Percentage of Women in National Parliaments.
Reblogged from I Love Charts.
“America strengthened its position as the world leader in wind power in 2009. Having overhauled Germany in 2008, installed wind capacity in the United States grew by 9.9 gigawatts (GW) to reach 35.2GW by the end of last year, according to a new report from the Global Wind Energy Council. But America’s reign could be short-lived as China continues its enormous rate of increase. For the fifth year running China nearly doubled its capacity, adding 13GW of installed power and overtaking Spain in the process. Despite the economic downturn, global cumulative capacity grew by 31%, the highest annual increase for seven years.”
“Peaty wetlands emit about 1.3 billion tonnes of CO2 a year as a result of human activity that drains them and thus exposes them to the oxidative effect of the atmosphere. This figure does not include the effect of fire on dried-up bogs, which can double the amount. That, at least, is the conclusion of a report published by Wetlands International, a lobby group, this week. Drained peat occupies 0.3% of the world’s land surface, but is responsible for 6% of man-made CO2 emissions. Indonesia is the biggest emitter, but richer countries are guilty too. However, the report’s findings contrast with the conclusions of a paper on deforestation also published this week in Nature Geoscience. The conventional figure is that tree-felling causes 20% of man-made CO2 emissions, but the new paper puts that figure at closer to 12%. Together, both studies suggest a change of emphasis may be needed, and that efforts should be made to preserve not just forests, but also bogs. (source)”
Whenever Norway’s extensive social welfare system and high standard of living is discussed, conservatives like to say that they can only afford it because they are sitting on so much oil.
If that’s the case, then why does Sweden have a nearly identical system and standard of living, without much oil at all?
“In its annual “World Development Report” published on Tuesday September 15th, the World Bank notes that they accounted for 64% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels between 1850 and 2005. In 2005 itself, however, this share had fallen to 50%, and middle-income countries such as India and China (now the world’s biggest emitter) accounted for almost half of CO2 emissions and more than half of wider greenhouse-gas emissions. But rich countries’ 1 billion people emit far more on a per person basis compared with the 4.2 billion people who live in middle-income countries.”
Despite appearances regarding Canada’s 1st place spot, it is interesting to note that:
I don’t have data on hand, but it would be interesting to compare with Germany — which is sitting just below the OECD average, and also with Sweden and Australia against Canadian or American figures and factors.
Europe’s democracy deficit from The Economist
“Britain and the Netherlands kicked off the four-day process of electing members for the European Parliament on Thursday June 4th. It is one of the biggest democratic exercises in the world, with over 375m voters in 27 countries. But some voters lack enthusiasm. As the European Union has expanded, turnout has dwindled: from 62% at the first election in 1979 to 45% in 2004. Some blame a general decline in democratic engagement but, aside from countries with compulsory voting such as Belgium, the difference in turnout for national and European parliaments is substantial. And worryingly for Europhiles, turnout is worst in many of the newest members of the club, in eastern Europe.”
The government debt of the ten richest countries attending the G20 summits will hit 114% of GDP by 2014, up from 78% in 2007, according to a new IMF study. To measure how much fiscal pain would be required to bring gross debt ratios to a sustainable level, the IMF looked at demographic pressures and assumed that long-term interest rates exceed economic growth rates by a percentage point (the long-term pre-crisis average) and then calculated by how much primary budget balances would have to improve. The economists define this level as 60% or, for Japan, half of today’s figure (ie, 85%). Their results suggest that Ireland and Japan have most to do. Both would need to boost their primary balances by more than 12% of GDP, compared with what is forecast for 2014. Britain would need an improvement of close to 6%. The gap in America is 3.5% and in Germany just under 2%. (The Economist via sabine)