Greenhouse gases by dla17169


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									Greenhouse gases

The greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is a key                                                    Emissions from human activity are very probably the cause of
component of the climate system                                                   observable manifestations of climate change, and have the
                                                                                  potential to create long-term climate disruption1.
The Earth’s surface absorbs approximately 50% of the radiant                      Due to worldwide economic growth, particularly in newly
energy emitted by the Sun, then reflects that energy in the form                  industrialized countries, greenhouse gas emissions could rise
of heat – infrared radiation – a portion of which is absorbed by                  by nearly 50% by 2030. Estimates indicate that the emissions
the clouds and certain atmospheric gases. Together, clouds and                    from developing countries, primarily China and India, will soon
gases act as a “lid” that re-emits the thermal energy back                        exceed those of Europe and North America.
toward the Earth, heating the lower atmosphere.
                                                                                  It is therefore imperative to find ways to unbundle economic
Although it involves a mere 1% of atmospheric gases (by mass),                    growth from greenhouse gas emissions, in both developing and
this process (known as the “greenhouse effect”) ensures that                      OECD countries. But revamping our energy infrastructure will
the temperature at the Earth’s surface is held relatively stable at               take several decades – which means now is the time to act.
a level necessary to the presence of water in the liquid state:
15°C (rather than -18°C). Keeping it in balance is therefore vital.
                                                                                                      World energy-related GHG by region
In terms of quantity, water vapor is the most prevalent green-
                                                                                             Mt CO2
house gas (GHG) and is responsible for nearly 60% of the                                 20,000

greenhouse effect. Other gases present in the atmosphere in
trace quantities play an important role because of the intensity                         16,000

of their greenhouse effect.
This is especially true of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and                       12,000

nitrous oxide (N2O), but ozone (O3) and man-made gases such as
fluorinated hydrocarbons (CFC, HFC) also play a part. The greater                         8,000
the gas’s tendency to absorb infrared radiation and the longer
its residence time in the atmosphere, the more it contributes to the
greenhouse effect. For example, the global warming potential of
methane is twenty-one times greater than that of carbon dioxide.
                                                                                              1970       1980      1990         2000       2010        2020            2030

         The mechanisms of the greenhouse effect                                                     OECD        Transition economies
                                                                                                     Developing countries
                                                                                                                                                              Source: IEA
        The atmosphere                solar radiation             Outer space
        reflects 6%
        of solar radiation                                     8%     32%
                                       The atmosphere
                                       absorbs 13%                                                     Main carbon exchanges and sinks
                                       of solar
        Clouds reflect                                     76%
                                                                 Atmosphere                                     Atmosphere        750 Gt + 3.5 Gt/yr
        23% of solar
                                                                                                                                  1.6 Gt/yr
                                                  16%                                                                                                               1.75 Gt/yr

        The oceans and                                                62%                    Natural
        ground reflect 9%                                                                 exchanges                            3.5 Gt/yr                      Human
        of solar radiation                                                                 150 Gt/yr                                                          activity
                                              The Earth re-emits                                                                                              7 Gt/yr
                                              all the radiation absorbed
        The Earth’s surface absorbs           in the form of infrared radiation                                           1.75 Gt/yr
        49% of solar radiation                                                                                                                Forests    600 Gt
                                                                                                     Surface ocean layers                        Soils
                                                                                                           1,000 Gt                             2,000 Gt
                                                                                                     Deep ocean layers                             Deep
                                                                                                         40,000 Gt                                aquifers

Human activity, the main cause of
rising atmospheric concentrations                                                 1
                                                                                      Source: Summary for Policy Makers, IPCC 2007
of greenhouse gases

