Oil and Gas Climate Initiative

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative has published a Joint Collaboritive Declaration and their 2015 report “More energy – lower emissions: Catalyzing practical action climate change.

This initiative has 10 major oil and gas companies as members. Together they produce about 10% of the world’s energy.

The basic idea: They recognize that global warming is a real problem. And they think that their industry needs to be part of the solution.

I completely agree.

On the other hand, the solutions they explain in their report do not include restricting supply.

They discuss topics like shifting from coal to gas, reducing flaring and methane leakage, increasing energy efficiency, and carbon capture and storage.

All of these are important. As their report states, 10 percent of energy related CO2 emissions would disappear if coal were completely replaced with gas for electricity generation (there are no coal companies in this initiative).

But even in their section on long term strategies there is no discussion on how it would effect the price of their product if the politicians start imposing supply limits (hint: all things equal, prices would go up).

And there is no discussion of a future where everything they sell is either feedstock for the chemical industry or CO2 neutral (by either having carbon  capture and storage or offsetting all CO2 emissions by equivalent removal, for example with olivine).

Again, my idea for the transition to a energy system free of CO2 emissions (an idea that leads to large extra profits for the fossil fuel industry): Reduce supply faster than it would be reduced anyway, with cartels like the OPEC and the Texas Railroad Commission. Actively lobby for legislation that requires supply reductions, since that avoids antitrust problems and leaves the problem of enforcement to someone else.

In other words, join forces with Bill McKibben and his 350.org initiative. Then lean back and enjoy the higher oil and gas prices that necessarily come with that policy.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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