New Report: Global Tensions Threaten Low-Carbon Future

  • Date: 30/06/16
  • Andrew Ward, Financial Times

Statoil has warned that geopolitical tensions could jeopardise the push to replace coal with low-carbon energy sources — and highlighted the UK’s vote to leave the EU as an example of the risks to international co-operation.

The Norwegian group, Europe’s second-biggest producer of natural gas after Gazprom of Russia, said the shift towards a more volatile multipolar world might lead countries to put greater focus on energy security than tackling climate change.

Eirik Wærness, chief economist of Statoil, said a future characterised by more frequent political crises and growing protectionism would make it harder to achieve global co-operation on reducing carbon emissions. [...]

An era of increased geopolitical rivalry would lead to “growing disagreement about the rules of the game and a decreasing ability to manage crises in the political, economic and environmental arenas”, said the report.

In this scenario, reducing carbon emissions would be a low priority and international agreements of the kind made at the UN climate change conference in Paris last year would be only partially implemented.

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