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The world and the oil and gas industry need to start tackling in earnest climate change, Spencer Dale, group chief economist at supermajor BP, told The Washington Post in an interview published on Tuesday.
“All the climate arguments are real, urgent and important,” Dale told The Washington Post’s Dino Grandoni.
The longer the industry and the world wait until they start addressing carbon emissions, the more “draconian” changes the global economy will see in the future, according to BP’s chief economist.
In its annual BP Energy Outlook published last month, BP said that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of energy in the world through 2040, penetrating the energy system “more quickly than any fuel in history” to become the largest source of power by 2040. Renewables are expected to account for some two-thirds of the rise in power generation globally, and their share in the global power sector will grow to around 30 percent by 2040, up from around 10 percent now, according to the BP Energy Outlook.
Despite the forecast that peak oil demand could come in the 2030s, BP noted that under all scenarios oil will continue to play a significant role in the global energy system by 2040. Moreover, “significant levels of investment are required for there to be sufficient supplies of oil to meet demand in 2040,” BP said, adding that “In all scenarios, trillions of dollars of investment in oil is needed.”
Related: Major Breakthrough Could “Turn Back The Emissions Clock”
However, the outlook also noted that “Global carbon emissions continue to rise, signaling the need for a comprehensive set of policy measures to achieve a substantial reduction in carbon emissions.”
“Polices aimed at the power sector are central to achieving a material reduction in carbon emissions over the next 20 years…most of the low-hanging fruit in terms of reducing carbon emissions is outside of the transport sector,” Dale said in the press release accompanying the outlook’s launch.
A few weeks before publishing the energy outlook, BP said that it would support a call from a group of institutional investors to expand its carbon emissions reporting and to describe how BP’s strategy is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in yet another pledge by Big Oil to start taking investor demands on climate action seriously.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.