How green are the fossil fuel producers? (Correlation between fossil fuel production, CO2 Emissions, GDP and Climate Debt)
Greenhouse gas emissions from burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal), is the main cause of manmade climate change. Comparable energy potentials of oil, natural gas and coal is defined as “tons oil equivalents”, meaning that the energy released from a given quantity of natural gas or coal is equivalent to one ton of oil. This way the total production of fossil fuels can be expressed in a single figure (not to be confused with market value, global warming potential or general usefulness) The world’s production in million tons oil equivalent, was in 2013: oil (4,130), natural gas (3,041 and coal (3,881).
The table below ranks the twenty countries with the largest per capita fossil fuel production (oil equivalents). Total production data of 68 countries is from ‘BPs Statistical Review of World Energy 2014’ (pdf, 48 pages).
Venezuela, Chile and Mexico are ranked 42nd, 44th and 58th among 147 countries on the worst performing list in ClimatePositions (see the ‘ranking’). Their updated Climate Contributions (climate debt) are respectively $697, $561 and $313 per capita. The first diagram shows the GDP(ppp-$) per capita of the three countries, in comparison with Panama, Honduras and the world average. Chile is the third wealthiest country in the America’s after (far after!) the United States and Canada – Honduras is the second poorest after Nicaragua.
The Google map of the Amazon is from the new interactive ‘Global Forest Change‘ developed by The University of Maryland (read ‘more’). The red is Forest Loss from 2000 to 2012, the blue is Forest Gain and the green is Forest Extent (unchanged). The purple is areas of mixed Forest Loss and Forest Gain. According to Brazil’s environment minister the lowest recorded deforestation of Brazil since 1988, was in 2012. Furthermore, up to a third of the cleared rainforest over the past decades may be on the way back (regrowth).
The national data of Forest Cover and Primary Forest are both included in the calculations of Climate Contributions (debt) in ClimatePositions. Primary Forest was included as an indicator in the worksheet in August 2014. The following describes selected findings on forests from FAO’s ‘The Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA), 2010’ (main report, pdf, 378 pages). The Assessment is based on two primary sources of data: 1) ‘country reports’ and 2) remote sensing conducted by FAO and partners.
Colombia was Contribution Free in ClimatePositions 2010 and Venezuela was the 43rd worst performing country out of 145 (see the menu “Contributions”). The Venezuelan Climate Contribution (climate debt) was $313 per capita which was the 3rd largest in America after the extreme polluters United States and Canada. The diagram shows the Climate Contributions over time per capita of Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and the world average (145 countries). In the updated calculation Venezuela’s Contribution has increased to $428 per capita (worsened two country rankings). The following examines Colombia’s and Venezuela’s CO2 Emissions, Ecological Footprint, Environmental Performance and forest cover.
The islands Trinidad and Tobago close to Venezuela in South America gives a damn in global warming. The diagram shows the country’s CO2 Emissions (carbon dioxide) per decade compared to the global average. In 1990-1999 emissions were on average 17.4 tons of CO2 and in 2011 the figure was 42.4 tons. In ClimatePositions 2010 Trinidad and T. was the 5th worst performing country in the world with a Contribution (climate debt) of $6,805 per capita.