China, India seen as key to energy,
What they do 'will also affect the
rest of the world,' IEA says
Nov 7, 2007 - The Associated Press
|China's economic growth has
fueled a car culture that contributes to greenhouse
gas emissions and smog, the latter quite visible
on Wednesday in Beijing.
LONDON - Rapid economic growth in China
and India will have devastating consequences for the
world's energy supply if governments in those emerging
countries do not ramp up efforts to curb demand and
greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy
Agency said Wednesday.
The IEA said that the two countries
will account for around 45 percent of the increase
in global primary energy demand through 2030, when
the world's energy needs are expected to be well over
50 percent higher than they are today.
"How China and India respond to the
rising threats to their energy security will also
affect the rest of the world," the Paris-based agency
said in its 2007 World Energy Outlook, which concentrated
on the implications of energy developments in those
two emerging economies for the rest of the world.
The IEA — an energy policy adviser for
its 26 member countries, including the United States,
Canada, Australia and 19 European nations including
Germany and Britain — said that China and India are
transforming the global energy system by dint of their
China is expected to overtake the United
States as the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide
this year — that's three years earlier than the agency
had forecast in its annual report last year. India
will become the third-biggest emitter around 2015.
The United States did not ratify the
U.N. Kyoto Protocol, which set an average target for
countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent
below 1990 levels by 2012. The pact did not set emissions
targets for China and India.
IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka
said that rapid economic growth in China and India
was a "legitimate aspiration" that would improve the
quality of life of more than 2 billion people and
that needed to be supported by the rest of the world.
"Indeed, most countries stand to benefit
economically from China and India's economic development
through international trade," Tanaka said ahead of
the report's release in London.
However, the agency said that growing
participation in international trade highlighted the
importance of the pair's contribution to collective
efforts to enhance global energy security.
'Radical shift' to cleaner energy
"We need to act now to bring about a
radical shift in investment in favor of cleaner, more
efficient and more secure energy technologies," Tanaka
The IEA also warned that an "abrupt
escalation" in oil prices is possible before 2015
amid increased demand and shorter supply as oil output
becomes more concentrated in a few Middle Eastern
The agency said that crude oil import
prices, a proxy for international oil prices, could
rise to $108 in nominal terms by 2030 when it forecasts
oil demand to have reached 116 million barrels per
day. Oil demand was 84 million per day in 2006. On
Wednesday, crude prices jumped to a new trading record
above $98 a barrel.
"Although production capacity at new
fields is expected to increase over the next five
years, it is very uncertain whether it will be sufficient
to compensate for the decline in output at existing
fields and meet the projected increase in demand,"
the IEA said.
To maintain growth in production capacity,
the oil industry needs to invest some $5.4 trillion
between now and 2030, it said.
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