International Energy Agency wants no more oil projects for the world; here’s why
- The IEA chief said world should not invest in more oil projects
- An investigation found 200 new oil projects in pipeline
- IEA chief said if the world moves to net-zero these projects won’t recover upfront costs
International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s premiere intergovernmental energy body, has called for an end to new oil and gas projects if the climate crisis is to be averted. IEA executive director Fatih Birol told the Guardian that oil companies were planning huge “carbon bomb” projects that would drive climate catastrophe.
“I understand some countries may look at new fossil fuels but they should remember it takes many years to start production,” the IEA said, adding that oil and gas projects are not the solution to “our urgent energy security needs and they will lock in fossil fuel use.”
Birol further said that while countries need to replace their oil imports owing to the sanctions on Russia, the replacement should not derail their long-term plans.
“If the world is to succeed in moving to new zero, these projects may fail to recover their upfront development costs,” the IEA chief told the Guardian in an interview. He said that while he understood why countries were moving quickly to replace Russian oil, “there is the issue of the time horizon.”
A Guardian investigation recently found that nearly 200 “carbon bomb” projects are either being planned or in the works. These new projects will cause one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over their lifetimes, the probe found.
According to the IEA chief, the most suitable projects of the times are those with “short lead times and quick payback periods, such as expanding production from existing fields.”
He further said governments should work on reducing fossil fuel demand by encouraging home insulation, cutting speed limits and introducing car-free days in cities. “I believe we have the chance to make this a historic turning point to a cleaner and more secure energy system…This is the first time I have seen such momentum behind the change to clean energy,” he said.