Governments make plans, but they may not hold for unforeseen developments. Take the case of Japan (Fig. 25).

Japan is today more dependent upon fossil fuels than earlier due to the debacle with its nuclear energy program. Could it not happen elsewhere too? When forced, governments will turn back to the fossil fuels, as for them economic growth trumps the environment. After all, nations are brutally egoistic, at least according to standard teachings in international relations.


Countries may rely upon petroleum and gas mainly—see Iran (Fig. 26). CO2 emissions have generally followed economic development in this giant country, although there seems to be a planning out recently, perhaps due to the international sanctions against its economy.

Energy for electricity in Japan. Source EIA

Fig. 25 Energy for electricity in Japan. Source EIA

Iran GDP-CO link y = 1.2229x - 4.91; R = 0.98

Fig. 26 Iran GDP-CO2 link y = 1.2229x - 4.91; R2 = 0.98

Iran is together with Russia and Qatar the largest owner of natural gas deposits. But despite using coal in very small amounts, its CO2 emissions are high. Natural gas pollute less than oil and coal, but if released unburned it is very dangerous as a greenhouse gas. Iran relies upon its enormous resources of gas and oil (Fig. 27).

Iran needs foreign exchange to pay for all its imports of goods and services. Using nuclear power at home and exporting more oil and gas would no doubt be profitable for the country. And it would also help Iran with the COP21 goals achievement, or decarbonisation. Oil producing countries with economic difficulties like e.g. Venezuela and Saudi Arabia may renege upon the radical decarbonisation plan of the UN.

Fig. 27 Iran energy mix. Source EIA

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