Going, going ... green

Baker Institute on cost and risk of green. Energy Futures Lab announced.

An analysis by Jim Krane (Rice University Baker Institute) finds that ‘commercial activity in fossil fuels is increasingly at odds with global actions to reduce the threat of climate change.’ But fossil fuels provides over 20% of GDP in two dozen nation states. Current commitments to reducing emissions might mean forgoing $100 trillion in revenues by 2050, representing ‘disruption to global affairs, undermining national budgets and corporate balance sheets while exposing stakeholders, including pension holders and ordinary citizens in resource-exporting states, to myriad risks.’ Oil is less exposed to environmental pressures than coal and gas because of its role in transport. ‘Only’ one third of current conventional crude oil reserves would need to be abandoned to meet climate change targets, as opposed to half of gas and 82% of coal. Coal is already very exposed having lost a combined 31,000 jobs and $30 billion in share value since 2010 in the US*.
Alberta’s energy system is at the center of ‘complex, fragmented and divisive debates’ including disputes over market access to Alberta’s oil, disagreements about climate change and controversy over community health. Natural Step Canada, Suncor, Shell and others have established the Energy Futures Lab to accelerate the development of a ‘fit for the future’ energy system. EFL director Chad Park stated, ‘Energy issues are not as black and white as they seem, and Alberta has a very different story to tell. With polarized debates about energy as a backdrop, more people are joining us here in the very colorful middle ground and working together to find ways for Alberta to lead in the transition to a low carbon future.’

* Not so in China though!

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