energy is still only 9% of the energy supply in the OECD area. Overall energy
supply has risen 26%, driven in large part by a 17% rise in demand from the
transport sector, with more cars on the road every day. The increase in vehicles
has offset the gains from more fuel-efficient engines. However, a new report
reveals big differences in how OECD countries are faring and it shows headway
overall in breaking the link between economic growth and environmental damage,
with a 25% average drop since 1990 in the amount of energy needed to create a
unit of GDP.
Yet per capita
energy use is still not falling fast enough to safeguard natural resources for a
growing and ever more demanding population. The overall energy mix has barely
changed in two decades, with an 80% reliance on fossil fuels in the OECD bloc.
at a Glance 2013
energy intensity between countries are wide (from 0.09 to 0.54 per unit of GDP)
because of differing economic structures, population trends, geography, energy
resources and policies, but the upshot is that people in OECD countries are
still emitting 10 tonnes of CO₂ each
per year versus 4 tonnes in the rest of the world.
On a positive
note, the OECD area has slashed emissions of sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide by
69% and 36% since 1990. Overall forest cover has remained stable at 30% of land,
although there are big differences in individual countries. The bloc as a whole
is still struggling to reduce municipal waste.
essentially confirms that much more needs to be done to break the link between
economic growth and environmental damage, and to safeguard the natural resource
base on which human welfare and economic activity depends.
The Paris based Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development is a think-tank for 34 mainly developed countries.
OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European
Commission takes part in the work of the OECD.
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