Fossil Fuel ‘Addiction’ Is Sabotaging Every Sustainable Development Goal

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Oil exporters of the MENA amongst many others need to breathe with their two lungs: oil and gas, revenues of which account for each country’s earnings and cover all of their household and business needs.
Would a change to clean energy and/or a sharp and lasting drop in the price of hydrocarbons, outlets, or reserves be fatal or beneficial for these countries?
Hydrocarbon revenues apart from their addictive characteristics, play a considerable role and have not only shaped the respective economies but also the mentality of the related societies.  Common Dreams’ article on Fossil Fuel ‘Addiction’ Sabotaging Every Sustainable Development Goal is quite alarming.  Here it is.

Fossil Fuel ‘Addiction’ Is Sabotaging Every Sustainable Development Goal: Report

“Every day that we burn fossil fuels is one more day that we’re undermining these goals for a sustainable, livable planet,” said one campaigner.

A first-of-its-kind report published Wednesday warns that the continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels worldwide—particularly in the rich countries most responsible for planet-warming carbon emissions—is imperiling every single sustainable development goal adopted by United Nations member states in 2015.

The 17 SDGs are far-reaching, ranging from ending global poverty to eliminating hunger to combating the climate emergency, and achieving them by 2030 would require ambitious and coordinated action on a global scale.

But world leaders’ persistent commitment to fossil fuels, which the new report dubs an “addiction,” is rendering such action impossible by “amplifying the impacts of climate change and placing the health and stability of both natural and human systems at risk.”

“Fossil fuel addiction poisons every earnest attempt we make to tackle the sustainable development and climate agendas.”

“Fossil fuel addiction poisons every earnest attempt we make to tackle the sustainable development and climate agendas,” said Tzeporah Berman, chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. “Despite a robust pile of evidence that fossil fuels are core to our problems, governments are not moving and international cooperation is lacking.”

Authored by researchers at the University of Sussex on behalf of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative and other civil society organizations, the report makes use of more than 400 academic articles and advocacy group reports to closely examine for the first time the threat that fossil fuels pose to each of the SDGs.

By 2030, the report notes, the climate crisis could push 122 million more people into extreme poverty worldwide by intensifying extreme weather events, which often cause mass destruction and displacement. Yet globally, “governments spend three times more money on fuel subsidies than the annual amount needed to eradicate poverty,” the researchers observe.

Fossil fuels are also undermining global efforts to combat hunger, which has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Increases in global temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, extreme weather events, and elevated surface carbon dioxide concentrations from burning fossil fuels will reduce the yields of key crops,” the report states. “Fossil fuel production, and fossil fuel corporations’ carbon offset schemes, are pulling vast amounts of land away from productive uses, such as agriculture.”

And on down the list. Promoting good health and well-being, guaranteeing quality education for all, achieving gender equality, ensuring clean water and sanitation, transitioning to renewable energy, and securing lasting peace are all tasks that a fossil fuel-dependent status quo has made unachievable, the new report warns.

“By 2030, humanity needs to have halved global emissions, while at the same time achieving all 17 SDGs,” said report co-author Freddie Daley, a research associate at the University of Sussex. “This is an impossible endeavor without concerted global efforts to constrain and phase out fossil fuel production in a fast, fair, and equitable manner, with the wealthy nations that continue to benefit from fossil-fueled economic growth leading the way.”

“This research lays out the incompatibility of sustainable development and fossil fuels—and what is at stake if we fail to address unchecked fossil fuel expansion,” Daley added.

To dramatically change course and put the world on a path toward achieving sustainable development objectives, the report recommends an entirely new international framework, such as a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty with “binding commitments that constrain fossil fuel production globally.”

Such a treaty, the researchers suggest, should include three prongs:

  1. Non-proliferation. End new exploration and production by issuing a worldwide moratorium on the extraction of new fossil fuel reserves.
  2. Equitable Phase Down. Commit countries to phase down production in existing projects, in line with equity and the 1.5°C global temperature goal.
  3. Accelerate a Fair Transition. Provide finance and technological assistance to aid those most dependent on fossil fuel production to climate change to diversify their economies and move away from fossil fuels, scale up access to renewable energy and ensure a just transition for all.

“Every day that we burn fossil fuels is one more day that we’re undermining these goals for a sustainable, livable planet,” Jean Su, the director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

“The first step to fighting the extinction of countless species and the scourge of global poverty is to turn off the spigot of dangerous fossil fuels,” Su added. “That’s the only way we can build a just, peaceful future that protects the dignity of humanity and all life on Earth.”

