If you are like me, and concerned about the possibility that rising CO₂ levels in the atmosphere are jeopardising climate stability, the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy makes for sobering reading.
BP’s Statistical Review provides a comprehensive update on energy resource production and consumption by country, region and the world. In the latest update released mid June, BP estimates that global energy consumption grew by 2.5% in 2011. That is pretty much in keeping with the long-term trend, so nothing exceptional in that.
However, the figures on coal production are truly mind-boggling.
BP estimates that in 2011 global coal production increased by an extraordinary 440 million tonnes. In absolute terms, that is the biggest annual increase on record. At 6% over the year, it comes on top of a 5% increase in 2010, and tops off what has been a phenomenal 10-year increase in annual production of almost 3 billion tonnes at an annual average growth rate of 4.6%.