have to live with fossil fuels as the dominant part of the energy
mix for decades," he said during
the launch of Statoil's annual conference.
comments came as international negotiators wrapped up two weeks of
climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. Delegates there managed to reach a
last-minute agreement to
work toward individual targets for carbon dioxide emission
reductions by 2015 but fell short of outlining specific plans for
how and when plans would be assessed.
weeks ago, the World Meteorological Organization said the level of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record in 2012, one of
the warmest years on record. CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels
was the dominate form of emissions and that, the WMO said, was
driving the warming effect on the climate.
we continue with ‘business as usual,’ global average
temperatures may be 4.6 degrees (Centigrade) higher by the end of
the century," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said.
to the International Energy Agency's World
however, it may be business as usual for the foreseeable future.
While renewables like wind, solar and hydropower are gaining ground,
the global economy still relies on fossil fuels as its dominant
source of energy.
Lund said fossil fuels account for 82 percent of the world's energy
mix, the same level that existed in the late 1980s. Even if
renewable energy gains ground, they only reduce the amount of fossil
fuel in the global mix by 75 percent in 2035, he said.
fuels like natural gas may be part of the solution for companies
like Statoil. For the Sierra Club, however, it's that mindset that
exacerbates the problem. Replacing one fossil fuel with another
isn't the solution, the group says. Last week, the Sierra Club
organized protests in California, saying gas-fired
plants cause air pollution that's already sickened people in the
however, said a carbon-free future is unreasonable. Natural gas has
its problems but it may be the cleanest form of fossil fuel
available. Energy companies still need to drill, therefore, because
the world needs 10 times the gas production capacity available from
the Norwegian continental shelf to meet the demands of a low-carbon
future, he said. For oil, the world needs perhaps four new Saudi
Arabias just to replace the loss of oil production from maturing
boss said those in the energy industry do carry a responsibility to
reduce their carbon footprint. Wind, solar and hydropower may
provide alternatives, he said, but there is no single solution to
who argue that we should stop exploring, harvest existing fields and
block new opportunities are, at best, preparing for a future that
doesn't exist," he said.