The US Department of Energy predicted Wednesday that developing countries would be mainly responsible for a nearly 70 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions between 1999 and 2020.
The projection was contained in the department's 2001 edition of its International Energy Outlook, which also foresaw a 59 percent rise in global energy consumption over the next two decades, with half the growth coming in developing countries of Asia and Latin America.
The study was released as the Bush administration said it opposed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on lowering greenhouse gas levels and would not submit it to the Senate for ratification -- largely on grounds that it did not commit developing nations to any CO2 reduction.
The report found that global carbon dioxide emissions would rise from 5.8 billion carbon equivalent metric tons in 1999 to 7.8 billion tons in 2010 and 9.8 billion in 2020.
Developing counties would account for 81 percent of the increase from 1990 to 2010 and 76 percent between 1990 and 2020.
"Continued heavy reliance on coal and other fossil fuels, as projected for the developing countries, would ensure that even if the industrialized world undertook efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, worldwide emissions would still grow substantially over the forecast horizon," the study said.
The report's other conclusions:
-- Oil prices should remain at current levels of $25 to$28 a barrel until 2003.
-- Natural gas is the fastest growing component of primary world energy consumption and is expected to nearly double, reaching 162 trillion cubic feet in 2020.
-- Oil currently provides a larger share of global energy consumption than any other source and is forecast to remain at 40 percent between now and 2020.
-- Renewable energy use should increase by 53 percent by 2020 but its current nine percent share of total consumption is expected to drop to eight percent by 2020. The expansion of hyroelectricity and other renewable resources will be constrained by relatively low long-term conventional energy prices, according to the department.
-- Worldwide consumption of nuclear-powered electricity should grow from 2,396 billion kilowatt hours in 1999 to 2,636 billion in 2015 before declining to 2,582 billion by the end of 2020. Most of the nuclear power development is expected to occur in the developing world, especially Asia.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)