Our never-ending oil addiction. Why a net zero world is unlikely anytime soon as global consumption hits a new high – by David Olive (Toronto Star – August 5, 2023)


The hydrocarbons war between economic prosperity and our climate, writes David Olive, is the struggle of our times. The betting is on prosperity.

Remarkably enough, the world is consuming a record amount of oil today, five decades after it began trying to end its addiction to oil. That means we remain hostage to sudden increases in oil production by OPEC and other producers, who periodically glut the market and drive oil-production regions like Alberta into economic slumps.

It means we’re still vulnerable to abrupt spikes in oil prices when those producers cut their production to drive up prices. And it means that with expected further increases in oil demand through the end of the decade, we stand little chance of meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets in the fight against climate change.

Yes, we’ve spent a lot of money and even more lofty talk on decarbonization. But we haven’t made a dent in demand for hydrocarbons.

To meet the 2050 net-zero emissions targets set by Canada and other major economies, global oil demand needs to drop to 75 million barrels a day (mb/d) by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). But preliminary IEA figures for July suggest that global oil consumption hit a new all-time high of about 102.5 mb/d last month.

For the rest of this column: https://www.thestar.com/business/our-never-ending-oil-addiction-why-a-net-zero-world-is-unlikely-anytime-soon-as/article_7495f07d-39cf-5f6c-9842-55a695d80565.html