Why We’re Only Just Starting to Talk About Actually Keeping Oil and Gas in the Ground
In Glasgow last week Dan Jorgensen (Danish climate minister) stressed the importance of international Petroleum Natur gaz phase-out agreement he shepherded wasn’t mere talk. “When I talk to scientists, citizens All activists want boldness. tangible action,” Jorgensen said. “That is what the Beyond Oil Gas Alliance is here to deliver.”
Denmark launched the project Costa Rica September: Beyond Oil GasAlliance (BOGA), France, Greenland and Ireland were added to Quebec, Sweden Wales became a member on November 11. It is the international diplomatic agreement that first addresses the issue of titular emission sources. The participants have agreed to cease new licensing. Petroleum gazProduce; Governments can also be a part of a lower-tier status, but with more flexible commitments. Noticeably absent, however, are the world’s largest Petroleum gazNational governments are created, such as the U.S., Russia or Saudi Arabia Canada, which limits the agreement’s actual emissions reduction potential.
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From one angle, BOGA’s limited membership is yet another sign of how dire the climate situation has become. The world will only have a decent chance to limit warming to 1.5°C absent new investments in Petroleum Natur gazAccording to the International Energy Agency, production is a major concern. But the vast majority of countries—including self-proclaimed climate leaders like the U.S. the U.K.—remain unwilling to accept the conclusions that the science demands, saying that other considerations still take precedence to the climate crisis.
“What we cannot have is a cliff-edge where Petroleum gaz are aboned overnight,” a spokesperson for the U.K. business and energy department told E&E News in reference to BOGA’s goals. “If we stopped producing gazThis would increase energy security and British job opportunities Industry at high risk we would be even more dependent on foreign imports.” Meanwhile in the U.S., a federal judge has forced the Biden Administration to offer a massive new Petroleum gazLease in the Gulf Of Mexico with sale set for next week. The Administration appealed the decision, but it stated that it would comply with the order in the interim.
In an interview with TIME, Jorgensen, the Danish Minister, admitted that BOGA doesn’t go far enough. He is grateful. other climate leaders holding out hope for international agreements to curtail runaway climate change, the agreement’s dearth of direct emissions reductions isn’t the whole story. “We hope that this can inspire others—maybe also even put pressure on others,” Jorgensen says. “Here at COP in Glasgow, it has set an agenda, Many leaders of important countries were forced to adopt a position on the matter. enter into this conversation.”
The point, BOGA’s supporters say, is that the agreement will help apply diplomatic pressure that can force other governments to come to better climate positions. “We were in similar times during the dawn of the Paris Agreement,” says Sierra Club president Ramón Cruz. “There was a similar coalition that formed that basically carried that moral weight that at some point it’s inevitable to turn that tide.”
“We can actually see it working,” Jorgensen says. “Policymakers all around the planet will be asked by journalists civil society now, ‘why are they not joining this?’”
While this kind of diplomatic pressure might not work on the world’s worst polluters, it may make a difference for developing nations, particularly because the BOGA countries have pledged to provide members with technical support to phase out Petroleum gaz. “You’re not going to change the Russias, the Saudi Arabias of this world with this initiative, but you can perhaps tip the balance on Algeria, Mozambique, perhaps even Nigeria,” says Lisa Fischer, a program leader at E3G, a European climate think tank.
But the question—both on the significance of BOGA of the entire premise of COP26—is whether those diplomatic forces can work at the speed the science demands. “You might write to say ‘shouldn’t [this] have happened years ago?’ Und I would agree with you,” says Jorgensen. “But the fact of the matter is we’ve discussed coal, but we haven’t really discussed an agenda for Petroleum gaz for some reason, so that’s why we think it’s important that we have some countries that take this important first step.”