Currently, human activity is responsible for about 30 Gt/year of
CO2-equivalent emissions – some from agriculture, livestock, and
deforestation, but most from the combustion of fossil fuels. The
planet’s capacity to absorb those emissions appears limited to
about half of the total quantity, absorbed mainly by the oceans.
Although the surplus emissions account for a mere 2% of the
exchanges that take place between atmosphere, oceans and
plants, the gases build up in the atmosphere, where they may
remain for several decades and in some cases, even centuries.
Climate change

Atmospheric concentrations                                                                                                 simulation studies, are shedding more light on the range of
of GHG are rising steadily                                                                                                 possible scenarios and the impacts of climate phenomena on a
                                                                                                                           more regional scale.
Observations show that the atmospheric concentration of CO2
has risen from an average 280 ppm (parts per million) over the                                                                                                                                      Radiative forcing* components
last century to 380 ppm in 2006 (in other words, 380 molecules                                                                                                                                                                         * Positive forcing tends to warm the Earth’s surface
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     while negative forcing tends to cool it.
of CO2 for every million molecules of air), and continues to rise
                                                                                                                                                                                       RF Term                                                                                                                                                                                                   Spatial scale
by 1 to 3 ppm per year. For many scientists, the fact that such
a rate of increase is unparalleled in the last 650,000 years no                                                                                                                                                                                        CO2                                                                                                                                                               Global
longer leaves any room for doubt as to the essentially man-made                                                                                                                   greenhouse gases                                                                                        N2O
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               CH4                                        Halocarbons                                                                                                                    Global
causes of the increase.
Meanwhile, records show that the average global temperature                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Continental
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ozone                  Stratospheric                       Tropospheric
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  to global

                                                                                                                           An th ropogen ic
has risen by about 0.8°C since 1850.
                                                                                                                                                                                Stratospheric water
                                                                                                                                                                                     vapor from CH4                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Global

Atmospheric concentration of CO2 over the past 10,000 years                                                                                                                            Surface albedo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Land use                                                                                                                                                                Local to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Black carbon                                                                                                                                     continental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                on snow
                                                                    400                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Continental
                                                                                                                                                                                              Direct effect                                                                                                                                                                                       to global
                                                                    350                                                                                                                       Cloud albedo                                                                                                                                                                                       Continental
                                                                                                                                                                                              effect                                                                                                                                                                                              to global
                                                                                                Radiative forcing (Wm-2)

  Carbon dioxide (ppm)

                                                                    300                                                                                                                Linear contrails                                                                                                                                                                                          Continental

                                                                                                                                                                                       Solar irradiance                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Global
                                    1,800       1,900       2,000

                                                                                                                                                                                                              -2             -1            0                            1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Radiative forcing (W m-2)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Source: SPM IPCC 2007


                                                                                                                           Foreseeable consequences
                                                                                                                           of global warming
                           10,000                       5,000                    0
                                            Times (years before the present)
                                                                                                                           The Earth could warm by as much as 1.1° to 6.4°C by 2100, as
                                                                               Source: SPM IPCC 2007                       sea levels rise by 18 to 59 centimeters2. The rise in temperature
                                                                                                                           is likely to trigger more marked hydrological contrasts – more
Of course, the Earth has undergone climate change of much                                                                  acute droughts and more severe flood events.
greater magnitude at other times in its history, but such changes                                                          Ultimately, the very stability of the climate system could be
always occurred over a longer time span. Indeed, for the past                                                              jeopardized.
12,000 years, the Earth’s climate has been remarkably stable, a
                                                                                                                           Climate changes manifest at the regional level would have
factor that helped human societies to emerge and flourish.
                                                                                                                           varying social and ecological consequences depending on the
The rate and accelerating pace of current changes thus appear                                                              geographical location and adaptive capacity of the region.
to be without precedent.

