The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the world’s oil cartel, said in a statement it remained “fully engaged and supportive” of the Paris climate accord.
“OPEC remains fully engaged and supportive of the Paris Agreement,” the 14-nation group said in a statement to United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany. U.N. talks are set to end Friday.
“We believe a global consensus out of the multilateral process remains the best and most inclusive way for all nations to collectively tackle climate change in a fair and equitable manner,” OPEC said.
U.N. delegates have been in Bonn hashing out how to further implement the Paris accord, that went into effect in 2016. Some countries said progress was made, though there are still lingering questions over the $100 billion in funding promised to poor countries.
OPEC said the Paris accord “should appreciate what the term ‘energy transition’ means for those 1.1 billion people in developing countries that continue to suffer from acute energy poverty.”
OPEC’s position is understandable since they are the world’s largest oil cartel, controlling about 44 percent of global production and about three-quarters of known oil reserves. Phasing out oil and gas is not exactly what OPEC wants to hear.
“It should also not discriminate against any energy source,” OPEC said. “The world will continue to need all energy sources now and in the future.”
OPEC’s latest energy outlook projects energy demand growing 35 percent by 2040, and oil is expected to maintain the largest share in terms of meeting people’s daily energy needs. The group expected demand for their products to expand to 41.4 million barrels per day, despite efforts to subsidize and mandate green energy.
That’s basically the exact opposite of what the U.N. wants to happen. The U.N.’s “emissions gap” reports says greenhouse gas emissions need to come down faster to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius by 2100.
Based on current Paris accord commitments, the U.N. projects more than three degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. The U.N. is even pushing for technology to literally suck carbon dioxide out of the air to meet Paris targets.
Of course, OPEC’s concerns about the Paris accord are exactly what other countries have expressed in the past. Poor countries want to be able to grow their economies and improve their standard of living.
This requires fossil fuels. Oil, coal and natural gas are cheap, reliable energy sources to power developing economies.
“The comprehensive implementation of the Paris Agreement should be ‘win-win’ in nature, recognize the diverse priorities and circumstances of all Parties, and contribute to global growth, development and prosperity,” OPEC said.
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