David Frum

01.30.13

China's Coal Usage is Blowing the Kyoto Protocol to Shreds

Remember the Kyoto protocol? That treaty to restrain greenhouse gas emissions, negotiated back in the 1990s, exempted China and India on the grounds that they were developing countries.

Boy, does that idea look obsolete. From Scientific American, quoting the U.S. Energy Information Agency:

[T]he 325-million-ton increase in Chinese coal consumption in 2011 accounted for 87 percent of the entire world's growth for the year, which was estimated at 374 million tons. Since 2000, China has accounted for 82 percent of the world's coal demand growth, with a 2.3-billion-ton surge, the agency said.

"China now accounts for 47 percent of global coal consumption -- almost as much as the rest of the world combined," EIA said of the latest figures.