Countries across the globe appear to have become more energy efficient in the past 25 years, a new study from the United States Energy Information Administration shows. The ratings, measured in energy intensity, show that wealthy, industrialized nations and less affluent regions have increased efficiencies with fuel and building energy standards, as well as an increased reliance on services instead of manufacturing. Countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), of which the United States, Japan, Canada and European countries are members, have the lowest levels of energy intensity. Non-OECD countries, including India, Mexico and China, also collectively increased their efficiency, or moved more away from energy intensive industries, during that decade and a half. Energy intensity is ratio of the amount of energy required to produce a unit of gross domestic product (GDP).
Proven approaches for limiting climate change include enhancing energy efficiency, capturing wind and solar energy, decreasing deforestation, and reducing industrial and agricultural emissions. These approaches are increasingly cost-competitive, consistent with large-scale use, and largely supported by public sentiment. Yet, the current pace of their deployment is far from sufficient for holding warming well below 2 C above preindustrial levels with high probability, the goal of the Paris Agreement. Two approaches for bridging this gap are widely discussed. First, the rate of decarbonization could be accelerated based on the above approaches.
Smug eco-warriors may think they're curbing global warming with their vegan diets, charged-up Teslas, and rooftop solar panels. He should know: The pessimistic professor has been studying sea ice for nearly 50 years. "Reducing our emissions is not going to be enough to prevent catastrophic consequences," he says. In his scorching new book, A Farewell to Ice, he presents a slew of radical--and sometimes theoretical--ways to save civilization. One way to reverse global warming would be to hoover up the greenhouse gases that are now making Earth all hot and bothered.