5 Myths About Coal, Oil, & China

Myth #1 China has paid little attention to energy efficiency, preferring to build countless coal-fired power plants instead

Typically, energy demand grows faster than GDP in a developing. The graph below shows the opposite–GDP has grown at a much faster rate than energy demand in China. This was policy, not happenstance, Dung Shao Ping announced in 1979 that China was going to quadruple GDP and only double energy growth.

Myth #2 China, because of its enormous coal use, has emitted more CO2 than any other nation

As you can see from the graph below, China’s per capita CO2 emissions (represented by the red line) are much lower than the world (the blue line), the United States (the orange line).

Myth #3 China’s per capita coal consumption is the highest in the world

In fact, China is in 6th place behind (in descending order) South Africa, the United States, South Korea, Canada and Germany.

Myth #4 China’s vast coal reserves, which it is bound to use, will swamp any effort to tackle global climate

China’s coal reserves pail in comparison to Austrailia’s, the U.S.’s or even Kazakhstan


Myth #5 China is hogging the world’s oil imports

Just isn’t true–see graph below.

source: http://china.lbl.gov/news/dr-mark-levine-presented-world-affairs-council