 

Without Fossil Fuels There Is No Need For Electricity

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Without Fossil Fuels There Is No Need For Electricity – OpEd

By Ronald Stein

America is in a fast pursuit toward achieving President Biden’s stated goal that “we are going to get rid of fossil fuels  to achieve the Green New Deal’s (GND) pursuit of wind turbines and solar panels to provide electricity to run the world, but WAIT, everything in our materialistic lives and economies cannot exist without crude oil, coal, and natural gas.

Everything that needs electricity, from lights, vehicles, iPhones, defibrillators, computers, telecommunications, etc., are all made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil.

The need for electricity will decrease over time without crude oil.  With no new things to power, and the deterioration of current things made with oil derivatives over the next few decades and centuries, the existing items that need electricity will not have replacement parts and will ultimately become obsolete in the future and the need for electricity will diminish accordingly.

The Green New Deal proposal calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and focus on electricity from wind and solar, but why? What will there be to power in the future without fossil fuels?

Rather than list the more than 6,000 products made from the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil, I will let the readers list what is NOT dependent on oil derivatives that will need electricity. They can begin listing them here ______   ________    _______.

And by the way, crude oil came before electricity. The electricity that came AFTER the discovery of oil, is comprised of components made with those same oil derivatives from crude oil. Thus, getting rid of crude oil, also eliminates our ability to make wind turbines, solar panels, as well as those vehicles intended to be powered by an EV battery.

Today, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) divesting in fossil fuels are all the rage with big banks, Wall Street firms, and financial institutions, to divest in all 3 fossil fuels of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.  Both President Biden and the United Nations support allowing banks and investment giants to collude to reshape economies and our energy infrastructure toward JUST electricity from wind and solar.

A reduction in the usage of coal, natural gas, and crude oil would lead us to life as it was without the crude oil infrastructure and those products manufactured from oil that did not exist before 1900, i.e., the decarbonized world that existed in the 1800’s and before when life was hard, and life expectancy was short.

Ridding the world of crude oil would result in less manufactured oil derivatives and lead to a reduction in each of the following:

  • The 50,000 heavy-weight and long-range merchant ships that are moving products throughout the world.
  • The 50,000 heavy-weight and long-range jets used by commercial airlines, private usage, and the military.
  • The number of wind turbines and solar panels as they are made with oil derivatives from crude oil.
  • The pesticides to control locusts and other pests.
  • The tires for the billions of vehicles.
  • The asphalt for the millions of miles of roadways.
  • The medications and medical equipment.
  • The vaccines.
  • The water filtration systems.
  • The sanitation systems.
  • The communications systems, including cell phones, computers, iPhones, and iPads.
  • The number of cruise ships that now move twenty-five million passengers around the world.
  • The space program.

Before we rid the world of all three fossil fuels of coal, natural gas, and crude oil, the greenies need to identify the replacement or clone for crude oil, to keep the world’s population of 8 billion fed and healthy, and economies running with the more than 6,000 products now made with manufactured derivatives from crude oil, along with the fuels manufactured from crude oil to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of more than 50,000 jets and more than 50,000 merchant ships, and the military and space programs.

Open government policies should be focused on reducing our usage, via both conservation and improved efficiencies, to REDUCE not ELIMINATE crude oil, and reduce its footprint as much as practical and possible, is truly the only plan that will work.

Wind and solar may be able to generate electricity from breezes and sunshine, but they cannot manufacture anything.  Again, what is the need for the Green New Deal’s electricity from breezes and sunshine when you have nothing new to power in the future?

Ronald Stein, Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California.

 

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia targets net zero emissions by 2060

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By Yousef Saba and Saeed Azhar, Marwa Rashad in a Reuters article that is about how Saudi Arabia targets net zero emissions by 2060 cannot be more explicit about this top oil exporter is obviously struggling to keep up with the current trends of worldwide deep resentment against all fossil fuels. The forthcoming COP26 will definitely enlighten us on this aspect as well as on the major contributors to Greenhouse Gas Emissions plans.

Meanwhile here are the main points of this article:

  • Doubles target to reduce carbon emissions
  • To tackle climate change while ensuring oil market stability
  • Could hit target before 2060, energy minister says

RIYADH, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said on Saturday that the world’s top oil exporter aims to reach zero-net emissions by 2060 and will more than double its annual target to reduce carbon emissions.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his energy minister said OPEC member Saudi Arabia would tackle climate change while ensuring oil market stability, stressing the continued importance of hydrocarbons.Report ad

They were speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), which comes ahead of COP26, the UN climate change conference in Glasgow at the end of the month, which hopes to agree deeper emissions cuts to tackle global warming.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to reach zero-net emissions by 2060 under its circular carbon economy programme … while maintaining the kingdom’s leading role in strengthening security and stability of global oil markets,” Prince Mohammed said in recorded remarks.Report ad

He said the kingdom would join a global initiative on slashing emissions of methane by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, which both the United States and the EU have been pressing.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is due to attend a wider Middle East green summit Riyadh is hosting on Monday. read moreReport ad

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said Riyadh, a signatory to the Paris climate pact, had already submitted its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – goals for individual states under global efforts to prevent average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The SGI aims to eliminate 278 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year, the crown prince said, up from a previous target of 130 million tonnes.