                                                                                                                                                                                 Range of rise in the global average temperature
                                                                                                                                                                                             as predicted by models
The significance of climate change                                                                                                                                                                                                  Best estimate (solid bar) and likely
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    range assessed for the six scenarios

                                                                                                                                                                                                      A2 scenario
Today, the entire scientific community agrees that climate change,                                                                                                                                    A1B scenario
                                                                                                                                                                                                      B1 scenario
particularly the rise in global temperatures observed since 1850,                                                                                                               5.0                   Constant concentration/2000
                                                                                                                                                                                                      20th century
                                                                                                                                              Gl ob al s urface warm ing (°C)

is primarily related to human activity. Naturally, uncertainties
remain, and today’s models, despite their increasing sophistication,
have not yet provided a full explanation for natural fluctuations                                                                                                               3.0

over brief time spans (from a decade to a century), or for the                                                                                                                  2.0

complex linkages between cloud cover and aerosols.


Similarly, it is still difficult to predict future climate changes because
of the extreme complexity, and insufficient understanding, of the
mechanisms of climate regulation (such as ocean absorption of                                                                                                                   -1.0

CO2, the impact of aerosols, etc.).
                                                                                                                                                                                       1900                          2000                            2100
However, the development of more sophisticated models and                                                                                                                                                            Ye ar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Source: SPM IPCC 2007
more powerful computers, coupled with a growing number of
                                                                                                                                  Source: Summary for Policy Makers, IPCC 2007
The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto mechanisms                                                                 To ensure the reliability of the system, the European Commission
                                                                                     has adopted:
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change                            • GHG emissions Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV)
(UNFCCC) and the ensuing Kyoto Protocol form the international                       guidelines involving third-party verifications of the emissions
legal framework and first steps toward addressing the long-term                      reported by each installation,
problem of climate change.
                                                                                     • rules for harmonized EU-wide implementation of the national
The Protocol lays down greenhouse gas emissions reduction                            registries for recording the issuance, transfer and return of quotas.
targets for the period 2008-2012, applicable only to industrialized
countries, and sets out so-called “flexibility mechanisms” for                       A harmonization and an extension of the scope of application
attaining those objectives, with rules for monitoring.                               are planned for the second period (2008-2012).

To meet those goals, the Protocol thus provides three mechanisms
to be implemented in addition to measures at the national level:                                               GHG emissions in Europe in 2003
                                                                                                                compared to the Kyoto targets
• emissions trading among signatory parties
                                                                                               EU-25                                                                  -4.2
• clean development mechanisms (CDM) between industrialized                                    EU-15                                                                                       1.9
countries (so-called “Annex 1 Parties”) and non-Annex 1 Parties,                             Slovenia                                                                                       3.3
                                                                                             Slovakia                                               -23
to promote the transfer of the most effective emissions reduction                             Poland                                        -28.2
technologies in line with sustainable development                                            Lithuania -61
                                                                                               Latvia          -53.3
• joint implementation projects (JI) among Annex 1 Parties.                                  Hungary                                          -28
                                                                                              Estonia                   -45.6
                                                                                       Czech Republic                                                -19.1
       Kyoto Protocol ratification status – June 2007                                     Luxembourg                                                              -8.6
                                                                                       United Kingdom                                                                -5.2
                                                                                              Sweden                                                                 -5.0
                                                                                             Germany                                                                  -4.8
                                                                                               France                                                                   -1.9
                                                                                          Netherlands                                                                    -1.4
                                                                                             Belgium                                                                                       1.8
                                                                                              Greece                                                                                             7
                                                                                                    Italy                                                                                              10.8
                                                                                               Ireland                                                                                                  12.3
                                                                                             Denmark                                                                                                      15.8
                                                                                             Portugal                                                                                                        19.1
                                                                                               Austria                                                                                                       19.2
                                                                                              Finland                                                                                                         21
                                                                                               Spain                                                                                                                   26.3
                                                                                                           -65 -60 -55 -50 -45 -40 -35 -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5                        0      5     10 15 20 25 30 35

