BP Oil: US had highest reduction in carbon emissions in 2017


Oct 25, 2017
From the June 2018 BP Statistical Review of Global Energy (67th edition)

Global CO2 emissions grew 1.6% in 2017. The US shrunk its carbon emissions by 0.5% or 42 million tons, the third consecutive year and the 9th time in the 21st century that the US has had the largest decline in emissions. China and India each had massive increases in carbon emissions,.

Surprisingly the European Union also had a growth in global emissions, much of it due to Spain which accounted for 44% of the growth.

A large part of the reason why global emissions are down in the USA is due to the movement towards less expensive sources of domestic energy including natural gas and solar, and a market move away from inefficient coal plants. Before people chime in with "we also don't make anything anymore!", manufacturing is still the top economic sector in America, by far, still providing ~9% of jobs in the country and worth over $6 trillion dollars in gross output.

That chart does deal in absolute numbers and not per capita or anything like that so its possibly unfair to say "well, the US has a huge economy so of course it has a bigger number" but then again global warming is not a thing that cares about per capita, the more CO2 we pump into the air the hotter it gets and the air doesn't really care that China and India have way, way more people living there than in the USA or that the middle class there is slowly beginning to enjoy a modern lifestyle and all the benefits like meat, private cars, luxury goods, etc.

Just thought it was interesting that for all the Paris accord talks (which the US is still part of by the way, there is basically a 2 year withdrawal process which means we officially wouldn't be out until Nov 5th, 2020 a day after the 2020 Presidential elections) the fact remains that

(1) global CO2 emissions are still on the rise and will continue to be so for a while
(2) USA is decreasing CO2 emissions for economic reasons, didn't really need government heavy hand to force it
(3) I was pretty shocked that the EU's CO2 emissions keep rising, I thought they were at the forefront of the green revolution

The Adder

Oct 25, 2017
Our EPA is fighting tooth and claw to regress us and we're still heading in the right direction. Step your game up, EU.


Nov 6, 2017
Didn't read "reduction" until I clicked the thread and was relieved.

It's a shame how much China's emissions offset that progress, however.


Apr 19, 2018
China and India's level of pollution is seriously something the world stage needs to start going addressing.


Oct 25, 2017
That's good. What's the percentage decrease though? That's kind of more interesting than the absolute number. If you're starting off at very high levels it's probably easier to bring it down significantly.


Oct 25, 2017
It's a shame how much China's emissions offset that progress, however.
Everyone in China now has cars and can afford Chinese made cars.

The area me and my wife lived in 2010 streets were empty. So much space to just take a walk. 2014 when my wifes father bought a car it got more crowded but still could easily find a parking spot. 2018 the streets are full of cars, people owning more than one if they can (number plate lottery) just because they can, not because they need. A neigbour of my wifes dad has 3 cars, got the number plates for himself, his wife, his daughter but he is the only one who actually drives...


Oct 25, 2017
Oh god you just gave Trump another goal with that graph. We gotta beat China!!!!!


Oh well, what the hell?
Oct 25, 2017
Thread title adjusted to clarify who did the study.


Oct 25, 2017
Isn't China in the process of replacing coal power plants?
Not really. 72% of the electricity generated in China is by coal power plants. They are turning those plants into more efficient plants, and have shut down plans for building a ton more -- at one point there were projections they were going to be building like 3 new plants EVERY DAY for years -- but while there are "plans" to bring up solar and wind plants online sometime in the future, its just not realistic with current tech. Coal and natural gas plants are around 45-55% efficient, based on asset capacity. Wind and solar is closer to 10-15%, so the gap is immense still. What China is doing is also converting more stuff to natural gas which has far less CO2 emissions than coal. They are very much driven by self interest as well, as the coal plants are absolutely destroying their environment.

The three biggest sources of natural gas on the planet are Russia, Iran, and the USA. Makes the recent geopolitical turmoil interesting as well when you think about those 3 countries.


Oct 25, 2017
...and Canada's just going to keep increasing, with Doug Ford scrapping all the progress that had been made in Ontario.


Oct 25, 2017
I remember reading somewhere that domestic production of oil, fracking, has contributed to the reduction as well (shipping emissions).

Edit, this is a graph I would want to see in per capita terms.

Also would want to see an updated emissions per capita per country graph.

Neo C.

Nov 9, 2017
EU can definitely do more, but Merkel is still fighting hard for Germany's industry instead of preparing it for the green revolution.


Oct 25, 2017
UK is down to 1890 levels (not a typo), helped a lot by closure of coal plants. This is 38% down on base kyoto 1990 levels.


With most coal plants already closed, it's going to be hard to bring down further without mass uptake of solar, onshore wind, battery storage and electric vehicles.

Electric buses are starting to come into play, there are already routes that are purely run by electric buses in London, and after successful trials at Holborn electric double decker bus orders have been made.

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Sub Level

Oct 25, 2017
USA 2016 vs 2017 Consumption By Fuel Category

Oil: Up
Natural Gas: Down
Coal: Down
Nuclear: Virtually Unchanged
Hydro: Up
Wind/Solar/Bio: Up


Oct 31, 2017
...and Canada's just going to keep increasing, with Doug Ford scrapping all the progress that had been made in Ontario.
The Ontario Conservative Party eliminating cap and trade is a big step backwards. And they appear to have no economic incentive environmental policy to reduce carbon to replace it.
The feds might have to step in.
The first act of the Ford government was a direct snub to Trudeau's agenda on climate change: cancelling Ontario's cap and trade system for reducing carbon emissions.
But for the next move, Trudeau wields a hammer: unless Ford presents his own carbon pricing plan to Ottawa by Sept. 1, the federal government will impose its $20/tonne carbon tax effective Jan. 1.

BP supporting carbon pricing was a surprise. Gives a bit more faith in these statistics.
Oct 26, 2017
Boy, if you would know the amount corruption in the big companies and government that is impeding the use of renewable energies like use of solar cells in Spain...


Nov 1, 2017
Wait a minute BP oil is a source for this?

Wouldnt the EPA be a better source for this kind of metric?


Oct 25, 2017
Graph is misleading.

When the US and China are by far the biggest contributors it's easy to be one of the biggest reducers if you're counting by tonnage. Arrange it by rates relative to production and see where the US lands then.


Oct 27, 2017
Oil companies do tons of environmental studies. An oil company doing this study shouldn't be surprising, nor does it negate the data.
Just because BP did it doesn't invalidate the findings. These results are still very good. We should be cutting down on CO2 emissions.
The countries listed just seem kinda suspect... . Most pro Trump countries have reductions while the anti Trump ones have increases... . It being named BP Oil doesn't help either as anything from Oil companies should be taken with a giant mountain of salt. Sorry if people don't take Oil companies by their word. =x