World oil demand for 2010 is almost certain to exceed the previous all time high reached in 2007, according to provisional data for the third quarter of this year from Wood Mackenzie, the independent energy and metals research consultancy. It forecasts world oil demand in 2010 will likely reach an annual average 86.7 million bbls a day, 100,000 bbls a day higher than in 2007, and demand is expected to grow further to 88.1 million bbls per day in 2011. The analysis illustrates how the mature OECD and developing economies have diverged with the surge in growth coming from Asia and in fact 85% of the recovery this year is accounted for by emerging markets. This year will see the recovery of all the demand lost during 2008 and 2009, while in 2011 world demand will be two per cent above the peak pre-recession level hit in 2007. In 2012 demand will be almost four per cent higher than this peak,” Wood Mackenzie said.

From The Economist on Nov 25 – ON NOVEMBER 29th representatives of countries from around the world will gather in Cancún, Mexico, for the first high-level climate talks since those in Copenhagen last December. The organisers hope the meeting in Mexico, unlike the one in Denmark, will be unshowy but solid, leading to decisions about finance, forestry and technology transfer that will leave the world better placed to do something about global warming. Incremental progress is possible, but continued deadlock is likelier. What is out of reach, as at Copenhagen, is agreement on a plausible programme for keeping climate change in check.

The world warmed by about 0.7°C in the 20th century. Every year in this century has been warmer than all but one in the last (1998, since you ask). If carbon-dioxide levels were magically to stabilise where they are now (almost 390 parts per million, 40% more than before the industrial revolution) the world would probably warm by a further half a degree or so as the ocean, which is slow to change its temperature, caught up. But CO2 levels continue to rise. Despite 20 years of climate negotiation, the world is still on an emissions trajectory that fits pretty easily into the “business as usual” scenarios drawn up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Copenhagen accord, a non-binding document which was the best that could be salvaged from the summit, talks of trying to keep the world less than 2°C warmer than in pre-industrial times—a level that is rather arbitrarily seen as the threshold for danger.

But for the two-degree scenario 2.8% is just the beginning; from 2020 to 2035 the rate of decarbonisation needs to double again, to 5.5%. Though they are unwilling to say it in public, the sheer improbability of such success has led many climate scientists, campaigners and policymakers to conclude that, in the words of Bob Watson, once the head of the IPCC and now the chief scientist at Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, “Two degrees is a wishful dream.”

The fight to limit global warming to easily tolerated levels is thus over. Analysts who have long worked on adaptation to climate change—finding ways to live with scarcer water, higher peak temperatures, higher sea levels and weather patterns at odds with those under which today’s settled patterns of farming developed— are starting to see their day in the uncomfortably hot sun. That such measures cannot protect everyone from all harm that climate change may bring does not mean that they should be ignored. On the contrary, they are sorely needed.

How does Canada stack up? We often hear that we are up there as emitters of CO2 and users of Energy. The following numbers and charts are the most recent I could find. Some are noted as 2010 numbers while some are older – due to the inexact science of data collection.

2010 – % of World CO2 Emitters – Total
1 China 22.29%
2 USA 19.05%
3 Russia 5.42%
4 India 4.86%
5 Japan 3.92%
6 Germany 2.74%
7 Canada 1.88%
8 United Kingdom 1.74%
9 Iran 1.72%
10 Korea, South 1.71%

On a total basis we are 7th in the world in terms of CO2 emissions. Thus it makes some sense that we are 6th in total energy use. The USA fell out of a clear first spot through the last couple of recession years. France ranks 8th in total energy use (not shown).

2009 – % of World Energy Use – Total
1 USA 19.51%
2 China 19.50%
3 Russia 5.70%
4 India 4.21%
5 Japan 4.20%
6 Canada 2.90%
7 Germany 2.60%
9 Korea, South 2.10%
10 United Kingdom 1.81%
11 Iran 1.80%

Canada’s population numbers do not bear out with the same type of logic. We sit a distant 36th in terms of world countries.

2010 – % of World Population
1 China 19.50%
2 India 17.30%
3 USA 4.51%
9 Russia 2.06%
10 Japan 1.85%
14 Germany 1.19%
17 Iran 1.09%
22 United Kingdom 0.90%
26 Korea, South 0.72%
36 Canada 0.50%

As such the energy use numbers on a per person basis do not bear out well for Canada. The Centre for Energy in Canada put us as 7th whereas the data below suggests we are 10th. Some of it is splitting hairs – depending what is considered a country, and a couple of countries are very close to the same numbers we are. Basically those worse than us include some Middle Eastern countries (Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Kuwait); small island nations (Netherland Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago) and a few larger island nations (Iceland, Singapore and Brunei).

2008 – Million BTU Per Person Energy Use Per Capita
10 Canada 422.41
13 USA 326.92
24 Russia 216.24
29 Korea, South 204.35
37 Germany 174.29
39 Japan 165.94
48 United Kingdom 153.39
64 Iran 123.27
102 China 63.95
155 India 17.49

In Canada we discount our position due to geography – as a large spread out country in northern climes. However another significant factor is the affluence level our population lives at – quality of life if you will. The challenge as put forth by developing nations such as China and India is the desire to see their populations’ lifestyles closer to the standards developed nations are already at currently. Simply translated this means more global energy demand and more CO2 emissions.


From the Thursday Files

We don’t look for facts any more to form our opinions. We look for facts that enforce our opinions and shun those facts that contradict our opinions. People believe in what they want to believe.
– Gianni Riotta, Editor-in-chief of business newspaper ‘Il Sole 24 Ore’



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