Setting the record straight on the day’s top anti-oil and gas media stories
ACTIVIST CLAIM: U.N. boss echoes activist talking points that we need to get rid of oil and gas immediately to save the planet and billions of lives get to net-zero after new International Panel on Climate Change report.
THE FACTS: We need to reduce emissions, but reducing reliable energy won’t solve the problem.
Secretary-General Calls Latest IPCC Climate Report ‘Code Red for Humanity’, Stressing ‘Irrefutable’ Evidence of Human Influence
Here are some talking points and sources to have a reasonable conversation about the IPCC report:
- The IPCC report does not call for the end of oil and gas. It also does not take into account the feasibility or likelihood of individual climate scenarios and it is not part of the assessment. The report is about the climate response to a large range of emissions scenarios. Most activists cite the highest emissions scenario that the IPCC says is unlikely.
- The U.N. General Secretary claims that the IPCC report should be the death knell for fossil fuels worldwide, but that goes against reality. For example, China is building a new coal power plant each week as it brings hundreds of millions of its citizens out of poverty. No country trying to develop its quality of life would give up reliable energy.
- It is highly inhumane to the 1.2 billion people who lack basic infrastructure and access to energy by blocking reliable energy. The fastest way to decrease energy poverty and overall poverty is to end all favoritism of different types of energy sources. Favoring responsible energy producers of all types, from natural gas to wind, will help us solve the energy crisis and fight climate change.
- Most reports, including the International Energy Agency and OPEC, show that demand is in fact increasing globally, especially in non-OECD countries. The U.N. also estimates that the population will be growing to almost 10 billion by 2050. This means that the world will need responsible producers of energy like Canada, with our best in the world environmental performance, to supply increasing demand while reducing net global emissions.
- The U.N. Secretary-General assumes that increasing should solar and wind capacity needs to quadruple and renewable energy investments should triple to maintain a net-zero trajectory by mid-century.
There is a massive materials problem for renewables. The International Energy Agency found that a global energy transition plan would result in demand for minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel, and rare-earth metals rising by 4,200%, 2,500%, 1,900%, and 700%, respectively, by 2040. This would require mining around the world at a historically unprecedented scale requiring new discoveries and technology to manage the massive environmental and social impacts.
- Climate change is a major global issue, but some perspective is needed on its actual impacts. For every million people on earth, annual deaths from climate-related causes (extreme temperature, drought, flood, storms, wildfires) declined 98%–from an average of 247 per year during the 1920s to 2.5 in per year during the 2010s. We need reliable energy to keep those impacts low.
- If we’re going to reduce emissions, we will need to use circular economy technologies like carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration, which groups like the International Energy Agency see as “offering the potential to contribute – directly or indirectly – to emissions reductions in almost all parts of the global energy system,” including for sustainable oil and gas.
Stories that get it right
The world still needs fossil fuels:’ Canada’s oilpatch sees future for the industry despite ‘death knell’ warning
Aside from the calls of activists and certain politicians, the oil and gas indsutry is still very much in demand across the world. Industry has adapted to the new era of reducing emissions. Canada can have the potential to keep supplying reliable energy with true net-zero technology.