[WRI’s EarthTrends Delivered] Climate and Energy Charts and Figures

As the U.S. Congress has struggled to pass comprehensive climate change legislation, observers in the United States and abroad have asked what greenhouse gas emissions reductions are possible under existing federal laws and through state action.

Can the U.S. meet the Obama Administration’s Copenhagen commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 using the regulatory tools already available to federal agencies, together with announced actions at the state level?

Depending on your subscription settings, charts from WRI’s recent publication, “Reducing G reenhouse G as Emissions in the United States Using Existing Federal Authorities and State Action” help answer this and related questions. Read more at http://bit.ly/9idEMC

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Southeast Asia Electricity Demand in 2005 and Projected Demand in 2015 and 2030
Although the current global financial crisis has somewhat tempered growth in electricity demand in recent years, experts still predict that this region will experience the world’s largest growth in electric power consumption over the next decade. Residential/commercial demand is expected to be a critical driver in electricity demand in all focus countries through 2030. Of the focus countries, Malaysia exhibits the highest per capita electricity consumption rates, followed by Thailand .

Projected U.S. Emissions in 2030 by Sector under Different Federal Regulatory Scenarios
This chart is based on WRI’s recent analysis of potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions under existing federal authorities and state actions through 2030.

This figure depicts the potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the three federal regulatory scenarios included in WRI’s recent analysis by sector or category of sources through 2030. The bars to the far left represent the business-as-usual emissions. Emissions under the Lackluster, Middle-of-the-Road and G o- G etter Scenarios are then shown to the right of the business-as-usual emissions. For more information, please see http://earthtrendsdelivered.org/node/161.

Projected U.S. Emissions under Different State Action Scenarios
This chart is based on WRI’s recent analysis of potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions under existing federal authorities and state actions through 2030.

The three potential reduction scenarios analyzed are a “Lackluster” scenario that includes state reductions contained in state statutes; a “Middle-of-the-Road” scenario that includes state reductions called for in state statute and existing executive orders; and a “ G o- G etter” scenario that includes state reductions from state statute, executive orders, and regional cap-and-trade programs. For more information on the three scenarios, see http://earthtrendsdelivered.org/node/388.

On the state level, whether reductions are realized at the lower or upper end of the range projected in the figure depends on the continued resolve by governors and legislative leaders in the 25 states counted as having taken actions.

Forest Cover Loss in Indonesia , 2000-2005: The Starting Point for the Norwegian Billion to Reduce Deforestation
Up to 84% of Indonesia ’s national greenhouse gas emissions arise from land use change and deforestation. This map shows the extent and location of forest cover loss in Indonesia —detected by satellite—for 2000 to 2005, when deforestation averaged 0.71 million hectares per year and Indonesia was the second-most deforesting country, following Brazil . G lobally, Indonesia accounts for approximately 27 percent of G H G emissions from land use change and forestry.

Norway and Indonesia recently signed a letter of intent (LOI) worth $1 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by loss of Indonesia ’s forests. Through the LOI, Indonesia has agreed to a two-year moratorium on the conversion of natural forests and peatlands to other uses, such as palm oil plantations. In addition, Indonesia has pledged to move agricultural development from forests to already degraded lands. Through this agreement, Indonesia has pledged to reduce total national emissions by 26% relative to business as usual levels by 2020. With assistance from international partners emission reductions could reach 41%.

Sample of Current and Planned Real Estate Projects in Southeast Asia Overlaid on Areas Exposed to Climate Hazards
Increased frequency of floods and storms from climate change can increase project delays, either through construction stoppage or late arrival of building materials due to transportation disruptions. Furthermore, the region’s building owners and developers should be prepared for stricter enforcement of permitting terms and tougher regulatory requirements relating to energy and water use. These factors contribute to higher material costs, so developers could face longer-term price increases for energy-intensive and imported materials.

Projected U.S. Emissions under Different Federal Regulatory Scenarios
This chart is based on WRI’s recent analysis of potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions under existing federal authorities and state actions through 2030.

The three potential reduction scenarios analyzed include a “Lackluster” scenario that aggregates reductions at the lower end of what is technically feasible and therefore represents low regulatory ambition; a “Middle-of-the-Road” scenario that combines reductions generally in the middle of the range considered technically feasible and corresponding to moderate regulatory ambition; and a ” G o- G etter” scenario that adds up reductions that may be considered toward the higher end of what is technically feasible and corresponds to higher regulatory ambition.

On the federal level, whether reductions are achieved at the lower end or upper end of the range shown in the figure depends on the extent to which the Obama Administration and subsequent administrations use existing regulatory authority to go after reductions shown to be technically possible in the literature.

Projected Power Mix in 2013 in India , Malaysia , Philippines , Thailand , and Vietnam
While many of the governments have goals to increase the development of renewable sources of energy; coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric plants are expected to provide the majority of electricity supply in 2013.

The dependency of thermal and hydroelectric power plants on water for cooling and generation creates water-related risks for the sector.

Hydroelectric plants are dependent on water for generation as maintenance of water reservoir or river levels is necessary for full capacity generation. Thermoelectric plants, including coal, natural gas, biomass, and nuclear, require varying amounts of water for steam, cooling, and other process uses. Fuel type, cooling system technology, and capacity are the greatest determinants of water use. Wind and solar photovoltaic power require very little water.