          Annex 1 Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol                                                                                                                                                               %
          Annex 1 Parties that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol                  The result +1.9% means that EU-15 had 1.9% more emissions in 2003 than it should
          Non-Annex 1 Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol                  have had in order to meet its commitments for the period 2008-2012.
                                                      Source: based on UNFCCC data

• The Protocol calls for Annex 1 Parties to reduce their GHG emissions by
5.2% between 1990 and the period 2008-2012.                                                                 Price of a CO2 emissions quota (EUA)
• The Protocol entered into force on February 16, 2005.                                             7/t
As of June 6, 2007, 175 Member States and organizations for regional                           30
economic integration had deposited their instruments of ratification,                          26
accession, approval or acceptance. Neither Australia nor the United States                     24
has ratified the Protocol.                                                                     20
The first international carbon                                                                  4

emissions market                                                                                0
                                                                                                Jun-        Aug-     Oct-   Dec-     Feb-   Apr-    Jun-   Aug-      Oct      Dec-       Feb-     Apr-      Jun-     Aug-
                                                                                                 05          05       05     05       06     06      06     06       06        06         07       07        07       07

                                                                                                            December 2007 - EU ETS 1                       December 2008 - EU ETS 2                                  Spot
The European Union Emission Trading Scheme, which creates a
market for the CO2 emissions quotas allocated to industrial sectors
relevant to the major emitters, has been in operation since January 1,                              Evolution of CO2 quota / CDM credit* prices
2005 (Directive 2003/87/EC). The Scheme helps the EU control                                                                          (Traded in London)
its emissions in order get a head start on its targets under the                                 7/t
                                                                                                                                                             * CDMs trade at a discount of 75% to 95% to EUAs.
Kyoto Protocol for 2008-2012. The initial phase of implementation
of the ETS thus covers a three-year period from 2005 to 2007
and concerns only those CO2 emissions from a limited number of                                 27

industrial sectors in EU-27, representing a total of about 11,500                              24

installations. Each Member State issues an allowance to emit CO2                               21

and allocates a certain number of emissions quotas (EUAs) to                                   18

individual industrial installations. Each year, the operator of each                           15

installation must return the number of quotas that corresponds                                 12

to the reported and verified emissions from his installation.
                                                                                                    Jul.     Sept.      Nov.       Jan.     Mar.     May      Jul.         Sept.         Nov.        Jan.     Mar.
The allocated quantities of CO2 are capped and published in the                                     05        05        05         06       06       06       06            06           06          07       07

National Allocation Plans. Enterprises may choose to invest in                                              CO2 quota prices                               CDM credit prices

emissions-reduction technologies and actions, or purchase any                                                                                                                      Source: Total Gas & Power Limited
missing quotas on the market, at market price.
Total’s commitment

Even as it pursues the growth of its activities, Total is determined to contribute to the global drive to combat climate change. The Group
situates its efforts for the long term within the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol and will pursue actions already undertaken to meet its voluntary
goals for controlling its greenhouse gas emissions.

Initiatives under way                                                                                     GHG achievements and targets at Total

Total made a commitment to control its GHG emissions and has                                                       Achievements
                                                                                               Branch                at end-2006                     Next steps
taken numerous initiatives to bring it closer to this goal. These                                                (compared to 1990 baseline)

