12 Experts Comment: What Oil Below $30 Means for Efforts to Tackle Climate Change

http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/18/oil-prices-climate-change/

The oil price slide below $30 a barrel is reverberating through the global economy. Photo credit: Sergio Russo / Flickr

Simon Evans, Carbon Brief | January 18, 2016 1:14 pm
The oil price slide below $30 a barrel is reverberating through the global economy. With sanctions against Iran being lifted, prices face further downwards pressure.

The new lows come after prices spent much of the past year around the $50 mark, as Saudi Arabia’s attempts to win back market share from U.S. shale firms produced limited results.

The oil price slide below $30 a barrel is reverberating through the global economy. Photo credit: Sergio Russo / Flickr

There are recessions in Russia and Brazil. Saudi Arabia is burning through its reserves, its stock markets are in freefall and its population is feeling the squeeze, as it looks for new sources of cash.

Fossil fuel subsidies are being cut, from Saudi Arabia to India and Bahrain. The UAE is looking towards a life beyond oil. Oil majors are facing hard times, too, with BP set to axe 4,000 jobs as the total of shelved oil investments breaches $400bn since the price slump began in late 2014.

For all that, some papers have found reason for optimism.

An editorial in The Times says cheap oil is “bolstering Britain’s recovery.” The Financial Times says cheaper oil “may not be good for the prospects of reducing carbon emissions in the near term, but it is certainly of significant net benefit for the global economy and employment.”

With some predicting oil could fall as low as $10, an article in the Guardian looks at the tax, consumer and jobs effects for the UK.

From a global perspective, cheap oil might raise demand as well as putting pressure on oil producers. If oil remains cheap, the incentive to keep burning it could be stronger.

So, what does $30 oil mean for efforts to tackle climate change in the wake of the Paris agreement signed in December? Carbon Brief asked a range of experts for their views.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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