Saudi Arabia in March pledged to reduce carbon emissions by more than 4% of global contributions. It said that would involve generating 50% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030 and planting billions of trees in the desert state. read more

HYDROCARBONS STILL NEEDED

Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily reliant on oil income as economic diversification lags ambitions set out by the crownprince.

Saudi officials have argued the world will continue to need Saudi crude for decades to come.

“The world cannot operate without hydrocarbon, fossil fuels, renewables, none of these will be the saver, it has to be a comprehensive solution,” the energy minister said.

“We need to be inclusive and inclusivity requires being open to accept others efforts as long as they are going to reduce emissions,” he said, adding that the kingdom’s young generation “will not wait for us to change their future”.

He said the net zero emissions target might be achieved before 2060 but the kingdom needed time to do things “properly”.

Fellow Gulf OPEC producer the United Arab Emirates this month announced a plan for net zero emissions by 2050. read more

The chief executive of UAE oil firm ADNOC, Sultan al-Jaber, also stressed the importance of investment in hydrocarbons, saying the world had “sleepwalked” into a supply crunch and that climate action should not become an economic burden on developing nations. read more

GREEN PUSH

Saudi Arabia has been criticised for acting too slowly, with Climate Action Tracker giving it the lowest possible ranking of “critically insufficient”.

And experts say it is too early to tell what the impact of Saudi’s nascent solar and wind projects will be. Its first renewable energy plant opened in April and its first wind farm began generating power in August.

Megaprojects, such as futuristic city NEOM, also incorporate green energy plans including a $5 billion hydrogen plant, and Saudi state-linked entities are pivoting to green fundraising.

Some investors have expressed concerns over the kingdom’s carbon footprint. Others say Saudi Arabia emits the least carbon per barrel of oil and that de facto ruler Prince Mohammed is serious about economic diversification.

“Obviously the carbon footprint is an issue. However, we would highlight that realistically carbon is going to be slow to phase out, and oil is here for some time yet,” Tim Ash at BlueBay Asset Management said in emailed comments.

Reporting by Yousef Saba and Saeed Azhar in Riyadh, Marwa Rashad in London and Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai; Additional reporting by Raya Jalbi in Dubai; writing by Ghaida Ghantous; editing by Nick Macfie and Jason Neely


Energy Transitions in the MENA Region

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The IEA in a gesture of goodwill proposes Energy Transitions in the MENA Region to be supported so as to help it reach clean and low-carbon energy-based economies.

The above image is for illustration and is of the IEA – International Energy Agency.

Energy Transitions in the MENA Region

Energy transitions in the producer economies of the Middle East and North Africa

Supporting Middle East and North Africa countries to help them diversify their economies towards clean and low-carbon energy

Oil and gas producers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are particularly exposed not only to climate change, but also to global efforts to mitigate it. This water-stressed region faces severe climate impacts, from rising temperatures to extended droughts, so must take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, many MENA countries are economically dependent on oil and gas exports, which could come under growing pressure from global efforts to decarbonise the energy sector. MENA countries must therefore find a way to accelerate development of clean energy while diversifying their economies away from reliance on oil and gas revenues.

The International Energy Agency is working with countries across the region to leverage their existing capacities and competitive advantages in traditional energy forms towards clean and low-carbon energy technologies. The aim is to help countries chart a low-carbon pathway for their own growing energy demand, while also exploring export opportunities for emerging low-carbon energy sectors, such as hydrogen.

This is a broad-ranging programme that cuts across the work streams of the IEA. It includes supporting renewable and clean energy deployment through policy reform; navigating the pathways available to countries seeking to implement national hydrogen strategies; and bolstering economic resilience through the promotion of local value chains. The programme functions through high-level dialogue; tailored support for national policy development; and thematic workshops and training.

The energy transitions in the producer economies of MENA programme supports the IEA’s ongoing work by feeding lessons learned and data collected from producer economies back into IEA analysis and publications, such as the World Energy OutlookEnergy Technology Perspectives and Renewables Market Report.

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Climate change a double blow for oil-rich Mideast

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We are reminded that Climate change would be no different from a double blow for oil-rich Mideast per experts by an AFP’s article dated 17 October 2021, and that it is closer than envisioned by most.

Climate change a double blow for oil-rich Mideast: experts

Paphos (Cyprus) (AFP)

The climate crisis threatens a double blow for the Middle East, experts say, by destroying its oil income as the world shifts to renewables and by raising temperatures to unliveable extremes.