initiatives focus on four objectives:                                                                                               Reduce flaring of associated
                                                                                              Exploration         39% reduction per
                                                                                                                                    gas by 50% by 2012, compared
• improving the reliability of emissions data in terms of inventory,                          & Production           unit produced to 2005
reporting and external verification;                                                                                               Reduce the Group’s Energy
                                                                                              Refining           17% reduction per Intensity Index (EII) by 8 points
• controlling the GHG emissions generated by Group facilities;                                & Marketing           Mt processed by 2012, compared to 2004
• enhancing the energy efficiency of Total products and processes
                                                                                                                  22% reduction in Improve energy efficiency of
through:                                                                                      Chemicals
                                                                                                                    absolute value
                                                                                                                                   steam crackers by 13% by 2011,
                                                                                                                                   compared to 2005
  - programs to improve energy efficiency3 in the various branches
                                                                                                                                 Hold the carbon content of
  of the Group,                                                                               Gaz & Power         293 kg CO2/MWh electricity generated below
                                                                                              (equity share)
                                                                                                                                 350 kg/MWh
  - actions offering broad scope for improvement, such as stepping
  up the efforts of the Exploration & Production branch to reduce
  the flaring4 of associated gases at all operated sites by 50%
  by 2012;
                                                                                             European carbon market
  - products that emit less greenhouse gas over their life cycle
                                                                                             The first phase of the system applies to 39 of the Group’s industrial
  (new motor fuels such as Excellium, energy-efficient lubri-
                                                                                             sites. In organizational terms, each branch has one or more
  cants and engineered materials) and innovative services to
                                                                                             “industrial counters” that coordinate the operational aspects
  curb energy consumption (e.g., the “Solutions Eco-Déclic”
                                                                                             related to the obligations of each entity and assess their options
  energy-saving offering by Totalgaz);
                                                                                             in the event of emissions surpluses or shortfalls compared to
• preparing the future of energy (see opposite).
                                                                                             allocated quotas. A trading entity at Group level acts as an
                                                                                             expert with respect to the trading system, while a coordination
                          GHG emissions (six gases)                                          committee optimizes the management of the system as a whole.
                        57.8 million tCO2-eq./yr in 2006
                                                                                             Participation in the definition of voluntary agreements
                                                                                             in France and the European Union





                                                                                             As a member of Aeres, an association of businesses working to



                                                                                             reduce the greenhouse effect, Total’s Refining and Chemicals
                                                                                             branches as well as 34 other companies took part in the
                                                                                             development of the French system of voluntary commitments to
                                                                                             curb GHG emissions. The companies’ voluntary commitments are




                                                                                             confined to installations in France and target the six greenhouse

                                                                                             gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol for the period 2003-2007

                                                                                                                                                                                  Layout and printing: Sagadesign - English adaptation: Audrey Frank - Printed on fully recycled paper
                                                                                             (compared to the reference year, 1990).
        2004     2005     2006     2004   2005   2006          2004     2005   2006
                                                                                             Clean Development Mechanism
               Upstream                Downstream                     Chemicals
                                                                                             The Group’s projects in non-OECD countries incorporate the
                                                            Source: Total CSR report, 2006
                                                                                             Clean Development Mechanism.

                                                                                             Participation in future energy transitions
Total is also involved in the efforts of the international scientific
                                                                                             To prepare the longer-term energy future, Total is developing
community to gain better understanding of climate change
                                                                                             research programs that focus on new industrial equipment and
phenomena. In particular, the Group is backing the expedition to
                                                                                             processes characterized by lower emissions. It is also working to
the North Pole by the Total Pole Airship to be led by Jean-Louis
                                                                                             develop renewable energies (essentially biomass energy and
Etienne in Spring 2008. The measurements of the Arctic ice pack
                                                                                             solar power) and hydrogen/fuel-cell technology5. Finally, Total
to be taken during the mission will provide a new benchmark, to
                                                                                             contributes actively to the emergence of other new technologies
be used in future assessments of the climate impact of human
                                                                                             such as CO2 capture and geological storage6, particularly
                                                                                             through its key role in developing a demonstration pilot for an
                                                                                             integrated CO2 capture and storage installation in the Lacq
                                                                                             region (France).

                                                                                             3, 5, 6
                                                                                                   For more information on these topics, please refer to the other Road Maps of
                                                                                             this Climate Change series.

  Crude oil production is always accompanied by the production of associated gas, for
which no easy storage and transport solution is available. When there is no opportunity                                                        Read more:
for use or other means of reclamation of the gas at the site itself, it is flared off.
                                                                                                                                                         November 2007

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