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Oil companies are using our atmosphere as ‘an open sewer’ - 23rd January


Fossil fuels must remain unburned which will lead to the transition of clean energy easier.  Under the Chatham House rule, in a private conservation with one of the most senior industry leaders, they insisted that we are going to burn all of the world’s hydrocarbons despite the consequences.

The industry leader defended this statement by suggesting that a growing population in the developing world needs energy to raise living standards and that renewables will not become a dominant energy source till the end of the century.

The burning of all reserves would almost certainly lead to temperature rises of up to 4C, but the industry leader has argued that the best way forward is to focus on limiting the damage through such technologies as carbon capture and storage.  Shell supported this last May, stating that with energy demand growing, the world would need oil and gas for many decades to come and they do not expect to have any stranded assets, or reserves that cannot be tapped.

Al Gore believes that 80% of coal and two thirds of oil must be left untouched if we are to remain within a 2C temperature rise.  He quoted former oil minister in Saudi Arabiam Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, “The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil”.

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