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20 Jan 2011 11:01:29

Exxon: climate change can't be prevented

New report from ExxonMobil launches gloomy projections of 25% rise in carbon emissions in the next 20 years.

The world's largest oil company, ExxonMobil has predicted that carbon emissions will rise to nearly 25% in the next 20 years, dismissing hopes that climate change can be arrested and massive loss of life prevented. This is the conclusion of the company’s annual Outlook for Energy report, due to be published in the next few weeks.

The demand for energy will increase by nearly 40% in the next 20 years, lifting carbon emissions by around 0.9% a year at least until 2030. Beyond 2030 any progress on cuts of carbon emissions will require "more aggressive gains in energy efficiency as well as the use of less carbon-intensive fuels. New technologies will by then be essential."

Carbon emissions will continue to rise significantly with very little reduction in fossil fuel use

Exxon’s projections are gloomier than anything publicly expressed by governments and scientists, who maintain that global carbon emissions can be reduced significantly and catastrophic climate change be averted if action is taken for them to reach their "peak" in the next 10 years.

The UK Met Office claimed that if carbon emissions rises can be stopped by 2020 and then reduce by 1-2% a year, the planet could be expected to warm 2.1C to 3.7C this century, with the rise in carbon emissions continuing even higher after 2100.

However, Exxon’s recent report says carbon emissions will continue to rise significantly with very little reduction in fossil fuel use, despite its skeptical position 10 years ago about climate change caused by man-made carbon emissions.

"In 2030, fossil fuels remain the predominant energy source, accounting for nearly 80% of demand. Oil still leads, but natural gas moves into second place on very strong growth of 1.8% a year on average, particularly because of its position as a favoured fuel for power generation. Other energy types – particularly nuclear, wind, solar and biofuels – will grow sharply, albeit from a smaller base. Nuclear and renewable fuels will see strong growth, particularly in the power-generation sector. By 2030, about 40% of the world's electricity will be generated by nuclear and renewable fuels."

Exxon’s report supports that the US will have reduced its dependency on foreign oil considerably. Instead, it says that growth in carbon emissions in the future will be dominated by China, India and other developing, or non-OECD countries.

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