Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Per capita, the U.S. still consumes five times more energy than China, but China is now the new world leader in gross energy consumption

China's appetite for energy is consistent with the rise in its 1.3 billion-strong population and the growth of its manufacturing-based economy, which churns out half the world's supply of steel and is also a top producer of aluminum — another fuel-hungry industry.

"We have substantive hopes in China, to be honest, that China will take the lead ... to make the low-carbon economy, the high energy efficiency economy a reality in the coming years," said Stephan Singer, the head of energy policy for the WWF environmental group.

"That's not the case in the U.S., unfortunately," he said. "We would need to see similar or even stronger targets there" in the U.S.

SHOOT: Our total energy consumption needs to come down, whichmeans efficiencies must go up substantially, and populations must no longer grow.
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FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2009 file photo, workers load coal into a truck outside a coal mine in Dadong, Shanxi province, China. China has overtaken the

PARIS – China is now king of the world in energy consumption, surpassing the U.S. years ahead of forecasts in a milestone that left the Asian giant immediately rejecting its new crown.

Sensitive to its status as the world's biggest polluter, China has long pointed fingers at developed nations in climate change talks and resists any label that could increase international pressure for it to take a larger role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

When the Paris-based International Energy Agency released its data on Tuesday, China branded it "unreliable."

The United States still consumes more energy and oil per capita than China.

China was not expected to overtake the U.S. in energy consumption until at least 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast in April.

China's energy consumption has more than doubled in less than a decade, from 1.107 billion tons in 2000 — driven by its burgeoning population and economic growth that hit 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010.
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