World’s energy future looks dim, says new report

A report issued today by the International Energy Agency says global demand for power could surge 53 percent by 2030 unless governments push clean, efficient energy. “The energy future we are facing today, based on projections of current trends, is dirty, insecure, and expensive,” says Claude Mandil, IEA’s executive director. The agency also says China may out-emit the U.S., the world’s current carbon dioxide emissions leader, by 2009 — nearly a decade earlier than previously thought. China maintains that responsibility for cutting global emissions lies with developed countries. “You cannot tell people who are struggling to earn enough to eat that they need to reduce their emissions,” said Lu Xuedu of the country’s Office of Global Environmental Affairs. Which may be true, but there’s also this: 60 million Chinese are now getting rich and fat, thanks to a growing love of Western-style fast food and cars. So pretty soon they’ll have to come up with new, Western-style climate excuses.