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BP Report: Ready for Action on all Fronts

According to the British Petroleum analysts, the authors behind the new updated edition of the Energy Outlook 2035 report, the most alarming current trend is a fast redistribution of increasing energy flows from West to East. Developing countries with their growing economies have a special role in this process. Whether the world manages to opt for global climate stability largely depends on the choices made by China, India and Russia.

The authors behind the new Energy Outlook 2035 report by British Petroleum, one of the world’s largest energy consortiums, prepared an alternative prognosis of the global demand for energy carriers. They concluded that it is necessary to “act on all fronts’.

The report presents the main factors that will shape the world’s energy markets in the coming two decades. According to the BP report, the current 40% growth of demand for energy carriers in the business-as-usual scenario may only be satisfied by fossil fuels, which would put an end to any attempts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. The experts state that if the current trend of the energy sector development persists, two thirds of the demand will have to be covered by fossil fuels, such as oil, gas and coal. In turn, this will lead to a global increase in greenhouse gases emission of 25%.

According to the authors of the report, the main trend in the global energy sector is the shift of energy consumption peaks from industrially developed countries to the developing, from West to East. It is interesting to note that, according to Energy Outlook 2035, oil consumption in OECD countries, which peaked in 2005, is going to fall to the 1986 level by 2035. The authors of the report say that in twenty years China will outrun the United States and become the world’s biggest oil consumer. In turn, the US will achieve energetic self-sustenance by 2030 and refrain from oil import, which currently contributes to 60% of the country’s net consumption of energy carriers. Out of all the fossil fuels, the demand for natural gas will grow fastest, increasing by 1.9% per year by 2035, mainly due to the demand of Asian countries. This demand will be satisfied by increasing the production of traditional gas, mostly in Russia and the Middle East.

Analyzing the prospects of coal, the BP experts conclude that during the following 20 years this fossil fuel is likely to fall out of favor. Coal used to be the fastest growing fossil fuel sector of the previous decade, predominantly due to China’s demand. However, the trend was mostly created artificially, by subsidies and regulations, not by coal’s economic viability. The future role of coal on the global energy scene largely depends on China, the experts assure.

When it comes to the global CО2 emissions, the BP projections show the emissions growth by 1% per year by 2035, or by 25% over the entire period. The resulting number is significantly greater than the one seen probable by the International Energy Agency experts.

BP forecasts the slow-down of the emissions growth rate of the major GHG emitters, such as China and India, largely due to an increase in energy efficiency. The energy demand in those countries will grow by 1.5% per year in the next two decades, not by 2.5% as previously anticipated. The data presented in the BP report also confirms the projected swift growth of renewable energy production and use worldwide.

However, the positive trends of greening the economy do not override the negativity of the business-as-usual scenarios, implemented in most of the countries of the world. In order to reduce global GHG emissions we need significant steps from politicians, who have to take a stand on reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, claim the experts.

In the report, Russia is presented not as an active player on the energy market, but as a mere supplier country, which follows the common trends. Nevertheless, the experts agree that the climate on our planet does depend namely on such countries as China, India and Russia.

‘The projections highlight the scale of the challenge facing policy makers at this year’s UN-led discussions in Paris. No single change or policy is likely to be sufficient on its own. And identifying in advance which changes are likely to be most effective is fraught with difficulty. This underpins the importance of policy-makers taking steps that lead to a global price for carbon, which provides the right incentives for everyone to play their role,’ says Bob Dudley, the BP Group chief executive.

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