are most likely to be seriously affected by high oil prices, undermining their economic and social well-being. In these circumstances, enhancing consumer-producer dialogue is urgently important to reach both short- and long-term solutions. The Governing Board urges action from producers that will help avoid the negative global economic consequences which a further sharp market tightening could cause, and welcomes commitments to increase supply. We stand ready to work with producers as well as non-member consumers; in this constructive spirit, we are prepared to consider using all tools that are at the disposal of IEA member countries.

5.16.2011

Winnipeg rethinks suburban sprawl with downtown reinvention

Source: Globe and Mail, May 16, 2011

It’s 5 p.m. on Portage Avenue and a parade of cars, buses and pedestrians is making its way out of the downtown as quickly as possible, speeding past shuttered storefronts and lonely side streets. But for the first time in years, the daily commuter rush is passing something new: construction.

An unprecedented level of development is under way in the Manitoba capital, as Winnipeg attempts to reverse decades of movement out to the suburbs.

“We want to have a situation where you don’t have a massive population downtown between nine and five and then all of a sudden it’s six o’clock and it’s empty,” says Mayor Sam Katz. “But what people don’t realize is that you can’t correct the mistakes of the past in just a year or two.”

Around the world there is a growing understanding that suburban sprawl is unsustainable, and that, for cities to survive, they must shrink back in on themselves, tightening up, promoting density and pushing their growing population into space already served by existing infrastructure and social services.

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5.06.2011

Quatre idées pour économiser 60% du pétrole au Québec

Source : La Presse 5 mai 2011


Le Québec doit entreprendre un virage radical dans sa façon de construire ses villes et banlieues, sans quoi, il n'a aucune chance d'atteindre ses objectifs de réduction de gaz à effet de serre (GES).

C'est ce qu'affirment Équiterre et Vivre en Ville dans un rapport étoffé sur l'aménagement et le transport de personnes dévoilé aujourd'hui.

Les organismes proposent d'agir sur quatre variables afin de réduire de 60% la consommation de pétrole au Québec. Et la solution n'est pas l'auto électrique. C'est de réduire le nombre de kilomètres parcourus par toutes les automobiles.

« Il faut avoir accès plus rapidement à l'autobus qu'à la bretelle d'autoroute, a résumé Christian Savard, directeur général de Vivre en Ville. Il faut un virage majeur en aménagement du territoire. Désormais, on ne doit plus toucher à la zone agricole. »

Pour cela, il faudra limiter les dépenses routières aux travaux d'entretien et investir le reste en transport collectif. « Le réseau autoroutier du Québec est à maturité », dit M. Savard.

Selon Alexandre Turgeon, président de Vivre en Ville, il y a largement assez de terrains déjà zonés pour la construction résidentielle dans la région de Montréal pour accommoder toute la demande de nouveaux logements.

« Il reste 20 000 hectares en zone blanche dans la région, dit-il. C'est assez pour 1 millions d'unités alors que les besoins sont de 300 000. »

Il cite des projets comme celui des terrains de l'ancien hippodrome Blue Bonnets comme un exemple des projets denses et bien desservis par les transports en commun qu'il faut multiplier à toutes les échelles.

Selon M. Turgeon, le projet de Plan métropolitain d'aménagement et de développement, dévoilé la semaine dernière par la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal et mal accueilli par les villes de la couronne Nord, ne va pas assez loin. « La CMM veut que 40% du développement soit desservi par le transport en commun, dit-il. Ça veut dire qu'on accepte que 60% sera dépendant de l'automobile? Et c'est comme ça qu'on va atteindre notre objectif de réduire de 20% nos émissions de gaz à effet de serre d'ici 2020? »

L'autre mesure la plus efficace est d'imposer aux automobiles des normes de consommation plus sévères, semblables à celles en vigueur en Europe et en Chine. Avec 5% d'automobiles électriques et une rééquilibrer à 25%/75% le ratio autos/camions légers.

Les propositions d'Équiterre et de Vivre en Ville arrivent à une semaine d'une consultation parlementaire sur la réforme de la Loi sur l'aménagement et l'urbanisme.

Act now on peak oil or curtail mobility, says Commission

Source: Euractiv.com published May 4, 2011

The European Commission's director-general for transport and mobility policy has warned at a conference on peak oil that it would be a "fatal mistake" for the EU to postpone measures to reduce oil dependency.

"If action is delayed, in the not-too-distant future we may be forced to drastically reduce all our mobility and import technological solutions from other part of the world," Marjeta Jager told a Green Party conference in the European Parliament.

The European Commission's Transport White Paper famously said that "curbing social mobility is not an option".

Peak oil is the point at which half of the world's original oil reserves have been used up and production enters a period of terminal decline, characterised by soaring prices and supply disruptions.

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5.04.2011

Documentary - Australia Broadcasting Corp

Pic pétrolier - risque de guerres admis par l'AIE

Source: lemonde.fr

Pour le chef économiste de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie (AIE), Fatih Birol, les difficultés à venir pour faire face à la croissance de la demande mondiale de pétrole recèlent un risque de guerres (risque déjà pointé par les prospectivistes de l’armée américaine et de l’armée allemande).

Depuis ma première rencontre avec Fatih Birol en 2005, j’ai vu cet économiste turc, ancien haut cadre du cartel de l’Opep, désormais chargé de conseiller les pays riches de l’OCDE, lancer des mises en garde de plus en plus lourdes, et de plus en plus iconoclastes de la part d’un membre d’une organisation internationale aussi policée que l’AIE.

Voici la traduction d’extraits d’une interview du Dr Birol diffusée la semaine dernière par la radio nationale australienne ABC, à la veille de l’ouverture de la conférence internationale annuelle de l’ASPO, l’Association for the Study of Peak Oil, dont les membres fondateurs ont les premiers tenté d’alerter l’AIE au sujet du ‘pic pétrolier’, il y a treize ans déjà… :

Fatih Birol - D’un côté, nous pensons que la demande globale de pétrole va croître de façon substantielle, principalement tirée par le secteur du transport, les voitures, et aussi par la Chine en tant que pays. Aujourd’hui en Chine, il y a 30 voitures pour 1000 habitants, alors qu’aux Etats-Unis, c’est 700 voitures pour 1000 habitants. Les Chinois, avec l’augmentation de leurs revenus, vont acheter des voitures, ce qui est fondé.

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