vendredi 21 novembre 2014

Smog around climate change

First there was on November 12th, 2014 this US-China climate agreement setting targets for CO2 emissions out to the year 2030. Then on November 19th, 2014, China announced a cap on annual coal consumption at 4.2 billion tonnes in seven years (it was 3.61 billion tonnes last year). Has China become a true GHG fighter and save the planet from climate change?
Maybe that is not so clear...because of the smog issue!
Because what matters for China is smog (do notice that it tends to discourage foreigners from living there and consequently, a new French campus in Beijing will be equipped with pumped purified air, see SCMP 20th-11-2014 A5). In some way, fighting against smog may well be consistent with fighting against climate change...but it does not perfectly fit: in the same plan released by the State Council as the one requiring a cap on coal (the enemy number one because its burning is the main responsible for smog) there are tasks set out to develop new and existing oil fields in nine regions where there are proven reserves ... and a call for foreign bids on deep-sea offshore projects and for R&D on deep-sea oil discovery and technology.
So the interesting question is: will China pursuing the goal of smog mitigation help reaching the goal of climate change mitigation?

For more details on China's plan:

vendredi 14 novembre 2014

Why is there shale gas exploitation in the US and not elsewhere?

I attended some times ago a lecture by Professor Mason (Director of Oak Ridge National LaboratoryU.S. Department of Energy )  on “Science technology for the energy challenge”. I was very surprised to hear explaining the reasons why shale gas is very developed in US and Canada but nowhere else. I am sure French people will appreciate: the first reason is that… it is a very complicated technology and US industry has a better understanding of it! Then comes the issues of the mineral rights for exploitation and finally…the existence of some challenges for water use but…there are some solution and anyway “ No form of energy comes free of environmental consequences” (he thought it was then time for a comparison with windmills people sometimes do not like to see...). For a video of Prof. Mason lecture, go to :

His interesting answer about shale gas is at 1.18.