ExxonMobil Predict Gloomy Future on CO2 Emissions

THE WORLD’S largest oil company, ExxonMobil, predicts global CO2 emissions to rise by nearly 25 percent in the next 20 years, according to the company's annual Outlook for Energy report.

The report, due to be published in the next few weeks, makes the startling claim which in effect, states the UK’s Guardian newspaper, dismisses hopes that runaway climate change can be arrested and massive loss of life prevented.

The report states that the demand for power will increase by almost 40 percent over the next 20 years, raising greenhouse gas emission levels to around 0.9 percent a year until 2030.

The report also warns that beyond 2030 any progress on cuts will require "more aggressive gains in energy efficiency as well as the use of less carbon-intensive fuels. New technologies will by then be essential.".

The report, which was previewed at the World Future Energy conference in Abu Dhabi, also said: "It is a significant rise, but it is substantially slower because of improved efficiency and a shift towards lower carbon fuels."

These projections are far darker than public statements by governments and scientists, who generally maintain that global emissions can be reduced significantly with catastrophic climate change averted if action is taken for them to reach their "peak" in the next 10 years.

The Guardian comments: “According to the UK Met Office, if emissions rises can be stopped by 2020 and then be made to reduce by 1-2 percent a year, the planet could be expected to warm 2.1C to 3.7C this century, with the rise continuing even higher after 2100.”

“But Exxon, which until 10 years ago was sceptical that climate change could be even caused by man-made emissions, said emissions will continue to rise significantly with very little reduction in fossil fuel use.”

Exxon’s report explains: "In 2030, fossil fuels remain the predominant energy source, accounting for nearly 80 percent of demand. Oil still leads, but natural gas moves into second place on very strong growth of 1.8 percent a year on average, particularly because of its position as a favoured fuel for power generation.

"Other energy types – particularly nuclear, wind, solar and biofuels – will grow sharply, albeit from a smaller base. Nuclear and renewable fuels will see strong growth, particularly in the power-generation sector. By 2030, about 40 percent of the world's electricity will be generated by nuclear and renewable fuels."

Exxon, surprisingly, do not state what they expect global oil output to be in 2030, but they do suggest that U.S. demand will be around 1960 levels, signifying that the U.S. will have reduced its dependency on foreign oil considerably.

What the report does say is that future CO2 emissions growth will predominately center on China, India and other developing, or non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

"Non-OECD countries' emissions surpassed OECD emissions in 2004; by 2030, non-OECD countries will account for two-thirds of the global total. Meanwhile, OECD emissions will decline by about 15% on today's figure, and by 2030 will be down to 1980 levels."

Friday 21st January 2011


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