24 June, 2008
- It is often assumed that climate and energy security policies are complementary and that therefore measures in one area are also good for the other. This assumption might be correct in certain cases (driving less will be good for climate and will make us less dependent on imported oil), but there are more and more signs that, in the long run and under particular political pressures, worries about energy prices and energy supply might undermine our climate mitigation policies. The Economist has an excellent comment on this trade-off. Just imagine what will happen to our climate policies when prices will go even higher (which they will) and governments start introducing energy rationing or lights start going out.
- The Jeddah meeting of oil producers and consumers clearly failed to convince energy traders that OPEC will be able to bridge the growing gap between demand and supply driving up prices on Monday 23 June. For a good analysis of why we should indeed be cautious about Saudi pledges to increase production, read the Oil Drum’s article “The devil is in the production details of Saudi Arabia“. In the same online publication, Jerome à Paris lists the past broken promises of the oil cartel. I guess Andris Piebalgs will have to wait a long time for his “two-digit” oil prices.
- We all have our scapegoats.It is so much easier to be able to point our fingers to others than to change our own behaviour. High oil prices: just blame the speculators or the OPEC leaders. Climate scepticism: go after Big Oil’s chief executives. With all the admiration and respect I have for US climate expert James Hansen, I suspect his call to put some oil chiefs on trial for crimes against humanity will not really help much in our war against climate chaos.