Little has been done to address the challenge in a region long plagued by civil strife, war and refugee flows, even as global warming looks likely to accelerate these trends, a conference heard last week.

“Our region is classified as a global climate change hotspot,” Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades told the International Conference on Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Home to half a billion people, the already sun-baked region has been designated as especially vulnerable by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UN’s World Meteorological Organization.

Yet it is also home to several of the last countries that have not ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement — Iran, Iraq, Libya and Yemen — weeks before the UN’s COP26 climate conference starts in Glasgow.

A Lebanese army helicopter drops water on a forest fire in the Qubayyat area of northern Lebanon’s remote Akkar region during a heatwave on July 29, 2021, JOSEPH EID AFP/File

When it comes to climate change and the Middle East, “there are terrible problems,” said Jeffrey Sachs, who heads the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

“First, this is the centre of world hydrocarbons, so a lot of the economies of this region depend on a fuel that is basically anachronistic, that we have to stop,” said Sachs of New York’s Columbia University.

“Second, obviously, this is a dry region getting drier, so everywhere one looks, there is water insecurity, water stress, dislocation of populations,” he told AFP.

Sachs argued that “there needs to be a massive transformation in the region. Yet this is a politically fraught region, a divided region, a region that has been beset by a lot of war and conflict, often related to oil.”

In this file photo taken on October 3, 2021 a man wades through a flooded street amid cyclone Shaheen in Oman’s capital Muscat Haitham AL-SHUKAIRI AFP/File

The good news, he said, is that there is “so much sunshine that the solution is staring the region in the face. They must just look up to the sky. The solar radiation provides the basis for the new clean, green economy.”

– Like ‘disaster movie’ –

Laurent Fabius, the former French foreign minister who oversaw the Paris Agreement, pointed out that in this year’s blistering summer, “we had catastrophic wildfires in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon”.

The greenhouse effect Gal ROMA AFP

“There were temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in Kuwait, Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran. We have drought in Turkey, water stress in different countries, particularly Jordan.

“These tragic events are not from a disaster movie, they are real and present.”

Cyprus, the EU member closest to the Middle East, is leading an international push involving 240 scientists to develop a 10-year regional action plan, to be presented at a summit a year from now.

The two-day conference last week heard some of the initial findings — including that the greenhouse gas emissions from the region have overtaken those of the European Union.

Already extremely water-scarce, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been warming at twice the global average rate, at about 0.45 degrees Celsius per decade, since the 1980s, scientists say.

Flood damage in Yemen’s Mukalla in the southern Hadramawt province after Cyclone Shaheen hit the region and neighbouring Oman in October 2021 – AFP/File

Deserts are expanding and dust storms intensifying as the region’s rare mountain snow caps slowly diminish, impacting river systems that supply water to millions.

By the end of the century, on a business-as-usual emissions trajectory, temperatures could rise by six degrees Celsius — and by more during summertime in “super- or ultra-extreme heatwaves” — said Dutch atmospheric chemist Jos Lelieveld.

– ‘Future conflicts’ –

“It’s not just about averages, but about the extremes. It will be quite devastating,” Lelieveld of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry told AFP.

In this file photo from July 3, 2021 a giant fire rages in the Troodos mountains of Cyprus, the worst blaze on record on the Mediterranean island Georgio PAPAPETROU AFP/File

Peak temperatures in cities, so-called ‘heat islands’ that are darker than surrounding deserts, could exceed 60 degrees Celsius, he said.

“In heat waves, people die, of heat strokes and heart attacks. It’s like with corona, the vulnerable people will be suffering — the elderly, younger people, pregnant women.”

Fabius, like other speakers, warned that as farmlands turn to dust and tensions rise over shrinking resources, climate change can be “the root of future conflicts and violence”.

The region is already often torn over freshwater from the Nile, Jordan, Euphrates and Tigris river systems that all sustained ancient civilisations but have faced pressure as human populations have massively expanded.

Sachs pointed to the much-debated theory that climate change was one of the drivers behind Syria’s civil war, because a 2006-2009 record drought sent more than a million farmers into cities, heightening social stress before the uprising of 2011.

Solar panels on rooftops in Binnish in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, which has had no reliable state supply since Damascus pulled the plugin 2012 Omar HAJ KADOUR AFP/File

“We saw in Syria a decade ago how those dislocations of the massive drought spilt over, partially triggered and certainly exacerbated massive violence,” he said.

Some of the MENA region’s highest use of solar power is now seen in Syria’s last rebel-held area, the Idlib region, which has long been cut off from the state power grid and where photovoltaic panels have become ubiquitous.

© 2021 AFP on France24