BP Chief Economist Acknowledges Unburnable Carbon
BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale admitted this week that the world’s oil resources will never be fully exploited.
“Oil is not likely to be exhausted,” Dale told an audience in London, UK. “What has changed in recent years is the growing recognition [of] concerns about carbon emissions and climate change.”
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He added that burning all known fossil fuel reserves “would generate somewhere in excess of 2.8 trillion tonnes of CO2, well in excess of the trillion tonnes or so the scientific community consider is consistent with limiting the rise in global mean temperatures to no more than 2Cº.” Moreover, “this takes no account of the new discoveries which are being made all the time, or of the vast resources of fossil fuels not yet booked as reserves.”
The Guardian calls Dale’s speech “the clearest acknowledgement yet by a major fossil fuel company that some coal, oil, and gas will have to remain in the ground if dangerous global warming is to be avoided.”
Dale added that the urgency of climate change, coupled with abundant shale oil in the United States, will keep oil prices permanently low. “There is no longer a strong reason to expect the relative price of oil to increase over time,” he said.”