We asked the EIA and this is what they said:
Each year we review the underlying consumption data for petroleum, natural gas, and coal and the flaring data for natural gas and make any necessary revisions. These, in turn, affect our CO2 emissions estimates. I think that most of the change for China was due to revisions to our coal consumption data. Coal consumption is a calculated value based on production, imports, exports, and stock change and when measured in Btus is also affected by the types of coal consumed (i.e. anthracite, bituminous, and lignite). Data for the most recent year are often preliminary and most subject to revision but data for earlier years are also often revised.
Of course, these aren’t all emissions – just consumption of engergy, which accounts for 60% of the total. But they give a good picture of what is going on.
Because of the interest, the EIA are going to come up with 2008 figures at the end of this year or early 2010. Then we will see exactly how fast China has grown. In the meantime, as we countdown to Copenhagen, these figures will become even more important.
We’ve added in the %-change since 1990 – the Kyoto benchmark. What can you do with the numbers?
Download the full data